Our Perspectives on the Latest Issues
Hey there! My name is Kelsey Krepps, and I am so excited to be back in my home state of Pennsylvania working for an organization that cares so deeply for the issues near and dear to my heart.
When I was a child, I thought being green and helping the environment was all about cleaning it up. My babysitter would take my sister and I on walks to our local ice cream stand just a half mile up the road, and on the way, we’d pick up all the trash. I loved seeing my handiwork and knowing that I was responsible for making the world just a little bit better. As junior high and high school passed, I participated in numerous clean ups and tree plantings all over Crawford, Venango, and Erie Counties. I loved that these events were a part of my school curriculum, and I like to think of them as me leaving little green thumbprints everywhere I go.
Later, I went to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford for my undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies – shocking, I know. One of the greatest things I learned there, though, was the role that environmental issues play in community development. Being green and helping the environment is not an environmental issue, it’s a people issue. We don’t get to have healthy, thriving communities when we don’t live in a healthy, thriving environment. Our families and our health suffer when the environment suffers. Businesses suffer when the environment suffers. Being green is more than cleaning up, it’s about preventing the clean ups from needing to happen in the first place. It’s about having an active role in how we influence our homes.
I spent the last three years in Boone, North Carolina for graduate school. There, I studied renewable energies like wind and solar, but I also studied the history, natural resources and culture of the Appalachian Region. In Western PA, we have such diverse histories from coal mines in the Southwest to the industries of Pittsburgh to farming in the Northwest and eco-tourism, well, everywhere. I was raised in a farming community just ten minutes away from Titusville, PA – the birthplace of the oil industry. We can celebrate Pennsylvania’s history in fossil fuels and industry while still choosing to create a cleaner, renewable future.
We can be both the clean up crew and the people who protect the policies in place that defend our health, homes, and families from big polluters. We can be both pro-job and pro-environment, creating just transitions for our fossil fuel imbedded neighborhoods. We can be leaders in renewable, clean energy. We can have cleaner air, water, and land. We can speak up about environmental injustice. We can love the communities we’re from, while knowing there’s still work to be done.
I look forward to meeting you and working with those of you in Western PA and beyond for a more sustainable Pennsylvania. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 412-224–4477.
Let’s do this together!