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.

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.