While nearly everyone graduates high school with dreams of success, Ojai Valley School alum Henry Mooney recently solidified his aspirations.
On May 8th, Mooney published his first book, It’s Not That Hard: Easy adjustments to make your everyday life a little more environmentally friendly. He wrote it a mere few months prior to its publication, driven by his passion for the environment and appreciation for environmental conservation.
“Growing up in Ojai, and Southern California in general, it’s hard not to be passionate about the environment, or at least constantly immersed in it,” Mooney said. “I love the natural world and enjoying the outdoors.”
It’s Not That Hard focuses on the importance of environmentalism, and gives tips for reducing negative environmental impact. The book is packed with facts about both issues in society, as well as the environmental movement itself.
“I think a great deal of opposition toward more environmentally friendly initiatives comes from the fact that “being green” is often seen as synonymous with being a hippie, vegan, crossfit enthusiast, etc.,” Mooney said. “What many don’t realize is that there are definitive scientific reasons why the transition to more environmentally friendly initiatives must take place if we want to be able to physically sustain a growing global population.”
OVS played a large part in helping Mooney achieve this mindset.
“I got a good solid foundation for appreciating the outdoors, and especially through OVS,” Mooney said. “Not only did I go camping or backpacking every single year, but I took AP Environmental Science with Mr. Wickenhaeuser in my senior year, which really solidified my appreciation for environmental conservation.”
AP Environmental Science teacher John Wickenhaeuser couldn’t be more proud of Mooney for following this path.
“I, of course, think that his pursuit of Environmental Studies is fantastic,” said Mr. Wickenhaeuser, who also serves as the school’s Director of Technology and Sustainability. “I think it is great that he put together this straightforward guide to things that everyone can do to reduce their impact on the planet.”
After graduating from OVS in 2012, Mooney attended Stony Brook University, where he majored in Environmental Studies. He is now living in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and is working towards his Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development, with a focus in Renewable Energy Development. Following the completion of this program, Mooney hopes to go into environmental and energy consulting for businesses or government projects having to do with renewable energy implementation.
Currently, however, Mooney is focused on the success of his book, and the impact it will make on the environment.
“My hope is that people adopt at least one [technique] listed in the book,” Mooney said. “The rippling effect made by seven billion people will make a huge difference. So that’s why I wrote it. Not everybody has to learn about global environmental issues to have a positive impact, it really just involves simple lifestyle adjustments.”Share