Welcome! by Gia Machlin, August 09 2009, 1 Comment
My hope, in writing this blog, is that I will be able to reach all the MIGGs out there. What is a MIGG? It's me, 5 years ago, it's most of my friends, it's a lot of the parents in my kids' schools, it's the guy next door, it's your average everyday person to whom the environment is just not a priority. Let's say MIGG stands for these sentiments:
M - My actions are just a drop in the bucket!
I - I've got bigger issues to deal with right now!
G - Global Warming? - Not in my Lifetime!
G - Greenwashing is everywhere - who can I trust?
At EcoPlum, we try to address these issues. Not surprisingly, many of our fans and followers are true greenies, and I am honored that they find our site interesting. But they already get it - they have been trying to help save the planet for years. Not I. Don't get me wrong, I always tried to recycle and I thought I cared about the environment. Maybe some of you remember the television commercial where the Native American sheds a tear over some careless litter (I'm showing my age, aren't I)? Well that really touched me - as a child I just couldn't understand why people would choose to litter or pollute. But as I grew older and lived my life - I got used to the conveniences around me. I bought water bottles without even thinking about the consequences, I used detergents full of phosphates, I ate vegetables ridden with pesticides and I took really long car rides alone in my SUV.
Here I am (with my mother in law) just last summer in
Cape Cod before I kicked the disposable coffee cup habit
About 15 years ago, while visiting a friend in Eugene, Oregon, I noticed a sign in their bathroom: "If it's yellow, let it mellow...." You know the rest. How gross, I thought - why would I do that? Now, years later, I have read a lot about the dire state of our planet and educated myself about the true scarcity of our natural resources, and I see things in a very different way. I now realize that every thing I consume and every bit of waste I produce will end up somewhere on our planet - in a landfill, in the ocean, on a beach, in the atmosphere. There is nowhere else for it to go. Seems simple, but again, I didn't get it. I'm not sure exactly when my "aha" moment was - it could have been when I read a blog by Nigel Savage of Hazon - in which he commented on how incredibly irresponsible it was to buy a bottle of water, use it once, and then throw the bottle away only for it to sit in a landfill for 700 years before it began to decompose. It could have been when I watched "the Story of Stuff." Or maybe it was just when my son came home from school feeling scared about the effects of global warming in his lifetime.
Now I won't be caught dead using a paper cup - check out Starbucks' "for here" cups.
My point is, I have evolved, and so can others. I don't mean to sound all evangelical or self righteous. I just know more now than I did then, and have made a choice to change my lifestyle. It's not easy being green (but that's the subject of my next post) - but it's my responsibility. I hope all the MIGGs out there will follow.
Gia Machlin on May 14 2015 at 10:46AM
Here are all the original comments from WordPress in 2009:
Scott Charles August 10, 2009 at 12:59 pm Gia: I think most people start the way you are describing — not being particularly conscious about how our various discards (“trash”) impact our future. And I do remember the TV ad you mention. Whatever we can do to conserve resources and manage our production cycles is good for everybody, regardless of which end of the political spectrum they are on. Cheers, Scott
Jack Shipley August 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm Arrived here from the CABN list. Great start on an important topic to motivate people from care to actions.
Allen Bromberger August 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm Gia: Great post! I think you are right that we are just beginning to see the culture start to change. It’s like cigarette smokers, for generations it was no big deal, but with a lot of education kids’ attitudes towards smoking have changed. We need to do the same thing with our environment. Keep doing what you are doing; at least you’ll be a good example for your kids and some day you will be able to look back on this with pride for having done something really important!
Dottie August 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm Gia, great BLOG and great to read how you are constantly evolving to living a greener life. I hope that it represents the evolution of consciousness going on with people all around us. It is SO important and we are hopeful that MIGGs everywhere come to the same realization. Thanks for the link from the CABN list.
Jane Pierce August 10, 2009 at 1:33 pm Came across your blog link on Greenwala. Well put. I remember seeing a bumper sticker that said only: Oh, Evolve. Marked my beginnings too!
David Siegel August 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm Great blog. Proud of you.
Mike Lasday August 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm Gia, Great first blog. Us old farts may be slow to the dance, but the next generation is much more in tune. Got to admit that I’m sometimes frustrated when my daughter doesn’t let us eat someplace that has styrofoam cups…but she is right and has pulled the rest of us along. Keep up the great work. Mike
Anita August 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm I arrived here via your greenwala.com post. I think its great that you’ve become so passionate and are trying to help people around you become more aware. Good Luck!
Jean-François Patrice Néron August 10, 2009 at 4:02 pm I like your posts so much I will communicate with you and see if we can post them – translated in French – on Communauté Québec’s site http://www.communautequebec.org. You will find many interested readers in our million-inhabitant metro area. Waska administrators are environmentalists and very active in this area. I kicked the disposable coffee cup seven years ago and I like my plastic Tim Horton’s cup which is very easy to clean thoroughly.
Cozy August 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm Thanks for continuing to help me be more aware of the impact I can make on the environment & on our world! We can make a difference!!!!!!
Roberto August 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm Great post (if a little long for slow readers like me). All that ocean air is inspiring you. I like the guy who wants to translate it into French. Your site would be EcoPrune.
Lisa Hinson August 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm Thanks for the get blog and information! I’ve changed a lot of my habits too since joining “Green America.” Just keep talking about it! Lisa
stephanie August 10, 2009 at 9:59 pm Next step is to eliminate water in plastic containers….
