A 27-year-old woman will be spending most of 2021 walking more than 2,000 miles in the name of climate change advocacy.
On Nov. 1, Hannah Bacon embarked on what she estimates will be a seven-month-long journey from California to Virginia Beach. Along the way, she hopes to raise money for the Sunrise Movement, an organization focused on mobilizing climate activists around the country to create a sustainable future.
Bacon — who lost her job during the coronavirus pandemic — told CBS affiliate WTKR she was inspired to set foot on the journey after reading the 2019 book The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells. The book describes the ways a warming planet is affecting the Earth more than what people may realize.
"I was thinking about the next generation and the world we are living and leaving that for the young folks today," Bacon told the news station.
That's when Bacon thought about the ways she could help the planet.
"I was so scared, I knew I had to do something," she said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Bacon has raised more than $11,500 for Sunrise Movement on GoFundMe.
"Protecting our future and our Earth will take all of us, doing everything we can," she wrote on the donation page. "Please share with folks in your life so we can make the most impact possible! Your support means the world to me, I can't thank you enough."
Bacon graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2015 and has since served as an ESL instructor, a Naturalist at an outdoor school, and sold vegetables at farmer’s markets, according to her website on the project, which she's named Miles for Climate.
She also helped adolescents in substance-abuse recovery, worked as an EMT, and helped a nonprofit promoting zero waste in New York City.
As of now, Bacon is only about $8,500 short of her $20,000 fundraising goal for Sunrise Movement.
"I am overcome with gratitude and joy," Bacon recently wrote to contributors on the page. "Thank you all for coming together to make this happen, for supporting climate action and this walk, and most importantly for believing in a green future."
Bacon is documenting her journey to Virginia Beach on her Instagram page, Miles For Climate. Her most recent update on Monday showed she has already walked more than 650 miles in 46 days.
"I hope 2021 brings you all health, growth, joy, and a passion to fight for whatever it is you believe in (hopefully that includes climate action)," Bacon wrote in the post.
"I hope people understand there is so much more we can be doing, and climate change is here and really important," she added to WTKR. "No one is perfect but there are lifestyle changes we can all make."
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