Posted by: venajensen | April 9, 2011

A Greener Start

Snow Geese in Flight

Snow Geese in Flight Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

I’ve lived my entire life in an area known to be a mecca for “tree-huggers,” a place where people take environmentalism seriously. Organic-ness is the culture in Eugene, Oregon and eco-friendly practices are second nature; I’ve been recycling, reducing, reusing, composting, organic gardening, conserving, preserving, riding my bicycle, choosing bio-degradable and chemical-free products, eating organic as often as possible, carrying my own shopping bags, coffee cup and water bottle and trying to lower my carbon footprint for several decades now. And yes, my favorite drink (besides French Roast coffee) is Kombucha.

I assumed that, by now, everyone else on the planet was on board with the common goals of breathing clean air, drinking clean water, and living harmoniously with nature. Moving to a houseboat on a tributary off of the Columbia River a year ago changed my awareness; pollution is still a major issue for our waterways. Where there should be pristine river water flowing by my houseboat there is a constant barrage of garbage – mostly man-made durable plastic items like plastic water bottles, hairbrushes, and things like mattresses and shoes, things people mindlessly throw away. Despite the daily cleansing of the tides, there is still evidence of suds and muck and sludge and yech…..

I live on the edge of a 5,000 acre wildlife refuge, a place where birds migrate to from farther north to spend the winter. It saddens me to realize how incredibly small the flocks of birds are today compared to the myriads of thousands of flocks that Lewis and Clark wrote about when they wintered here two centuries ago.

The world’s climate is changing dramatically. The effects of global warming are no longer only a prediction – we see evidence of the changes all around us. Unless we do something now the effects will be even more significant and damaging than they already are.

Every day we read or watch reports about global warming and climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and our dependency on fossil fuels. Everywhere one looks there seems to be a message urging us to “go green.” There is so much conflicting information (paper or plastic bags, cloth or disposable diapers?) how do we know what “earth-friendly” changes will really make a difference? And more importantly, what green practices and products are a good fit for each person’s lifestyle, their family and their workplace?

The more I thought about what is happening to nature, and the more I researched and investigated, the more concerned I became about the current state of natural affairs. One recent early morning, while having my morning (deep breath) delectably rich French Roast coffee that is sustainably grown, ecologically beneficially farmed, grown free from harmful chemicals and pesticides, fairly-traded, not grown in forests which lie along migratory routes, roasted with energy-efficient wind turbine operations, and purchased from a locally owned, community operated business, (breathe again) with the herons, geese, ducks, song birds, otters, beavers and other wildlife friends who live near my houseboat, I decided I wanted to be a conduit of information and a resource for others to take steps toward making changes that will have an impact on our natural world.

I decided to add a new component to my consulting business – Eco-Consulting. Soon I will complete my training through Green Irene (an amazing company, by the way!) and will launch my new business – Clarity Green – with some help from family and friends. I look forward to learning and sharing with others how to integrate eco-consciousness into our lives without sacrificing style, convenience or flair!

The good news is we can make a difference when it comes to the environment. And we don’t have to make significant sacrifices to the lifestyle we enjoy now. The changes that need to be made are easy to achieve and simple to do.

The future holds good choices for you, your family and your workplace that have a light and gentle impact on Earth. Together we can take action that is simple, fun and rewarding – because what we do – each of us! – really does make a difference.

I look forward to meeting up with you on the green path…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: