This week begins a series I hope to write about fairly often – Green Opportunities – which will chronicle different green initiatives. As July is only a few days away, (can you believe it?!) I thought I’d take this time to introduce all of you to an amazing opportunity to test out reducing your waste.
If you tune into any news source these days, you’re bound to find at least some mention of how global climate change has enacted some sort of disaster in one part of the world or another. While climate change and our disregard for the health of our global ecosystem are certainly some of the most immense issues faced by mankind today, at times I feel that we have turned ecologists and environmental researchers into the harbingers of doom. This image is not incorrect – we’re in the midst of building our Tower of Babel – but sometimes I find that in response to this, it is easy to fall into the trap of the FULL PANIC MODE (FPM).
July is just around the corner which signals an increase in outdoor activities in full-sun for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere. One of the toughest parts of all those picnics, barbecues, outdoor concerts, and sporting events is trying to keep relatively cool and comfortable throughout the course of the day.
Last summer I had the pleasure of working a small vendor booth at a local Renaissance faire with a couple of friends and we were expected to dress up and act the part so as to perpetuate the fantasy of the faire for younger children. Hands down the most common question all of us were asked throughout all three summer weekends was “Aren’t you hot in that gown?”. People were shocked that we seemed perfectly content in full-sleeves and floor-length gowns while they were sweating to death in shorts and t-shirts. The secret (aside from the shade of our tent being lovely, and the grass being cool to rest on after a few hours) was the materials all of our clothing was made from.
At one point in history, individuals were renowned for being skilled conversationalists – people who were so adept at the art of conversation, that others would feel instantly at ease. Today, the art of conversation has largely been removed from the spotlight and rarely do we find ourselves applauding someone else’s ability to carry a conversation – no matter how skilled they may be. Though green lifestyles, eco-friendly products, and a dialogue about climate change has certainly been slipping into the spotlight more and more over the past few years.
In this way, I’ve started this blog to encourage myself and others to bring the ethic of conservation into the foreground of daily practice. The Conservationalist is about creating a dialogue around conservation and urging for change in all areas of life. Of course the most important way to achieve success with conservation is by having governmental policies which seek to protect the world at large and by holding both individuals and businesses to standards which achieve that end, but the grassroots of such shifts in societal values comes from education. And one of the easiest ways to educate others about causes you find to be important, is by inviting them into a dialogue to learn more about something you’re already passionate about.
To this end, I am striving to be a Conservationalist – someone who encourages a dialogue about conservation with friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers by altering small life decisions and sharing my experiences with them. One week it might be the benefits of moving to a Zero Waste Office Lifestyle, another week might be about the amazing produce we’ve been able to get through our CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) season crop share. Each time I’m engaging someone else with an idea they might find to be appealing, I’m creating a chain reaction of education and lifestyle alternatives. While I might only be sharing these ideas with my close family and friends to start, soon I might see one or two of them making similar changes, and potentially sharing the same information I first shared with them, with others. At which point, while starting small, we’re all becoming Conservationalists and encouraging others to be just as passionate about the health of our world as we are.
And so – Let’s All Be Conservationalists!
Best of Luck,