Solar for Schools + Throwing Stars

Becoming a Star Thrower

Loren Eiseley (1907-1977) was a visionary anthropologist and naturalist. A modern Henry David Thoreau and Charles Darwin rolled into one. In his time, he was lauded for his contributions to the common understanding of science.

In 1969, Eisely published an anthology of essays he had written called the Unexpected Universe (Harcourt Brace & Co.). Amongst the essays was a 16-page semi-autobiographical story about observing a man on a beach after a storm, throwing starfish that had washed up on the shore back into the ocean. In the story, the narrator inquires about the thrower’s intent, to which there is little explanation other than that the starfish are alive and easy to throw, making them easy to save. The narrator leaves and ponders life and purpose, only to return and join the star thrower in casting the fish back into the sea.

The story has been adapted and told countless times over for close to 50 years. One of the most popular adaptations is a simple children’s story, in which an old man comes across a little girl throwing the starfish back into the ocean. The old man inquires about it and she explains that she is saving them. To this, the old man points out that there are thousands of starfish washed up along miles of shoreline and that the girl’s actions cannot possibly make a difference. The girl pauses a moment to consider, then picks up another starfish and throws it back into the ocean saying “it made a difference for that one.”

That version continues on with the old man being inspired by the girl and joining her in the task. After a while, others join in as well and slowly but surely all the starfish get saved.

Whether you prefer the original story or one of the adapted versions, the moral is the same. No action is too small to make a difference. In fact, it is the significance of small actions that lead to greater solutions.

EcoVisionSLC Sustainable Learning Center is a Star Thrower

Our mission statement reads: Creating scalable solutions for a sustainable world.

Scalable solutions. Appropriate to scale and adaptable to growing proportions. Anyone who is truly interested in going green understands that there is no grand solution to saving and protecting the environment. Rather, there are thousands of small tasks that taken singularly seem to have little or no impact, yet when they are added together result in genuine positive change in the world around us.

To that end, EcoVisionSLC created the Solar for Schools Initiative. The program aims to introduce schools to solar programs that provide both a source of renewable energy as well as a learning tool that applies to both math and science. It also inspires children to think creatively about having a positive impact on the world around them.

Funding Solar for Schools – Call it “Microphilanthropy”

EcoVisionSLC is a small, grassroots 501(C)(3) charitable organization. In a sea of non-profits vying for donations, you won’t find us doing telethons, auctions or galas. There isn’t a 5k run or a raffle ticket. We aren’t having a bake sale or a golf outing anytime soon, either. We recognize that there are plenty of worthy causes out there and that if you have the money to donate to a cause, you are going to pick one that impacts your community or ties directly to your life experience. Our pitch to you is this:

You don’t have to send us anything to help us raise money for the Solar for Schools Initiative.

That’s right… You don’t have to send anything.

(That said, we certainly won’t turn down any donations you would like to make directly to us. You can complete that task here without twisting our arms.)

All we ask is that when you purchase office supplies from Office Depot or OfficeMax, that you use our Store Purchasing Card (SPC). The SPC is free and provides you with discounts on over 96,000 products. For every purchase you make, OfficeMax and Office Depot will make a donation to Solar for Schools.

It’s as easy as throwing a starfish back into the ocean.

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Ed Kearns

Edward Kearns has worked in the manufacturing, finance and publishing industries and is an avid sailor and outdoorsman. He has recently brought his business acumen and love of nature together to work in alternative energies and conservation.

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