We.Grow.Eco is a grassroots movement focused on building a coalition for litter reduction through the lens of art, education and action. The organization began in 2021 when co-founder Chauncey Foster left North Carolina on March 20 to walk across the country. Supported by fellow founder Noah Mertz and his van, Chauncey walked 4,236 miles, engaging communities through cleanups, and providing meals for the houseless. By the time they reached California, Chauncey had walked 295 days and collected 37,365 pieces of trash. Now settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico, We.Grow.Eco. oversees a number of conservation, community unifying and education programs including litter reduction in schools, where students pick up trash, recycle, and learn to make paper from cotton clothing (gathered during We.Grow.Eco. clothing swaps). Along with food insecurity programs and artistic events, We.Grow.Eco. encourages people to think critically about their environment – through art and simple, practical actions.
We.Grow.Eco. is run by its two co-founders in collaboration with partners on artistic and environmental projects across the country. They’ve recently hired seven instructors for their “One Piece a Day” school program. For three weeks, students pick up one piece of trash a day, documenting its location, number and brand through an app for a civilian science geospatial mapping project. Grad students then use the data to generate stories and support research. We.Grow.Eco also makes and distributes 150 burritos every month during their Food Walks, and hosts quarterly community cleanups. With the purchase of a Hollander beater machine, they now transform cotton gathered from clothing swaps into durable, upcycled paper and journals. We.Grow.Eco also holds an annual “Save the Ugly” music festival celebrating experimental art, and in 2023 launched a sewing bike tour–using sewing and repair events from Salt Lake City to Albuquerque to promote cycling and sewing as tools for self-sufficiency.
For more information:
Chauncey Foster, Co-founder
Drought, Erosion-Subsidence, Heat
Environmental Justice Concerns
Art Activism, Community Organizing and Education, Green Infrastructure, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc
501c3 Tax Deductible