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Choosing a Name, Naming a Date

What's in a Name?

Where does the name 1900 Footprints come from? Why 1900? Why Footprints?

It all started back at the beginning of 2015, when the idea for doing a long-distance walking fundraiser had been planted and was just starting to sprout. I was looking for a number, a distance that would be appropriate for me to walk, when I read this article from The Conversation, which states that more than 1,850 plants and animals were listed as 'Threatened' under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act, which is Federal legislation designed to safeguard Australia's natural environment.

The 'Threatened' listing, indicates that there is a real risk that without concerted effort, that species may become extinct in the near, medium-, or long-term future.

Shortly after I read this article nearly 50 species were quietly added to the list. This then happened again last year. So I knew there were at least 1900 Threatened species in Australia. The State and Federal threatened species listing can generate numbers anywhere between 1800 and over 2200 species, depending on search selections, so I knew that 1900 was in the range. The walk will likely end up being over 2000 km anyway.

Great, so I had a distance. 1900 km.

My first thought after that was to call the project 1900 Species - simple and obvious, right? But as I was toying with this idea Mum suggest using the word 'footprints' instead. I was going to be walking and leaving many of them behind, after all. This immediately rung a few other bells - the name would also relate to the unique footprints, or 'tracks' that each animal species has, and conveying that each species has its own history, its own story which needs to be told, valued and protected.

But 'footprints' also tied perfectly into another very relevant concept, that of the ecological footprint. More comprehensive than the carbon footprint, which only takes into account equivalent carbon dioxide emissions, ecological footprints are a measure of the amount of nature required to support an individual or group's lifestyle, from resource consumption (water, food, energy, things) and the effect of the waste produced (pollution, litter, land cover, etc). One of the charities 1900 Footprints supports, BioR, also uses the concept of offsetting ecological footprints to fund conservation activities.

Footprints. Perfect. - Thanks mum!

So we had a name:

1900 Footprints.

Naming a Date

Finally, I've been thinking about the date on which I'm going to set off on the walk and have decided on:

Monday, September 18, 2017.

This will give me over two weeks for final preparations from the time I arrive back from Canada on September 1st, and by then the weather will hopefully be clearing up a little!

Setting a date is a big thing - it's very exciting! Do you think I'm giving myself enough time? Let me know!


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