Call me an optimist, but I believe that everyone will have an environmental awakening. Despite my late blooming, this moment was bestowed to me this past June at the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, (LOHAS) conference. I’m not sure if it was the motivated group of people or the inspiring and realistic speakers that caused this change, but it has affected everything from my daily actions to my career goals.
Since LOHAS, I’ve noticed small environmental changes in my life and my surroundings, such as at-home recycling, shopping at thrift stores, making nontoxic cleaning solutions and starting a small organic herb garden.
Apparently I have not been the only one. One of my mom’s new favorite jokes starts with, “Are you wearing Birkenstocks? What are you chewing? Granola!” She always catches me on the granola part. Despite these stereotypical hippie attributes, I do not wear the title of hippie, but rather environmental enthusiast.
In the past, every birthday and Christmas gift was wrapped with new paper and, dare I say, fussy decorations. One of the speakers at LOHAS discussed the tons of trash we produce annually. A few days ago, it was my mom’s birthday. Rather than partaking in this trend, I scavenged around my house for scraps and various materials. I came up with newspaper dating to the early 90s, old ribbon from past gifts, a few shells, yarn, used shopping bags and a used birthday card, ironically from my mom the previous year. Cutting the already written side off, the card served as a great oversized gift tag. Not only was this a budget-friendly idea, but also a personal touch that required little time. My mom loved it, maybe even more than the gift inside!
I graduated this past June from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a minor in English with the intention of working in museum publications. A few birthday candles, many good luck wishes and countless restless nights later, I find myself at Natural Home magazine. As one of the editorial interns, I cannot think of a better way to sustain the dialog on environmental changes, building ideas and solutions.
You have heard my environmental awakening story and a few of the changes I’ve made; now it is your turn: What was the pivotal moment for you? What was your reaction to this change? What are a few of the modifications you have made as a result? Leave me a comment and let me know!