It was a little over three years ago I was hired by Columbia Springs as the Executive Director. I was inspired to take this job because of my strong attachment to Columbia Springs. I am the mother of children who benefited from its programs. With support and luck, I hoped I’d do alright in this role to help the organization continue to teach Clark County about nature and why it’s so important to care for it.
What I didn’t anticipate when I was hired was how much work it would be to “go green” in my lifestyle. Modeling the behavior we seek to inspire in others, Columbia Springs’ staff walks the walk in addition to talking the talk. I had to up my stewardship game and fast! A little research and an EcoChallenge helped me to get started.
The first thing I did was to let go of my old European car that guzzled gas and leaked oil. It was hard to surrender my beloved Volvo, but it was time. An investment in a used hybrid led to lower gas expenses and less carbon emissions from my daily commute. I wish I could take public transportation to work but no buses pass near our site, so driving a hybrid is as good as it gets right now.
The second thing I did was purchase a composting bin for my home. I asked a staff expert how that whole thing works and he was kind enough to answer my questions. Composting with a bin is really easy and it leads to amazing mulch that makes my garden grow better; however, teaching my family to hold back biodegradable waste from the trash or garbage disposal has been a challenge. We’re getting better about putting our scraps in the metal bin to be taken out to the composter, but it’s taken time to improve habits.
These small steps to change my lifestyle were just the beginning of a journey I continue to take every day. My consciousness around how my behavior impacts the earth continues to evolve. I’ve made some real improvements to my habits in the last three years, but now I’m aware of so many other things I can do to improve. The truth is it’s not easy being green- it takes effort and commitment. The more I learn about the earth’s fragile and endangered environment, the deeper my understanding these changes are critical.
The Drawdown EcoChallenge that got me started on this journey happens every year. The next challenge begins soon. Go to https://drawdown.ecochallenge.org/ to find a treasure trove of ideas to advance your own journey to being green.