Welcome everyone, my name is Diana and this is officially my first blog post. It took me a while to put everything together but here I am. I started working in this project several months ago, and social media has been mainly my focus during this time, but there is so much more I want to share.
I’ll tell you a bit about myself and my story; I am originally from Venezuela, South America and in 2009 I migrated with my husband to Melbourne, Australia, where I currently live. Coming from South America, when I was younger I wasn’t particularly interested in the environment; it is not a topic you hear a lot over there, beyond the very basic guidelines that people barely pay attention to: “use the bin”, “do not litter”, “do not waste water”… I really knew nothing.
Then again life put special people and events in my life that started bringing awareness about some of these issues. The first one was my dear husband; for some reason he has always had a special connection with nature and the environment.
I remember one warm sunny day in Venezuela when we were still dating, I decided to buy an ice-cream and when I finished it, there was no bin around us so I decided to leave my wooden stick on the street floor, no big deal I thought… wrong! He wasn’t happy at all and quickly let me know. At that point in time in my life, that tiny event made me more aware and responsible for the waste I was generating.
The next encounter that made me rethink many things about the environment was one of the bosses I had when I was working in Caracas. She was a down-to-earth person, vegetarian, kind and compassionate and she really cared about the planet. I remember she collected plastic bottles from the office and kept them in her car to later drop them in a special recycling facility (kerbside recycling programs don’t exist in Venezuela).
She was really unique and different to any person I had ever met in my life. Her actions resonated with me to some level that I couldn’t really understand at that time, but all the reasons behind her deeds made me question many things in my personal life.
Winds of change
Finally after a long wait, our visa was approved and we came to Australia. I was so inspired to start a new life here, the streets looked clean, there were not only bins but recycling options everywhere even at home, I thought it was great!! So I started recycling (for the first time in my life), using green shopping bags in the supermarkets, using diligently the different bins in the streets and in general being greener (at least that’s what I thought at that time) and I felt somewhat proud of my progress.
Then one day and by chance I ended up watching Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. I was sitting there hearing this guy talking about global warming and I was shocked, I really didn’t think things were so bad. The more I learnt, the more I realised the environmental issues were massive, way beyond I ever thought and we humans were definitely causing the problems.
Soon after I was introduced to the “Human Footprint” concept and I really started making a connection between our daily consumption and the earth resources which was something that I had never paid attention before but it was making more sense.
Part of me was overwhelmed and a bit hopeless to be honest; I didn’t know what to do. I suppose is normal when you see this gigantic problem and you don’t even know how to start and more importantly you don’t know if you can make a difference. Nevertheless, it was definitely a wakeup call and it inspired me to keep learning about the subject and watching more documentaries. I started to apply some small changes here and there but very slowly – as usual busy life took over, time was limited and progress wasn’t that great.
However as time passed we reached a point where we felt we needed to give this a priority, we had learnt so much and there was still so much to do. So for the last 4 years my husband and I have become more and more action-oriented, composting, reducing plastic use, and steadily we have been in a cycle of learning, changing, adjusting and repeating to form new habits.
I remember in 2015, I watched an interview to Lauren Singer, an environmental activist and well known for her jar and “Zero Waste” lifestyle and with all the information I already knew I felt really compelled to speed things up even more.
Personal choices matter
I live a modern busy life, and I have to admit the journey hasn’t been easy, that’s why I decided to create GreenerIdentity, to help people who like me care for the planet and want to live a more sustainable and mindful life. I would like to provide some guidance and tips to face the challenge of changing old habits and inspire readers to take action.
Am I a perfect green enthusiast? Of course no, I am not and I don’t pretend to be. I just know that I am doing the best I can, that I keep learning and trying to inspire others along the way.
I am mindful of the fact that the current situation with the environment is quite critical, but while we care, take action and share the message, there is always hope. Many people believe these small personal changes are irrelevant and it is up to the governments and businesses to tackle climate change, and it is true to some extent. Laws, regulations, clean energy are really indispensable and these actions can have massive impact on the planet, but we are consumers, just to survive in this planet we need natural resources, therefore we all are part of the problem too and our everyday decisions matter.
I love this quote from Mother Teresa “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” I truly believe in the power of individual actions, it is up to us to make this planet a better place for us and other species we share it with.
Enjoy the journey
I am planning to start writing about these topics from scratch, for people who has little knowledge in this area and want to begin this wonderful journey. In my experience it is best to start small and step by step progress based on your current circumstances, so I’ll try to follow that line as much as possible.
We are all different; we face different challenges and live different lives, therefore we need to define our own green path and identity. I’ll put some ideas out there, you can treat the information as a “buffet”, take what you like and you feel is right for you, ignore the rest. One of my struggles earlier in this personal quest was precisely feeling overwhelmed and at times so guilty trying to keep up with so many changes and expectations, so it is best to seek progress not perfection.
Enjoy the ride, it is not a simple one but it is very rewarding. It is nice to look back and see all the positive changes you have made and the people you have inspired to take action. Hope in this space you find some ideas and support to develop a “Greener Identity”.
Mount Dandenong, Victoria, Australia
Please use the comments below to provide feedback and more ideas for other readers, remember we are all learning. Also share the information with family and friends, but remember this is your journey not theirs and the best way to inspire other people is by changing yourself first.
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