– As reported to Meredith Mirrington
As one of the founders of Moab Solutions, Sara Melnicoff desperately wants to clean up the world – starting with the Moab trails. When she’s not doing a clean up by the creek or on a trail, find out what occupies, and inspires, Sara’s time.
1) What initially brought you to Moab?
I saw one photo and feel in love. I came here to live without ever having been before.
2) What do you love most about living in Moab?
Being smack dab in the midst of the most beautiful place on the planet and the vibrant community that keeps things forever interesting.
3) What do you dislike about living in Moab?
The unintended negative consequences of increased visitation – most especially the horrific illegal off-trail use by vehicles, bikes and feet that is causing harm to the delicate desert ecosystems.
4) What is your occupation?
I do recycle pickups, office cleaning and website design to pay the rent, but my heart belongs to Moab Solutions, a volunteer group we started in 2004 to do massive cleanups and promote recycling.
5) If you could have any job in the world, what would you most like to do?
Exactly what I am doing with Moab Solutions.
6) Describe a typical day in your life.
Early morning walks in the canyon to do cleanups and restorations. Then, I pick up recycling here, there and everywhere. I do projects with some of the people in need, take emergency calls for assistance and try to keep up with all that life can throw at me.
7) Some people have bumper stickers on their car that reads: I’d Rather be Sailing. What would your bumper sticker read? I’d Rather Be…
…Doing a cleanup in a creek or on a trail.
8) Tell us one thing people don’t usually know about you.
I am the fifth of seven girls.
9) In high school, you would have been considered the person most likely to…
…Not want to do the usual thing.
10) What is your favorite Moab activity?
Soaking up the beauty of the land and learning from it.
11) Tell us your favorite non-Moab place to visit.
My hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
12) What do you consider your greatest achievement in life?
Freeing myself from a 33-year smoking addiction. I quit, cold turkey 11 years ago.
13) If you were President, what’s the first thing you’d do to make life better in America?
Encourage changing the country over from being the number one waster in the world to number one at reducing, reusing and recycling.
14) What superhero power would you most like to have?
The ability to make things slow down, so people can enjoy life more and do one thing at a time.
15) If you could be an animal, what would it be? Why?
A forever free and wild horse, far from risks humans could pose.
16) What is your all time favorite movie?
“Last Night,” a movie about the last day on earth.
17) And, your all time favorite book?
There are too many good ones across scores of genres to pick one but, “Garbage Land, On the Secret Trail of Trash,” by Elizabeth Royte, was a life changer.
18) If you were stranded on a desert island, which three CDs would you want to have with you?
A mix CD of the Beatles, Little Feat, Donovan, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, another with classical music and one of the blues featuring Johnny Rawls.
19) If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
Wangari Maathai. I’d love to learn how she was able to do so much to help the earth through her Green Belt Movement and other activities in Kenya.
20) What is your life philosophy?
For every problem, there is a solution.