Julia Paige-Carter has always had an affinity for mother nature, but didn’t quite know her purpose. After graduating high school she traveled to New Zealand and Australia for three months to volunteer with other like-minded young adults. This experience was deeply inspiring for Julia. They spent most of their days doing manual labor, clearing trails, chopping copious amounts of wood, and removing invasive species.
As someone who once had a deep abhorrence for all physical activities, this trip changed everything. Julia somehow found joy even when hiking four days in the New Zealand wilderness, canoeing 90 kilometers down the Wanganui River, and living out of a tent. These experiences moved Julia so deeply, she was a changed woman.
Julia then moved to O‘ahu, to go to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa for Environmental Studies. Living on O‘ahu, she lived in perpetual awe of mother nature. She was baffled by the towering cliffs, aquamarine waters, lush jungles, and the love and respect the Hawaiian people have for nature. Julia spent her days volunteering to restore fishponds, taro ponds, mapping “exceptional trees”, and falling deeply in love with Hawai‘i. One of her favorite lessons was about the ancient Hawaiian Ahupua‘as, sections of land and sea that provided the people with all of their resource needs. They knew how to live sustainably, and within the means of their Ahupua‘a. Ancient Hawaiians had a deep knowledge of sustainability, and the vital balance of nature.
Julia eventually moved from Hawai‘i to San Diego, CA, and later transferred to Arizona State to study sustainability and communications. She felt that this combined her love for sustainability, and finding ways to communicate its importance. Julia understands that most people love nature, and want to preserve it, but don’t know how to do so.
As humans, connection is one of our greatest strengths, and communication helps to make that connection even stronger. We do this through verbal and written language, facial expressions, body language, dance, music, and with storytelling. Being a correspondent for Planet Forward will be a part of Julia’s story, and she feels so grateful to be sharing her story with their readers.