0 Me? An Environmentalist?

Sometimes people ask me how I became the way that I did with regards to the environment. It is a good question because I have been this way for a very long time. I was "into" the environment long before it became the hip thing to do. Long before Al Gore documentaries, Earth Hour and green blogs. Back when cloth diapering was cool (before it became uncool then cool again) and we didn't know the dangers of plastics and GMO's.

What I mean is that I have always been an environmentalist. As a child it was just part of my upbringing. As an adult I chose to make it a bigger part of my life...my career...my passion.

My parents are probably the biggest factor that made me who I am today. As kids we spent a lot of time outdoors. We spent practically the whole summer camping somewhere up north. When we weren't camping we were hiking or learning about nature through Girl Guides. My dad made his own solar panels and put them on our roof over 25 years ago to heat the pool (correct me if my timing is wrong Mom). I don't think he did it for environmental reasons but because it just made sense when you consider the economics of trying to heat a pool vs your 3 children screaming because the water is too cold.  But regardless they had a positive environmental impact!

We were never very wasteful. My mom made a lot of our clothes and if we got a rip in our jeans she would sew the coolest patch over it. We went to the library instead of buying books new, painted yellow fishes beside storm drains all over town, picked up garbage, planted trees.

When I was in highschool I took several environmental classes and fell in love with being in the "field". I always loved classes with a lab component but being out there in nature and running tests was a whole other level of awesome. When I got into an environmental program at University I was thrilled. I spent the next 4 years of my life surrounded by like minded people who wanted to make the world a better place. It was a combination of my junior thesis, senior thesis and a Green Business class that led me down the path towards my career. I could have gone into government, ENGO's, consulting but nope I decided that for me the best way to make change was within industry. And 10 years later here I am still doing what I love and still trying to make change from within industry instead of fighting against it.

What makes you an environmentalist? Have you always been this way or did something cause you to change your lifestyle?

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