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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Introducing Gavin

posted by Gavin

The Greening Of Gavin

When Rhonda invited me to join the co-op, I was flabbergasted, but honoured to be asked to join. I had been following the formation of the blog from the start, and have been very impressed with the growing repository of information from a wonderful and committed group of simple living, green thinking, and frugal global citizens! Well done so far team. Hopefully, I can add the knowledge that I have accumulated in the two and a bit years since I made a determined effort to lower my carbon footprint. In the process, I have found that simple living is the only way to go, and all the benefits that go with this lifestyle have to be experienced to be believed.

It is hard to determine where to start, so maybe describing my green epiphany is a good icebreaker. My life changed back in September 2006, after I saw the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth", in which Nobel laureate Al Gore takes you on a journey and explains the impact of Climate Change. It had just been released, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and my employer kindly sponsored a group showing of the movie. Well what an eye opener and a real aha moment! A wave of emotion came over me. I felt guilty, angry, sad, overwhelmed, and then a funny thing happened, something I had never experienced in my life. I felt that I personally had to do something to fix this mess that I had been partly responsible for making. I thought that my first action should be to walk from the cinema back to the office, which was about a 5km journey. I didn't really think this through very well because I was wearing new shoes and the blisters I got from the walk were the size of 20c pieces, but there was no way I was going to add anymore CO2 into the atmosphere, after what I had just learned. The walk helped me gather my thoughts and develop the resolve required to carry out my new life goal.

When I eventually arrived at the office, my head was spinning. I wanted to learn more, to really understand the issue, and to see what simple actions I could take to lower my carbon footprint and that of my family's. I remember hitting the 'net and just spent the rest of the day finding out how I could make a difference. Green was a new colour for me, and until that time I had been a conspicuous consumer of all that was bad for the planet. I was surprised that many of my co-workers were not impacted emotionally as I had been. Possibly the message went straight over their heads.

When I got home for the evening, I tried to explain how I was feeling, but they didn't understand what a roller coaster I had just been on. Their knowledge of climate change was as limited as mine had been before I saw the documentary. It would take some weeks before I managed to get a copy of the movie to show the family.

It was a month of confused thoughts, lots of research and many fruitful discussions with family members. Until my wife, Kim had her own epiphany after she watched the movie, she thought I was having a mid-life crisis and an extra-marital affair! It was a crisis alright, but not the one that some men have at my age. It was a Climate Crisis, and I was determined to reverse the effects of it.

As they say, the rest is history, and my personal blog, The Greening Of Gavin, chronicles my journey towards a sustainable lifestyle on every step of the way. I look forward to contributing to this global community and believe that this opportunity has come at just the right time in my life so that I can help others take the first step on their own Simple, Green and Frugal journey.

Gavins Garden

11 comments:

Eilleen said...

Welcome Gavin! I love your blog and I'm very excited to see that you've agreed to write here too.

I look forward to reading your articles and "working" with you! :)

claudia said...

Thank you, thank you for this post and welcome to you!
I have not seen the documentary, although it has always interested me. I must make that a prioity this weekend.
I have been following Rhonda Jean for some months now and have learned many new and wonderful things from her. I have tried to put some of her ideas into practice in my own home...I have a long way to go.
My grandmother and mom had always raised us in a "green" sort of way, so much of what I have already been doing was toward the end that others have picked up recently. That I am proud of!
I look forward to your experiences and ideas. I will put as much as I can of what I learn from you into practice here in my home.

LisaZ said...

You have a wonderful story. A true epiphany. That is really a rare event, and I can see where you really wondered how come it didn't hit your coworkers as it did you. It's good your wife had the same thing happen. I would say you each have a "calling" then, to this. And you write beautifully! I'll look forward to reading more from you.

heather said...

welcome gavin! i'm so excited to have you part of this project. your story is exactly what so many people are going through (and waking up to!). your writing is going to be a very inspiring as well as informative addition to the co-op, i hope you have a great time with us! :)

rhonda jean said...

Welcome Gavin. Thanks for a great first post. I look forward to what will follow. I love the photo of you in your backyard. Seeing ordinary backyards that produce food always reaffirms my commitment to what we do here.

Julie said...

Hi Gav and welcome! Looking forward to 'working' more closely with you from now on :-)

Sadge said...

Welcome, Gavin! That movie really is a sobering and well-done look at where our planet's headed. A little over a year ago, I put together a free public showing of it on behalf of a local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group I'm active in, and have never seen such a quiet bunch of people as folks were leaving afterwards. I can tell you'll be a great addition here.

Karen said...

welcome, gavin! welcome to the way! ; ) i loved your story and wish you all the best. btw ... nothing wrong with having an extramarital affair with Mother Earth!

Bel said...

Hello and welcome, Gavin! I also love your blog and am rapt to see you here with us.

P~ said...

Welcome Gavin! Very glad to have you joining us. I look forward to getting a chance to read through your blog and getting to know you a bit.
cheers!
P~

frogtailrae said...

What an interesting (and QUICK!) trajectory! I mean September 2006 was only 2 years, 3 months ago, and just looking at your solar panels and garden... well, very impressive.

Looking forward to reading your "stuff".