Book page

Member Spotlight: Linda Watson

Pachamama Alliance • 4 April 2020

Linda is a Drawdown Initiative Convener with Pachamama RTP in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, United States. In that role she brings people together around reversing global warming.You can learn more about Linda on her profile page.

Linda WatsonWhere do you currently live?

I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the United States with my husband. We have a diverse local scene for food and culture because of the people involved with the universities and tech companies in the area. There's a spicy mix of Southern hospitality and openness to new ideas.

What are some ways you like to spend your time?

I used to run a gardening business, so my garden is full of collectors plants. Recently I realized that those plants don't feed or shelter wildlife nearly as well as native selections do. So I'm converting my suburban yard into a wildlife paradise with native plants, a small pond, and a rain garden to slow and filter storm-water runoff. Birds, pollinators, and more will find food and shelter. I'm hoping to tempt neighbors to transform their lawns too.

How did you first connect with Pachamama Alliance?

Back in September 2017, the fabulous Kristin Wildensee mentioned her great success with Drawdown workshops in an EcoSattva sangha we belong to through One Earth Sangha. I was in a period of despair about the lack of action on essential climate goals. The Pachamama Alliance's Drawdown Initiative gave me the framework to help others get into action in a way that makes a real difference.

Climate Strike

What is a memory or experience with Pachamama Alliance that stands out for you?

In January, Pachamama RTP held an Introduction to Drawdown workshop in partnership with the Interfaith Creation Care of the Triangle. We had fifty people register, room for 100, and 160 people showed up! They sat on counters, crammed into corners, and managed to all get in. When my co-convener Hedy Hollyfield and I went through the feedback forms, we were thrilled to see how many people wanted to host or facilitate workshops themselves. That's when I knew our area was ready for Pachamama's Drawdown initiative!

We've continued to align with other groups in the Triangle area. I'm writing this after holding our first Drawdown Solutions workshop using Zoom, as a way to carry on despite the coronavirus pandemic. People are eager to make a positive change if they can see the possibility.

What is something you are proud to be doing in service of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet?

I started the Cook for Good project to help people save money, eat well, and make a difference by eating thrifty, organic, local food with very little waste. It's all plant-based, so it offers cooks a way to reduce suffering for animals as well as for people. I've written two cookbooks, done a video series, and am setting up a home video studio to help show people the power of home cooking.

Food connects us intimately to the planet. For those of us lucky enough to have the opportunity to choose what we eat, we can enhance our health, support the local economy, encourage community, reduce global warming and pollution, and vote with our forks for a better world. I'm vegan for the animals and the planet, so ultimately I hope to inspire people to eat less meat, fish, eggs, and dairy by showing them delicious alternatives.

Vegans for Peace

What is something that you would like to see change in the world in the next 10 years?

May people take climate change and biodiversity loss seriously and respond with appropriate urgency, as we've seen they can do in the best cases of responding to the coronavirus. I ask people to realize that their personal behavior makes a difference on its own and by influencing larger systems. Celebrate being part of the Great Turning.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

I am so grateful to the Pachamama Alliance and all the people involved, including the volunteers and workshop participants. Your insight, creativity, generosity, and good humor lift our spirits and help guide us to wiser, more fulfilling lives. May you all be happy, well, and at ease!