My life changed when I saw the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth“which featured former Vice President Al Gore. I said that to someone the other day and they said “What’s that?” If you haven’t watched it – please, please get a copy and sit down and watch it with family and friends. It will change your life. If it doesn’t, it will help you understand what all the talk about global warming is about.
I’ve always been a protector. I’ve protected my children, my family, my pets, animals, wild places and now my grandchildren. I’m a member of many non-profit organizations and support my local church. Global warming is different. It’s ominous and it’s bigger than any one of us can comprehend. There is no one organization to join; no donation I can make that will help stop it. Animal and plant species are becoming extinct daily, the ocean is rising and inland lakes are evaporating. Famine and civil unrest are visiting nations that depend on shrinking water sources. A world pandemic is such a threat that world leaders are organizing civil service messages and programs to minimize the death rate when an outbreak occurs.
I watched a documentary today that chronicles the billions of dollars a wealthy group of investors are pouring into a project to build sand islands that from the air will resemble the world’s countries and continents. These investors pick the country they want to emulate and pour billions into building an island paradise replica for their pleasure. I thought – God has a sense of humor – the futility of man’s desire to change this wonderful world that He has given us. Instead of using all those resources to help humanity – they are building a farce that will soon be covered with melting glacier water as the oceans rise.
I knew I had to act on my convictions instead of feeling helpless and watching cynically as people with political power and wealth continue to squander resources and steer us toward destruction. At first I changed all the lightbults in our homes to fluorescent and encouraged everyone in my social network to do the same. It was a start…
I contacted a wind farm supplier in southern Minnesota and asked their help to switch to wind powered electricity. Their website encouraged me to contact them because they could help me – but they never replied back. Months went by and I contacted Xcel Energy in Minneapolis directly and inquired about their wind sourced electricity. They didn’t offer up the advantages of going 100% wind power but asked what portion of my electric bill I’d like to pay for wind power. I could tell it wasn’t going to be cheap but I wanted to align my actions with my convictions so I gulped and said – “100% wind power please”. The representative proceeded to explain that because I chose 100% wind power, my electricity bill would only increase by $3 to $5 per month. That’s right – I could reduce my carbon footprint for less than $5 per month – I signed up on the spot.
Our home in northern Minnesota has been a little more elusive. We’re building a log home bed and breakfast using many of the old tools and methods that our forefathers did. We acquired huge red pine logs from a blow down in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) several years before, used old fashion muscle to strip the bark from the trees and winch systems to move the logs into place. That project has been going on for the last 6 years and it’s been a real test of our stamina and endurance.
However, my husband being the committed builder of our dream that he is, started researching solar power and the possibility of hooking up to the grid of our local cooperative light and power company. Of course, they discouraged us every way they could citing cost, feasibility, etc… but in the end, they conceded that it is possible for us to hook up to their grid and sell them back any excess solar power that we generated during peak months. We are in the process of identifying the solar panel system that we will purchase so stay tuned for that one.
Next, I had been talking to like minded people while on a project out in Newark, NJ. I listened to the first hand account of a purchase of a Honda Civic Hybrid and the savings and satisfaction that this person was experiencing as a result. I mulled it over for awhile and started shopping online for a hybrid vehicle. It was very much on my mind because my husband was driving from northern MN weekly in an old, V8 pick-up and not only was it consuming a large amount of gasoline but it was costing us more than a car payment for a hybrid vehicle. When the spirit moved me on a return flight to Minneapolis – I called a Honda dealership and a Toyota dealership. The Honda dealership didn’t pick up the phone after several attempts, the Toyota dealership picked it up on the first ring. Toyota won – I purchased a 2007 Toyota Prius Hybrid that day. I love our new little car! Our wallet loves it too!!
I continued to travel but began purchasing TerraPass for each flight to offset the carbon emissions I was generating by flying every week. Air travel is a huge problem for our atmosphere.
One day, my coworker came in and I posed the usual question “What have you done to stop global warming this week?” He replied “I found environmentally responsible cleaners and they work better than anything I’ve ever used.” I said “Oh? And where can I find these cleaners?” I purchased the cleaners and to my delight, I was able to clean again! I had been unable to use cleaners for years because of the toxic fumes effects on my asthma. I was delighted that I was experiencing a health benefit from my conviction to seek environmentally responsible alternatives.
Then a chemical exposure at the office I was consulting in left me incapacitated and unable to work for 7 weeks during the summer of 2007. The doctors said it was severe asthma brought on by a chemical exposure. My family became more and more unsettled as they watched me struggle to take a breath. There is truly something magical that happens when a person is faced with their own mortality. For me, a chemical exposure left me incapacitated and unable to work. It certainly left me with a foreboding to run out there and expose myself to jet fuel fumes, big city ozone and hotel rooms cleaned with toxic chemicals that are more dangerous than the virus and bacteria they are meant to remove. No sir and no maam, I’m closing up shop and starting a new chapter in my life.
I’ve found some incredible opportunities and met some wonderful people in the process, learning to relax again and walking away from being such a consumer of fossil fuels. I am replacing my consulting business income and doing it from my home. The best part is – I’m focusing on helping others. By helping others realize their dreams of health and wealth, my dreams come true in the process. I’m free to focus on health and wellness for myself, my fellow human beings, our pets and the earth.
I am recovering now. I’m making dramatic changes to my lifestyle, focusing on nutritional support and supplementation and removing the chemical toxins in my home, air and water. Global warming has helped me find my life’s purpose and meaning. My adventure continues and I will be keeping you updated every step of the way. As I research and learn, I’ll be adding links, resources, current news and information. Check back often and I’ll let you know what is new in the world of going green, health and wellness and living in harmony with nature and this beautiful planet we call home. I’m blessed and I’m free at last!