Sometimes I feel like I am the picture of change. I often think what a different person I was just five years ago.
Then: I eagerly anticipated my college graduation, moving to New York, and getting a "real" job.
Now: I eagerly anticipate winning the lottery, early retirement and moving out of New York.
One thing that I find radically different about myself is my approach to the world around me. I was not always the balanced, eco-friendly, world-hugging person you know and love today. The problems that I had while growing up once consumed me, and I am often thought only of myself and those around me (usually those around me more than myself, though [but, believe me, I'm certainly not bragging there]). Today, I can honestly say that I do my best to think globally.
I recently moved and needed a lot of new items for my fancypants new apartment. When I purchased these products, I took both eco-friendly and my more traditional products into consideration. With very few exceptions, I chose the eco-friendly options. I did things like clean with all environmentally safe products, order organic groceries and buy organic cotton bath towels free of unfriendly dyes.
I remember when I was six or seven, Nickelodeon started a marketing campaign with the then-new buzz phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle." I distinctly recall thinking that all the whole thing was stupid and it didn't apply to me. I mean, it wasn't like the polar ice caps were going to melt if I didn't recycle my soda can...
I can't exactly remember now why I had this mentality. I blame (at least partially) my parents. My father only started recycling when I was around 10 or 11. And even then, I think it was because it amused him to crush the cans. My mother still doesn't recycle. I now beg and plead but she makes a million excuses. I remind her that when Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn flood, her grandchildren and I will be washed into New York Bay and swallowed into the Atlantic. This has yet to phase her. And since I live three hours away from her, I can hardly mandate my recycling policy there.
I've personally committed myself to helping to protect the environment and limiting my own carbon footprint. I've made it a priority for me. I hope one day the energy-saver lightbulb goes on over the rest of my family's head, too.