It’s Earth Day! and I’m finally doing something important.  Throughout my life the environment has always been important in my decision-making, but I’ve been frustrated that I met so few people who shared that dedication. I was looking through “green colored glasses,” and only recognized those who lived their life the same way I did. It wasn’t until I became more experienced and saw how truly difficult it is to “live green.”

                For some it is a life of pacifism, vegetarianism and humility.  For others it is very different. For them it’s buying green, setting up “green businesses,” and trying to create a new life that is less reliant upon carbon fuels and harmful ingredients. Still others live a militant lifestyle, making harsh distinctions between “green” and “not green.”   But for most, it’s doing little things that they may not even realize are environmental statements; buying local food because they want to support a friend, or making their own clothes because they can’t find clothes that fit, or just like to sew.  The new “green lifestyle,” is found in walkable cities where cars are not necessary, and they share a community with like minded individuals.  Each of these is an appropriate definition, but they are not my lifestyle.

                I live in the country where I am surrounded by the plants and animals that remind me that my actions have consequences.  My farm keeps me humble, and I live the life of a “steward,” that my Christian upbringing taught me.  I certainly don’t have dominion here. I have co-existence.  I can’t keep the coyotes out, or the wolves that come through occasionally, but I can take steps to keep my critters safe. It’s much the same for each of us on this planet. We can’t stop asteroids, or affect another nation’s choices. The best we can do is educate, illustrate and control our own families, and show others that they have other choices that they can make.  We can ask them, implore them, scare them, but finally it comes down to a realization on their part that they CAN make a difference, and that they NEED to.

                That’s why I’m so honored to be a part of this project at the NCSC Hearth.  I finally get to be a part of “walking the walk,” AND help others make that choice to do the same. Some may come just because it’s more affordable than a convention business venture, but in so doing they are contributing to a better future for the region.

                For anyone who has been active in the environment for any length of time there comes a time when it feels futile. No one seems to hear the cries for change.  Politicians drop the word “environment” and then go ahead with damaging practices that continue the status quo.  But here at the NCSC Hearth we are finally going to be able to take an existing building, refit it for a more sustainable use, create local businesses and demonstrate that community efforts, alternative energies and environmental improvement do not have to wipe society off the map.  To be associated with this project is an overwhelming honor.  On this Earth Day I am very thankful that I can finally help others in a more tangible way. Will you join this community of environmental “abettors?” I hope so.

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