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Karen Palmer knew from early on that she had a purpose in life. She has a message that she needs to pass on. In college, near her home in Massachusetts, when she was studying marine biology she learned of the things that people were doing that damage the earth’s environment. She decided that she could make a difference.
Karen’s first visit to the Santa Ynez Valley changed her life. From that very first visit, she felt like this was where she belonged. The Valley’s beauty remained with her when she returned home to Massachusetts. She took on two jobs to save money so she could move to California. She was able to save her money and move to Solvang when she was 21 years old.
Karen’s first job in California was a volunteer position at the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara, but she soon found out that most adults don’t have much faith in changing the fate of our environment. After becoming very discouraged by her experience at the Environmental Defense Center, Karen started working at the Peace Resource Center, teaching environmental awareness and conflict resolution. When Karen started working at the Outdoor School at Lake Cachuma, she was thrilled to learn that many children shared her love for our earth. So many of the children wanted to know what they could do to help the earth. This was exactly the inspiration Karen needed to push her down the path she dreamed about.
Let’s Save our Earth was born. Karen designed an educational board game that cultivates good choices for helping, not hurting the earth. Karen wanted her game to be more educational and not ultra competitive. She wanted it to educate those who played it and inspire them to use the knowledge they learned. The characters she thought up are Eco-Angels and Schmutzies; when a Schmutzie card is drawn the players learn about actions of people that can endanger the earth. The Eco-Angel cards ask questions about an environmental issue. By answering the Eco-Angel cards correctly, the players can move forward.
Earth Patrol and Angel Medicine cards give self-esteem and environmental tips. The winner of the game is the first player to reach Eco-Angel headquarters where healthy “teens” live.
Karen has many ups and downs on the road to getting “Let’s Save our Earth. After a disappointing encounter with the Colorforms’ company, Karen, with the help of her friends and other investors, has managed to produce 2500 games to start with. She found a small company to manufacture the games that used recycled paper and soy-based inks.
Karen thought that our schools would be the best place to start marketing her game. Unfortunately, our schools weren’t ready for her great idea. That was about seven years ago, and lately things have changed. Karen now works with many of the Valley schools, teaching the students about things that help our environment. The students love the game and the teachers are very supportive too. She hopes to get her games out to more and more schools. She also thinks that they could benefit the scouting programs as well as people in other countries. To date, Let’s Save our Earth has been sold to customers in China and South Africa. Karen’s vision is to get it out to everyone, everywhere, especially those countries that are not as conscientious about protecting our earth.
Write: Eco-Angel Enterprises
PO Box 1032
Solvang, CA 93464
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