Not that long ago my main priorities included binge drinking every weekend, looking good, and macking on pretty much every good looking girl I saw. I also wanted to be rich and to own lots of really impressive things. I was pretty tuned into that life and didn’t really think too much about how my actions affected the environment, people around the world, and the animals that we share the earth with. I was pretty selfish and if I did think about my actions I certainly didn’t do too much about it. I did recycle, shut off the lights and water, and eat healthier than the average person I knew and I thought that was doing pretty good. But the list of negative environmental impacts was far greater than my positive impacts (which was nearly nonexistent). I owned two cars, shopped at Wal-Mart for my food and my cheap crap, drank the cheapest beer I could find, took home my share of plastic bags, wasted plenty of water, ate too much meat, needed the newest gadgets always, and the list could go on and on. Not that any of these things are inherently bad but they definitely were not deeply serving myself or the earth.
Then reality hit in 2011. I became educated. I decided to act on that education.
I gave up on restrictive social norms and stigmas and embarked down a path of living for the benefit of the earth, my community, and myself. Here I share with you the timeline of my last four years of transformation from an environmental and social nuisance into being of benefit to the environment and society. I share this to give a real life example of transformation and to show you that no matter where you are today you can lead a much more earth friendly lifestyle if you choose to. Most of the items on the timeline represent simple changes that you, or anyone, can take but remember that every life is unique and this is not designed for you to follow exactly. However most of the things in here can be adapted into your life if you truly desire for them to.
For me it was all about taking it one step at a time and continuing that from week to week, month to month, and year to year. When I started this transformation I would have had a really hard time believing that I’d get to where I am today. The only way that I’ve made it here is by taking it gradually, setting little goals, and building on the momentum and excitement of each success. Then making those things habit. It wasn’t always easy but it has been extremely rewarding and extremely fun. I am happier and healthier than ever before but most of all I am living with so much more purpose. I’m no longer causing reckless destruction to the earth, to innocent lives, or to my own and that is a huge sigh of relief and really has me jumping for joy. I’m proud of it all and know that has come by taking responsibility for my actions. I am proud that I know how my actions affect the world both near and far. I am proud to be of benefit to the earth and society.
Here is my timeline. May it serve you well.
2005-2009 Went to UW-La Crosse for Biology but focused on beer, women, and fun mostly. I also traveled the country and world quite a bit, worked really hard during the summers, and developed substantially as a human. I was driven to be successful and was, but I left the environment on the wayside and thought mostly about myself. I wanted to be a millionaire.
01/2010 – 05/2010 Traveled around the world and gained an appreciation for how diverse and immense the world is and a desire to protect it.
10/2011 Left my homeland of Wisconsin Indefinitely
01/2011 Moved to San Diego, California where I met more open minded people