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The Green Life: How Rachel Carson Are You?

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May 09, 2013

How Rachel Carson Are You?

Rachel CarsonRachel Carson grew up near a glue factory, was a bestselling author before her seminal Silent Spring, and is often called the "mother of the environmental movement."

Curious, empathetic, courageous, Carson pursued her dreams and her gut, ultimately shepherding hard truths into the national consciousness.

It's a lot of live up to, but check off the following simple facts to see how much you share with a person integral to our modern pursuit of a green life. (And if you haven't already, check out our John Muir quiz.)

The Rachel Carson Checklist

You ...

  1. ... have a late May birthday.
  2. ... hail from Pennsylvania.
  3. ... got your love of nature from your mom.
  4. ... grew up near a coal-fired power plant.
  5. ... feel called to be a writer.
  6. ... have been known as a bit of loner.
  7. ... have studied English and biology.
  8. ... have a degree in zoology.
  9. ... have a deep affinity for the sea.
  10. ... have had an article published in a newspaper or magazine.
  11. ... have financially supported your parents and siblings.
  12. ... work to encourage natural wonder in children.
  13. ... have worked as an editor.
  14. ... have worked as a marine biologist.
  15. ... have worked for the federal government.
  16. ... have testified before Congress.
  17. ... avoid pesticides.
  18. ... have been affected by breast cancer.
  19. ... believe people are part of the natural world, not masters of it.
  20. ... have read Silent Spring.
  21. ... want to change the world.

Bonus point: Your middle name is Louise.

See how you scored:

Rachel_Carson_with_Bob_Hines_Conducts_Marine_Biology_Research Between 1 and 7 items:

Even having a little in common with Carson is pretty cool. Her modest childhood and her work to sustain her family are universal experiences, but waxing lyrical about biology and captivating generations (before writing an earth-shattering investigation into humans' effect on the environment's effect on humans) aren't everyday accomplishments. 

Between 8 and 14 items:

Lookin' good, friend. Whether or not Carson has directly inspired your life, it's worth looking into your similarities. Carson's commitment to her dream (writing) and her passion (nature) helped redefine how we inhabit our world. Imagine if we all did the same?

Between 15 and 21 items:

Whoa, there, tiger. Rachel Carsons don't come everyday, so kudos to you for your shared brilliance. Do tell — how are you working to change the world? And if you've testified before Congress, tell us that story, too.


HS_Mackenzie_BLOG Mackenzie Mount is an editorial intern at Sierra. She's cleaned toilets at Yellowstone National Park and studied sustainable cooking at The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. She scored an 8.


--images courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


SO COOL -- Silent Spring told in vanity plates

A film about Rachel Carson's life

A radio interview with Linda Lear, Carson biographer

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