Thursday, April 16, 2015

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Green Light- Christine

Knowing that she's doing her part is tremendously rewarding for this eco-sista

How long have you been eco-friendly? I actually got a pretty late start at becoming eco-friendly. It wasn't until about 7 years ago that I was exposed to new experiences that educated me about how wasteful our society as a whole can be. It was certainly a rude awakening.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I moved to Sweden after graduating from college. Living there was a huge eye opener to how easy it was to become a champion for the health of our planet. Sweden recycles about 99% of their waste and after living it myself, I realized that it's really not that difficult nor time consuming. They make it really easy for their citizens to be responsible in this aspect. Our apartment was already set up with recycle bins for all recyclables, including a container for food waste right under the kitchen sink. They also charge a fee for plastic bags at the grocery store to encourage the use of reusable bags. At some point, I think it's important that we take responsibility for the damage we're causing. We don't live there anymore, but I've brought those lessons back with me to the states.  

What do you like about it? Just knowing that I'm doing my part in creating a healthier world is tremendously rewarding. I know that I'm no longer contributing to the massive plastic islands in the oceans, or causing the harm and demise of those innocent animals. That in itself feels pretty great.

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? Tossing something in the recycle bin VS the trash bin isn't much of a challenge. It just requires a new mindset and getting use to, but after awhile it will become second nature. I feel so guilty now for even thinking about tossing something that can be recycled. But I can acknowledge that some eco-friendly activities such as buying local can be a bit pricier than buying imported products. Not everyone will be able to take that step.

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? If you're thinking of going eco-friendly there are a ton of ways to it. Besides recycling and buying local, you can do your part by simply powering down all non-essential electrical equipment at night, or going paperless with bills and statements. No one should break the bank going eco-friendly. If you can afford to buy local, I say go for it! Imagine the amount of greenhouse gas created when your food is imported from long distances. It's all about making the effort VS trying to be an all out green warrior. 

Going green can be complex. This discourages a lot of people. There's really no "right" way it's basically trying to do something than nothing at all. I sometimes feel like a green hypocrite. Do you feel that way sometimes? It's hard not to feel like a hypocrite sometimes! Especially when you let other people get in your head. Some people feel that if you claim to be eco-friendly, then you should be doing everything short of sleeping in a tree. But I have to remind myself that that's not what it's about. I can take comfort in the fact that I'm at least trying to make a difference, no matter how small the effort is, it's something right?

Is there anything you like to add? For some people, going eco-friendly might seem daunting, but I'd encourage those people to think about the positive impact you can have, and what being eco-friendly really means for the planet's ecosystem and our future generations. And if you're unsure of where to start, check out this resource to help you get started. 


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