Welcome to Green Groundswell home of the Unlikely Environmentalist. This is my first venture into the blogosphere and I’m not what you would consider very “geeky” so I’ll be learning as I go.

I lived most of my life in Southern California enjoying the beaches, mountains, gardens, parks, trees, flowers, and birds of this beautiful state by walking, hiking, camping, and the occasional backpacking trip.

My spouse and I raised our children in a single-family house with green lawns (front and back) and commuted to our respective jobs in our single-passenger cars. We were “good” American consumers and acquired the “all important stuff”— a house, cars, appliances, furniture, clothes, toys, computers, and decorations for every holiday…you name it. We enjoyed raising our children, worked at our jobs, and tried to stay out of credit card debt.

In those days, I didn’t think a lot about how much water and other resources it took for even just a single family like ours to live the American dream in what is basically a desert. We bought healthy food and not so healthy food-like products at the grocery market, but I didn’t spend much time thinking about what chemicals were used to grow or manufacture it, where it came from, or how far it had traveled. Some of my jobs required visiting clients and I virtually lived in my car during the week. I thought about what a drag traffic jams were but not so much about what was causing them and how many resources were used to produce and operate a car, or how harmful it was to people and the earth.

So as you can see, I’m an unlikely candidate to become an environmentalist. It did not happen overnight and was the result of a lot of different things that occurred over time. A few that come to mind are:

  • Several years ago, we moved to the California Central Coast and live surrounded by a Monterey Pine forest. Living this close to nature made me mindful of the environment its beauty and interrelatedness.
  • At my former employer, our client embarked upon a substantial green building program so I had an opportunity to be exposed to green building practices and took every opportunity to learn more.
  • A life-long reader, I began reading whatever I could get my hands on through our local library system about the environment, green building, sustainable business, the food industry, and other related topics.

That did it. I knew I had to change—we all have to change. There is no Planet B.

I am not a scientist or engineer or politician or company president. I am one person living on this amazing planet. I want to do my part.

Sometimes when faced with a seemingly insurmountable issue, we feel overwhelmed. What can we possibly do to make a positive impact on such a huge problem? We may feel powerless and scared. We freeze like a deer in the headlights and do nothing.

It would be easy for me to say to myself, “there isn’t anything I can do for the planet or its people”. But that’s not true. There are things I can do; they may be small or silly, and sometimes wrong or ineffective, nevertheless I am doing them. One thing is starting this blog to provide information, encourage dialogue, and promote action.

I have read articles and heard interviews that say an individual cannot make a difference. I disagree. Sure, we need to do the huge and difficult things, but individual action can have a big impact too. After all, it is individuals who make up families, communities, corporations, and governments. If millions of individuals make a small positive change, it can produce an ever-increasing impact and result in a big change.

My mission is to persuade myself and others to live more lightly on the earth.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” —Lao-tzu (Chinese Philosopher)

Join the green groundswell. Let’s get started.


Linda Poppenheimer The Unlikely Environmentalist at Green Groundswell

25 thoughts on “Welcome”

  1. This is great Linda. I am so proud of you. Your intro was intriguing and the unlikely environmentalist is very catchy. I will be a regular!! I’ve never blogged before.

  2. Well, welcome to blogging! As usual you have done a bang-up job with your intro. I’m looking forward to more!

  3. Just copied your report from December 14 on enrviromentally friendly food containers. Will call for an appointment with the food service chair at the Gardens on Monday.

  4. You go, girl! I am very proud of you, and am glad to see that your willingness to learn and to change will be a good role model for others.

    1. Change certainly isn’t easy. I’m looking forward to learning from other people too.

  5. Hi there, linda. I know what you mean about feeling helpless… So everyone (and the planet included) needs to know individually that collectively we can make a difference.

    1. Thanks for your note. Action always makes me feel better, even doing something small.

  6. Your blog is a wonderful idea! I look forward to learning how I can live to leave a better planet for my grandchildren.

    1. My children and our future generations was one of the main motivators for me to explore how to live in a more green and sustainable manner.

  7. Linda–thanks for keeping me in mind now that you are officially launched. I get info from the Master Recycler program in Eugene and will pass on stuff if you like. Love, Charl

    1. I would love information on the Master Recycler program and will make a note to look into it from this end.

  8. Great job. When my son comes home from college ,I always want to send him back with a case of water bottles. He always looks mortified and says ” our school doesn’t use plastic water bottles”. What better cause than to take care of our environment. Good job!

    1. Glad to hear your son isn’t into bottled water. We can always learn from our kids, I know I have.

  9. Thanks for the help – I’ve got you in my favorites now. Please do check on the safety of refilling plastic water bottles.

    1. The U.S. FDA regulates plastic used for bottled water. I did not find any information on the U.S. FDA website saying it is not safe to refill plastic water bottles. If reused, bottles should be washed with hot, soapy water before refilling just like any other drinking vessel.

  10. We live in Iowa and have been recycling paper ( and newspapers), cardboard, glass,and tin cans for 5 years. Put into special containers from the city and picked up every two weeks. My family has composted kitchen scraps for 20 years in a cement block enclosure. It makes wonderful planting medium when gardening and planting trees. Make everyone aware of this whole process, Linda.

    1. Hi Peggy. Congratulations on composting for 20 years – I’m a newbie compared to that. Did you read my composting series? It would be great to get some additional tips, especially about composting where it snows.

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