Dogwood Intern does grassroots organizing!

This is how you make a difference – talking to people!

black mountain organizing.jpg

Since I started working as a Summer
Research Intern at the Dogwood Alliance, I have learned more than I ever
thought I would. I’m thrilled to report that I have met so many cool people who
care about the environment just as much as I do. Since the first day, I began
doing things I had never done before such as write a blog or help a non-profit
organization protect southern forests.

One of the fun events I experienced for
the first time was tabling with other Grassroots interns at the Black
Mountain Park Rhythm Concert on Thursday, June 19th,
2008. As a native of the Swannanoa Valley (lovingly referred to as
“Swanna-nowhere”), which is approximately half-way between Black Mountain and
Asheville, I have grown to love small town Black Mountain as much as I love
Asheville. I was excited to hear that the Dogwood Alliance would make an
appearance at the summer concert series at Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain as I
hoped to see a few old friends who live in the area.

I’ve spent the past two summers at
Furman University taking summer courses and practicing with the Furman
University Women's Basketball Team
. Now that I’m spending the summer in
Asheville, I’ve begun to realize how beautiful Furman’s campus truly is and how
a nice view of the lake can quickly suppress any stress built up from an
exhausting summer day. Unfortunately, my house does not have a majestic view
which makes me pine for those cool summer nights around Furman’s lake even
more. Luckily, Lake Tomahawk provided some relief Thursday night as my need for
a relaxing evening in a beautiful surrounding was satisfied. The bluegrass/folk
music of the Carolina
Chocolate Drops
was incredible and
we successfully spread the word about protecting southern

At first, tabling seemed a daunting task:
asking people to sign a petition to show their support for something they had
probably never heard of or even considered. However, as the night went on, I
was surprised to see how many people took the time to hear about the Dogwood
Alliance’s new campaign titled No Free Refills. The campaign targets CEOs of
major fast food companies and asks them to reconsider their packaging policies
to reduce the total amount of packaging, increase the amount of recycled
material used in packaging, and at the very least, use material from certified
sustainable forests if recycled material is not available. Maybe people were
willing to listen because fast food packaging pertains to most Americans and
they can relate to the problem at hand. Or, perhaps people are willing to show
their support of an environmental campaign once they understand how a single
small step can lead to vast improvement. It’s our job to inform as many people
as possible and hope that enough support will convince companies to change
their ways and adopt environmentally friendly policies.

Thanks! Mollie Petersen

For more information, visit the Dogwood Alliance
and the No Free
Refills Campaign

these photos from the Carolina Chocolate Drops concert at Lake Tomahawk in
Black Mountain, North Carolina.

black mountain more.jpg

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