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People Who Make a Difference: John Francis

As a cleanup volunteer, John Francis witnessed firsthand the destruction caused by the 1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill. In protest, he gave up riding in motorized vehicles  for 22 years and spent 17 of those years in silence, walking the lower 48 states on foot and listening to people share how environmental issues impacted their lives. He is founder of Planetwalk, a nonprofit that sponsors walks with the purpose of promoting environmental education, responsibility, and a vision of world peace and cooperation.

Words of Inspiration

“How we relate to one another is essential to environmentalism. If you’re not talking about human rights, economic equity, mutual respect, you’re not really dealing with the environment. Trees are wonderful. Birds and flowers are wonderful. They’re all part of the environment. But we’re part of the environment too and how we treat each other is fundamental.” —John Francis

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