Maddy Salzlam, an avid environmentalist and staff member at Wilderness Ventures, gave a rousing speech hosted at Washington University as part of a local TEDx series. Her speech focused on “new environmentalism” and highlighted the effects of climate change on the world and what humans can do to curb environmental degradation.
Salzman’s speech touched on efforts that Wilderness Ventures’ teen camps has been doing for the last 40 years. Her 15 minute speech urged people to go out into the world and see affected areas before they are gone. Her work with the camps has allowed young adults to see such areas including Mount Rainier, Costa Rica and snowy Alaska.
She also urged people to seek connections across cultural lines. This, according to Salzman, established empathy and a mutual need for activism against behaviors that contribute to the problem. Teens that she has worked with have had the opportunity to explore other cultures as a part of Great Earth Adventures, an international focus so that young adults can see the area and do service work.
Her overall message was that this issue is a human one, and that it needs to be a concern across all disciplines and businesses. The work with teens and young adults to create a bond with nature is one of the first steps to getting awareness to spread and become a priority for future generations