Wait - let's start with a drum roll...
I'm launching "Love Living Green". It is a community of people who do (or aspire to do) just that: Loving Living Green.
For me, this is waaay more than a hobby or 'pet project'. It is my absolute passion to help people LOVE living green - because I believe this is the ONLY way we can bring about change at the scale that we need so that our children can still have a future. Yes, there is the option of waiting for some crisis to manifest (even more than they already do) which will FORCE people to rethink their lifestyle. But it's not the path I prefer. I'm not a fan of drama.
AND, I think there is another way. And it is really simple - it's about embracing life, reconnecting with what we already know, meeting our deepest desires THROUGH living a lifestyle that is more 'green and sustainable'. Because living 'green' is not hard, it's a way to fulfillment.
Wait, what? - Green living is a way to fulfillment???
Well, let me tell you a bit about my story and what I have discovered.
In 2005, when my first child was born, my world changed (I'm sure many of you can relate). But not only because of the new experience of motherhood. It was my view of the world that changed as well.
I had always been passionate about the environment, and most of my career to that date had been focused on that. I cared for the animals, the ecosystems, our planet. But I remember a moment, a few days after my son was born, when I looked into his eyes and my perspective changed completely. Suddenly, it was no longer about looking after the planet 'out there'. Suddenly it was about taking care of something that was closer to my heart than anything I had ever encountered before. It was all good and well doing something for the earth - or for myself - but it was not as powerful as being called to do something for this little being in front of me. This was no longer about me - it was very tangibly about the future of my boy.
Shortly after that, when our TV blew up, I became obsessed with finding out EXACTLY what was going on for the world. I consumed documentaries online by the dozens (I had a lot of time to watch stuff while sitting on the chair with my sleeping baby on my chest) and I got more and more anxious, the more I learned.
I started making changes to our lifestyles, driven both by anxiety and the overwhelming love for my baby. I eliminated toxins from our home, ripped up the back lawn and started growing food. Our life became local and organic, clean and - with that - increasingly low impact. We even stopped working because we felt our work was contributing more to the problem than it was contributing to the solution.
For the next 10 years I occupied myself with learning about low impact living, what to look for and what to avoid. I learned about gardening, clean food and natural remedies. 3 years after Finlay was born, we moved to the Rabbithole and I learned even more. Homesteading was on the curriculum: raising animals, preserving, making and fixing things. Installing water systems and figuring out what it would take to get off grid.
Because we were living on a budget from having given up work, we eliminated everything that didn't seem necessary. We managed to cut our bills by more than half. I shopped only second hand, we fixed stuff and made new things out of old things. In fact, I gave up 'shopping' as a past time altogether. Our car cost $700. Even 'eating out' came (mostly) off the menu and Christmas presents were almost entirely homemade or recycled.
Sometimes there was a lot of trial and error, but in the end, we worked it out and we managed to stretch our savings a much longer way than we thought.
That sounds like a struggle you think?
Here's the thing. It was anything but.
Not working more than we had to, we had lots of family time with our young children. They didn't have to go to daycare before they were ready.
We ate healthier than ever before. We spent time in nature.
We FELT better than ever before, both from being active outside and having cut our exposure to much of the toxic crap that was in our lives before: as baking soda replaced both toxic cleaning products and toxic shampoos, our senses came to their senses and our bodies healed.
We invited friends for dinners from the garden instead of eating out.
We swam in the river and went for walks instead of going on expensive holidays and it was more than enough because we didn't need to make up for being stressed, overworked and unhappy the rest of the time. We surfed on second hand boogie boards.
In fact, we found everything second hand. Our house was full of great toys and books and everything we could possibly ask for - all from being on the receiving end of a throw-away society. We could not NOT have an indoor soccer table, because we couldn't bear the thought of seeing it go into the landfill when someone was throwing it out. (I think it's still in the garage, actually).
The same reason we have a working dentist chair in our lounge for the kids to play on - but that is another story.
We had lots of fun meeting WWOOFers and AirBnB guests from all parts of the world, sharing our home. We supported our community and received support in return. We made lots of friends and hung out with the coolest people.
We were clean, green - and happy.
(Well, not entirely happy yet, because there was more to learn. But happy as far as the point of this story goes)
My quest for living a low-impact lifestyle to protect the planet made me healthy, connected and happy.
And that's why I Love Living Green - and want to share what I have learned with all of you.