My wife is amazing. When we met about two decades ago she introduced me to sustainability. I still remember sitting down in a small, hole in the wall Mexican restaurant off of School Street where she ordered a meatless dinner. That was my first personal experience with a vegetarian. Honestly, had my 18 year old self not been entranced with her beauty perhaps I would have brushed off her beliefs as fringe and crazy. But I didn't. In fact, I have to point to that dinner as the first time in my life that I considered what I now call sustainability.
Slowly I moved over, slowly. Maybe four years after that dinner I too went meatless (sadly an experiment that only lasted four years). I started to take cloth bags to the market. By the way, bringing my own bags then often confused cashiers. I commonly got the expression "heh, do we sell these bags here?" I started to recycle at home and start recycling programs at work. I started to prefer cloth napkins over paper. I started to take home lunches to work. I started many thing I don't think I would have done had it not been for her. Thank you Ali!
Last night after my shower I looked at her 20+ year old bottle that she has refilled, pretty much without fail, over these years. I have no idea how much solid and toxic waste she diverted because of this single bottle. But I bet it sure does add up. Here's a pic of that bottle next to another 20+ year old bottle she uses for conditioner (that stuff I don't use).
Looking back though it is so easy to take a break from living lightly. During particularly busy periods of our lives, I have suggested to her to skip composting or even start throwing away perfectly recyclable materials. I felt like we were too busy. She held firm, consistently. That conviction rooted in values I so love has truly been a (one sided) gift to me. It is my hope that I too will be able to pay her gift forward and be a steadfast positive spirit for our children.
Comments posted prior to adopting Facebook comments.