Elizah Leigh August 11, 2009 at 12:31 am Just another Greenwala community member checking in with you and wishing you well in your new endeavor :) I’ve read many companion blogs (designed to flesh out websites), but if this entry is any indication, your eco-passion will take you far. I appreciate the heart that you’ve put into your entry and am amazed that we seem to be walking parallel paths. Like you, I used to live my life the way that most of our consumer culture does…flitting about with no real concern for how my footsteps were generating a ripple effect. It took an ah-haaaaa moment about 6 years ago for everything to click in my brain, and then a year passed before I started to truly take action. I feel like even though I’m in the full swing of the “eco thing,” I am still trying to make up for lost time. I respect that everyone has a different time table for personal enlightenment…I just hope that through your words, more MIGGs will become inspired enough to evolve. I believe that reading the words of a passionate blogger can motivate intellectual growth and help people to recognize that they NEED to care enough to “go green” even when no one is looking. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts in the weeks and months ahead. Best wishes to you, Elizah Leigh :)
Chryso August 11, 2009 at 7:29 am Gia, Evolving is key to our world; our lives. I’m so glad you pinpointed this very important word. May we never stop! Thanks for sharing your important message to the many people taking this ride toward change for the greater good – for the sake of the environment and our own well-being. Looking forward to reading more! Chryso
Marybeth Gardam August 11, 2009 at 8:27 am Terrific blog! Making small decisions to change can have a large impact if we bring others along with us. Reaching out to the uninformed is our challenge! I recommend 3 books: THE ECOLOGY OF COMMERCE (Hawken) and THE GREAT TURNING:FROM EMPIRE TO EARTH COMMUNITY (Korten) and AGENDA FOR A NEW ECONOMY (Korten).
Russell Ackner August 11, 2009 at 9:59 am I remember that commercial as well (admittedly). Looking forward to reading and seeing EcoPlum flourish. Keep up the great work Gia!
Yuka August 11, 2009 at 1:39 pm Gia- I absolutely love the new blog! In terms of philosophy, I really congratulate you for hitting the nail right on the head. We need to reach the MIGGs out there because otherwise we’re just mingling amongst ourselves. I am thrilled to know someone like you and look forward to seeing all of EcoPlum’s progress.
Stan Kaczmarek August 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm I just joined the GreenBiz forum on LinkedIn and saw your Blog Live notice, so had to check it out. I just started a blog too (http://www.egoecosystem.com) with a similar desire as yours, to inspire and educate. My background is in environmental engineering, and so I come at that task from a different angle than you. Would love if you could take a look and comment. While my target audience will be environmental professionals, especially those who work for big bad business, I am wondering if the tact I am trying to take will connect outside that audience, just as I see your point of view teaching and inspiring me.
Gia August 12, 2009 at 1:58 am Wow! Thank you all SO MUCH for your kind words! Thanks for the book recommendations, the inspiration, the encouragement, the great ideas and for taking the time to join the conversation. Looking forward to our ongoing dialogue!
Harriet Abramson August 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm An intelligently written, all enccompasing website on what one person can do. Had I only known about cell phones last month! Harriet
Lee Amon August 19, 2009 at 6:18 pm Some cool, funny stories. Here is another frustrating one Kate and I own a business that is Alameda County Green Certified. In order to keep our certification we had to change our T12 fluorescent bulbs to T8, but this was not easy or straightforward. You can read about our adventure (and it was an adventure) here http://www.earthfriendlyshopping.com/?p=192
Andrea September 1, 2009 at 12:01 am Love the MIGG name! 5 years ago when I was also a MIGG (except I’m going to substitute my ‘I’ for ‘Ignorant’), we had family friends who lived close to the centre of town and had chickens, bees, a huge organic vege garden and refused to drive cars. I thought they were wonderfully eccentric…but not for me, thanks!! I never had a big ‘AHA!’ moment, guess I was like the bumper sticker that Jane, above saw: Oh, evolve! Over the last 5 years its been like rising upwards, to the surface of the water and now my head is out – never to return! I do believe many of my friends and family are also floating up to the surface and the more we all communicate and incorporate green practices into our day-to-day life, the more it becomes mainstream. Funny how my ‘eccentric’ friends now seem to be the most sane and sensible people I know!
Serendipity is Sweet October 12, 2009 at 8:05 am Congrats on your new blog and well done! I’m enjoying your posts. Keep up the good work :D
Mary Ann September 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm Excellent blog, and great new word: MIGG. I grew up in a “Waste not, want not” family. We weren’t “hippies” or eco-nuts, we just had the mentality from many decades ago of “Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.” So recycling, composting, and consumer-awareness was sorta built-in to our lives. Fast forward a few decades. I de-evolved, you could say. I blindly – without even realizing it – fell into the wasteful lifestyle. Automatically used disposable diapers for my babies, bought pop and water in plastic bottles, stopped composting since I didn’t have a garden, etc., etc… Slowly, slowly, the things I was doing sunk in to me. I thought, “How could I have been so blind?” I have re-evolved, now, to the point of composting, gardening, avoiding plastic bottles, recycling anything I can, re-using and re-purposing things, turning electricity vampires and lights off, shortening showers, clothes-washing in cold water, etc., etc. I’ve even started giving reusable shopping bags as gifts and gift-packaging. Not sure about moving to the hankies, but… I have a way to go before I can make a significant dent in my family’s footprint, but I am doing my best, just as you are. Every one of us that is making progress in our evolution is less waste and pollution in the landfill, the oceans, and our own bodies. I’m glad that I found your blog!
Jessica December 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm Loved this article. Thank you. I will repost it. I recycle at work, and it kills me what I can’t take home and recycle. I do what I can at work, but I wish everyone else at work would do the same and take a little bit of the trash home with them. Actually, I just wish every company had recycling bins for paper, metals, plastics…etc etc, but it’s just a fanciful wish : (