I get asked this questions all the time: Have you always been this passionate about the environment? I most definitely have not always been like this. It has been a process; an evolution over the years.
I did not become this crazy, square peg in a round hole person overnight. I changed over the years, especially over the last three. I educated myself, I researched and made decisions that I thought were best for me. I want people to realize that making life changes that will in turn help the planet do not need to happen overnight! They didn't for me, so why for you?
As long as I can remember, I have been recycling. I think it all started when I moved to my Dad’s place to be closer to university. My parents recycled, so logically I recycled. I just did it because that’s what we did. No questions asked.
As the years went on, I started to wondered why some people did not recycle even though it was pretty convenient. Back then, caring for the environment wasn't as in your face as now.
When asked, most people answered that there was no recycling services where they lived or just never thought to do it. I tried to educate and I most definitely did not always succeed. I think my approach was all wrong. I would get upset when people didn't care as much as I did, and I think that came across as being aggressive. I think people saw me as being too pushy or rude when I would say “You know you can recycle that.” I think people took my actions in the wrong manner when my intentions were pure.
I have since changed my approach and I try to educate differently. Now, I take peoples feeling into consideration; I don't want to make people feel bad about their actions or lack there of; I want to lead by example, and I want people to make changes because they want to, not because of the annoying blond girl.
I am the girl who drove every few weeks while living in August, GA, Wichita, KS and Williamsport, PA to the recycling facility because they didn't offer recycling where we were living. I am the girl who finally convinced J.P to compost in a small apartment. I am the girl who found a company to compost for us because our worm composting efforts failed badly.
For many years, I occasionally bought organic foods not really knowing why, just knowing that they were better for me. I would sneak organic food into the house hoping J.P wouldn't notice. He always said it was too expensive. We both didn't really understand the whole organic movement until we watched “Food Inc.” That is the day our lives changed forever.
My view of food and what I was consuming did a 180. I was a regular gal who recycled and cared about the environment. But, I ate factory farmed meat, I drank factory farmed milk, I ate candy, and I drank soda that contained aspartame, etc. I did on occasion wonder where my meat came from, and did not feel right when I did not really know the answer. A few minutes later the thought disappeared and I would continue to chow down on that piece of chicken. I never met my meat until I watched the movie.
That day, I decided I would never eat meat that was not organic and/or from a sustainable farm. To this day, I have kept my word. It was a struggle at first; many arguments between J.P. and I, but, in the end, I chose what I put in my body, nobody else. We finally agreed and the rest is history. We started introducing organic foods into our diet with the organic meats.
Then I got pregnant and you can only only imagine how much more environmentally responsible and healthy I became!
I challenge you all to watch the documentary “Food Inc.” It may or may not impact you, but at least it will open your eyes to where your food comes from and then you can make an educated decision. And I think that is something people need to see.