Peggy Grodinsky, Food and Source editor

Peggy Grodinsky, Food and Source editor

Unlike soon-to-be former President Obama, I sometimes find it hard to be hopeful. In fact, thinking about the planet can make me feel grim. However much Americans today talk the talk about sustainability, how to remain sunny in the face of a sixth mass extinction, a world population predicted to reach nearly 11 billion by the end of this century (with attendant needs for food, water and space) and “catastrophic wilderness loss” in the last two decades, as it was described by researchers in the journal Current Biology last year. Add to these that, in little more than a week, we will have a new president whose statements and appointments appear, so far, out-and-out hostile to the natural world – the world, not incidentally, that we humans live in, not separate from.

On a macro-level, I am in serious need of cheering up.

So for me, the announcement this week of our third annual Source Awards couldn’t come at a better time. Given the scope of global problems, our awards don’t amount to a hill of beans, even delicious Maine-grown, heirloom beans. I know that. But I also understand that one cannot live without hope, and if anything gives me hope, it’s the commitment and passion of so many Mainers to making our state, and our world, a more sustainable place.

As chronicled in these pages every week, Mainers aren’t giving up or giving in to despair. They are – you are – saving seeds, water and big tracts of wild land; teaching veterans to farm, children to garden and all of us to snack on seaweed; researching salt marshes and questioning genetically modified foods; erecting tiny houses and eradicating invasive plants and pests – or trying to; they’re wily and tenacious adversaries. Our space is short. The list is long.

We’re honored and humbled, as always, to recognize your good green work. So please help us give an engaged and resolute Mainer a well-deserved pat on the back. Go to pressherald.com/sourceawards and nominate an individual, group, nonprofit or business for a 2017 Source Award in one of these seven categories: The Newcomer, a promising startup; The Elder, a longtime model for sustainable living; The Teacher, an institution or individual helping others to live more sustainably; The Scions, a group of young people leading the way; The Good Neighbor, a person making a difference in a hyper-local way; The Pollinator, a business bringing sustainability to the masses; and The Cultivator, a business or nonprofit that has been steadily working to make Maine a more sustainable place to live.

Nominations are due on Feb. 27, and we’ll celebrate this year’s winners at an awards ceremony on April 6. It’ll be nice to have something to celebrate.

 

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