Take the First Step (archive)
1: promoting health or well-being of mind or spirit
2: promoting health of body
3: sound in body &mind
4: having the simple health
We constantly have to weigh our decisions and determine if they support a brighter future for ourselves, our children, and our world.
For anyone on this personal journey to sustainability, I have some advice: Start with one step. Only you know what you can afford, what you are willing to do or not do, and what you can tackle without feeling beleaguered.
This might mean buying some organic produce at the super-market, using the same coffee cup all day long, or refilling aluminum bottles with tap water instead of relying on bottled water. It might mean taking canvas bags to the market or recycling the plastic ones you have collected over the months and years. It might mean enlisting the kids’ help in the kitchen or talking with them about ways you can “save the earth” as a family.
You might think it’s insignificant if you replace just two items on your shopping list with organic products – say, milk and apples. How much of a difference does that actually make? And yet, can you imagine what would happen if 30 or 40 percent of American households bought only organic milk and apples? Two industries would change dramatically. Don’t think otherwise: You can be a sustainability hero one choice at a time.
Twenty-five years ago, when I first entered the movement, I never thought that the day would come when most supermarkets carried organic produce and had whole sections devoted to natural foods. I never dreamed that most public places, including restaurants, would be smoke free. I certainly never expected to see such a growth in farmers’ markets. In fact, the farmers’ market movement is growing so rapidly that there are not enough farmers to keep up with demand. A “good problem,” to be sure, but also a troubling one. Are we running out of farmers? We can all help by getting to know who the local farmers and suppliers are and then supporting them.
The great thing is that once you take the first step, you will feel good about it, and you can take another step, and another.