But Glixon wasn’t taking the sunny skies and perfect temperatures for granted: She was walking to spread the word about the extreme weather events predicted for our future. Glixon announced her walk to family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues and by the time her walk was finished last she had raised over $4000. The money will go to 350.org, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Better Future Project, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Fund.
Glixon has long been interested in environmental issues. “As a young student I celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970 by helping to clean the river in my hometown in Westchester County, NY.” She continued her activism into the 1980’s until hopelessness stymied her. Recently, as she became aware of the enormity of the global warming problem, “I decided I could no longer stand by and do nothing."
Glixon started connecting with groups promoting climate change solutions such as 350.org, 350 Massachusetts (350ma.org), Mothers Out Front, Citizens Climate Lobby, and the Environmental Justice Task Force at Follen UU Church Society in Lexington. Glixon started attending 350 Massachusetts actions in support of S.1225, the Massachusetts bill to divest the state pension funds from fossil fuels, and working with the Follen group on organizing local events to educate and raise awareness about climate change within the community and giving people the chance to talk about the issue as a first step towards taking action.
The idea to do a long walk first came to Glixon as she found herself drawn to books about people who have taken extended walks such as Cheryl Strayed’s account of her solo hike along the Pacific Crest Train in her memoir “Wild” and Peter Jenkins’ book “A Walk Across America." She decided to start small by seeing how far she could walk out and back over a three day weekend, staying overnight with friends along the way and welcoming people who wanted to join her for any length of time.
The walk was originally conceived as a personal endeavor, Glixon explained, “but it occurred to me that I could use it as a fundraiser for climate action by asking people to sponsor me." After the success of her weekend walk, she is now talking with the Follen group about organizing a larger group walk with the same purposes of raising awareness about climate change and raising money to help fund solutions.
Asked what she hopes to achieve by doing Climate Walks Glixon said, “Public awareness. Anytime you talk to someone about climate change you are keeping it in people's minds. I wish there would be more in the news about climate change with every report pointing out its effects and giving people ideas about what they can do.”
What can readers do to help address climate change? “There are so many things individuals can do such as switching renewable energy though MassEnergy, joining a local 350MA.org group to support their campaign to divest the state pension plan from fossil fuels, or exercising our rights as citizens by letting our legislators know that moving to sustainable energy is important to us and that it is critical that it be done now.”Glixon is planning a larger Walk for the Climate for next fall with many people participating.