Sunday, 21 December 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