At Daring Divas USA, spring cleaning isn’t just about organizing our closets, it’s about cleaning up our entire life and releasing the things that no longer serve us. Hope Gately, Event Manager for Daring Divas USA, writes a fabulous post below about how she spring cleans her life and her environment by being an Eco-Diva.
Hope’s Journey to “Going Green”
I haven’t always been an Eco-Diva, in fact I was quite the opposite. Raised in a small-town, trips to Wal-Mart were considered recreational, recycling and composting were unheard of, and, because we were poor, TV dinners, soda pop, and boxed macaroni were meal staples. Even in college, I overindulged, over consumed, and was overweight. Luckily, my consciousness started to subtly shift just after graduation. I had received my degree, the first person to do so in my family, and was ready to take on the world. But that begged the question: What kind of world was I taking on? As I looked around at a country in recession, struggled to find a job, and kept hearing about the poverty, obesity, and unemployment rates climbing, something within me began to awaken: a still, small voice that whispered “there must be a different way.” At first, I didn’t know what that “different way” was or what this awakening meant. I had lived a “normal, All-American” life (eating fast food, shopping at corporate stores, driving everywhere) and never thought twice about it. And yet, I wasn’t happy and I was becoming aware of a very baffling but indisputable fact: many Americans weren’t happy either.
So I started reevaluating and researching my lifestyle and the lifestyle of others. What could I do to make my life more full? More clear and purposeful? What could I do to connect with my community and environment? What things needed to change and what aspects of my life could stay the same?
As I devoured self-help books instead of cheeseburgers, and quenched my thirst with eco-literature instead of Coca-cola, a unifying theme started to emerge and the prognosis wasn’t pretty: We’re killing our earth and ourselves with harmful emissions, processed foods, and over consumption. We’re living less full-filling and disconnected lives by plugging into technology and tuning out our families, friends, and nature. And, worst of all, we’re teaching our children to do the same. This sudden smack in the face with our planet’s and, by extension, our own very dire reality lit a fire in my belly and it didn’t burn red-it burned bright green! I started out small by implementing the three R’s that have become oh, so famous. I reduced the amount of food that I ate, I reused plastic cartons, and I recycled old clothing. This was easy, but I knew that I had to dig deeper. And dig deeper, I did.
Three years later, I consider myself to be an Eco-Warrior in the making. Not only do I Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle but I Rethink, Repurpose, and downright Refuse. I support local business and buy organic produce. I start recycling initiatives at schools, circulate petitions to limit carbon emissions, and pester my politicians to pass Green policies.
What’s more, my life really has dramatically improved. I’m healthier, happier, and more engaged with my environment and community. My relationships and career have flourished. My daily activities, instead of being stressful or meaningless, are rich and purposeful. I’ve Reduced my need for entertainment technology by hiking and camping out in our glorious mountains. I feel a connection to people when I Reuse their old books or clothing. Recycling and repurposing old furniture is a fun and creative outlet. Rethinking the way I eat and Refusing to buy products that are not sustainably produced has given me a new power over my life as a consumer.
The next step in my Eco-Evolution is to pass it on. This month, in honor of Spring Cleaning Month with Daring Divas and Earth Day, I’m hosting an Eco-Event to help other women clean-up their lives and live a more full, more green, existence as a result. During this event we’ll discuss how “going-green” can trickle down into and enhance every part of your life. From your home to the office, from our country to our communities.
So join me and embrace the Green Warrior within you!
Hope is an English teacher with Boulder Valley School District and was drawn to the Boulder area less than a year ago for its reputation in conservation and sustainability. She is an avid hiker, beer and wine enthusiast, and spends most of her spare-time freelance writing for a local Boulder business, getting together with friends, and participating in Daring Divas USA as an Assistant Organizer. She believes in living a life full of meaning, purpose, and connecting with yourself, your community, and environment on a daily basis.
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