Taking Care of Mother Earth

I came of age in the 60’s, when a burgeoning awareness of all things natural and taking care of the Earth was evidenced everywhere by the “hippie fringe elements.” As such, ideas of that nature were viewed as radical or weird and people who espoused them were also. I resonated with the notion of taking care of Mother Earth; I would never dream of littering or destroying our natural environment.

Through the years, I always held those beliefs and tried to find ways to express my commitment to them. It was hard to know how to actually make a difference in this regard. I considered giving up my vehicle, but it seemed too much of a hardship to get to work. I tried car-pooling and public transportation, but again, it was too difficult to arrange business meetings and coordinate necessary trips into my day.

I stopped using aerosol products that negatively impacted the ozone. I stopped smoking cigarettes.
I was always a proponent of recycling but was dismayed to learn that most of the recycling in Phoenix in those days ended up in a landfill anyway.

When I came to Creative Living Fellowship in the late 90’s, I found kindred souls, but many like myself, were unsure how to make a meaningful contribution to saving the planet. Bit by bit, I learned from others small approaches to making a difference. Classes and workshops, the Urban Farm, educational trips to Tonopah Rob’s farm, provided so many avenues to learn about and implement actions that would help realize my commitment to my planet.
One of the most helpful workshops was where Greg Peterson talked about making small decisions in your life that add up. That was several years ago, and in that first year, I made a commitment to using cloth napkins. The following year, I stopped buying paper cups and plates. I make sure my car is well-tuned so as not to be emitting any more pollution than absolutely necessary. I recycle and reuse incessantly, and bring that awareness and ideas to everybody with whom I come in contact, including all my clients.

I am now growing my own vegetables in a city box to add to the organic vegetables I receive through my Community Share from Tonopah Rob. My paper products usage has decreased significantly, and I make a conscious attempt to plan my errands to make as few trips as possible. I was so excited when CLF entered the Green Faith certification program and Giva has done an amazing job leading the cause. I knew that together, as a community, we could make a huge difference, and that the knowledge gained from the program benefits my family personally, as we learn more and better ways to be grateful and responsible stewards of our Planet.

Respectfully submitted,
Anne Caldwell