You might have noticed that things are looking a little different around here (as well as here and here). Your eyes do not deceive you. Last week, we donned a new set of clothes, and Fix, Grist’s solutions lab, carved out a home of its own on the World Wide Web.
We’re mega-excited about this new design, and proud of how our organization has grown. (Check out also The Uproot Project, a newly launched network for journalists of color who cover environmental issues.) The changes represent our focus on showing that a just and sustainable future is within reach.
And if that weren’t enough, this week also marked the launch of the 2021 Grist 50, a jaw-dropping lineup of emerging leaders who are ushering in that better future. More on the Grist 50 below.
— Chip Giller
Founder & Creative Officer
Your new heroes
Every year, the team at Fix searches high and low for brilliant people tackling climate issues from every imaginable angle. For the 2021 Grist 50, we received 1,000 nominations from readers, climate-savvy leaders, and good friends like you. And let me tell you, this year’s list delivers.
The 2021 Fixers are reducing food waste, cleaning up trucking, catching lizards, treating patients, and writing mind-changing poetry.
We’ve got Faith E. Briggs, a documentary filmmaker who ran 150 miles through national monuments out West to talk about race, conservation, and representation.
We’ve got Chris Schell, a professor at the University of Washington Tacoma, whose research exposes the connections between urban wildlife and equity. (Did you know coyotes can tell you a lot about the legacies of redlining?)
We’ve got Emily Darchuk — her company, the delightfully named Wheyward Spirit, makes sustainable booze out of discarded dairy byproducts. Now I’ll drink to that.
I could go on … but why rob you of the full experience? Here is the complete 2021 list of Fixers, which includes five gorgeous mini-docs, one for each section. (P.S. It’s never too early to nominate climate stars for 2022.)
All the Fixings. In its new home, Fix has been keeping up its beat of solutions-focused stories. A couple of my recent favorites: this ask-the-experts roundup on the lessons learned from the winter-storm crisis in Texas last month and the way forward for a more resilient, flexible energy system; and this fun diary about a week of eating plant-based seafood.
Looming large. Grist has been putting out a series of beautifully illustrated Q&As with notable climate figures, such as Robert Bullard, a father of the environmental justice movement, and youth climate leader Jamie Margolin, among others.
Blades of glory. The feds are wicked close to approving the country’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, a project off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, that would generate enough electricity to power 400,000 homes and create thousands of jobs.
Driving on sunshine. A California company is rolling out the world’s first mass-produced solar car. The aerodynamic, and very futuristic, Aptera costs $25,900. If the two-seater is too rich for your blood, feast your eyes on the world’s top-selling EV, the Wuling. Sold only in China, the car is tiny, though its manufacturer claims it fits four people. For about $4,500, the price is certainly right.
Pass the gas (ban). Meanwhile, three cheers to Petaluma. The town in northern California has become the first in the U.S. to ban the construction of new gas stations.
Your weekend plan
It’s officially spring and we all know what that means: It’s time to eat some flowers. Foraging season is upon us! For those of us who are clueless about the craft, TikTok star Alexis Nikole Nelson is here to share her wisdom. Under the handle @BlackForager, Nelson documents her adventures gathering salads, mushrooms, herbs, and nuts around her neighborhood. Here are a few of her recommendations for early spring eats, wild-style:
- Native to the southeastern United States but found across the country, magnolia trees sprout pink flowers that Nelson says can be swapped for ginger. “And now my breath smells like spring,” she announces after biting into the bloom.
- If you’ve ever wondered how to “milk a tree,” you’re in luck: Nelson has the how-to on collecting birch sap, which can be cooked down to syrup. (‘Cause after all, maple is “old hat.”)
- For some delicious pesto, be on the lookout for hairy bittercress — which, as Nelson points out, is “neither hairy nor bitter.” It’s invasive, so eat it up!
Before you head out outside, check out Nelson’s conversation with Fix’s Anna Deen, where she explains why foraging isn’t just fun, but revolutionary. Happy hunting!