We Get Greener Kit Cassingham & her Bigger Half

Green Living

My name is Kit. I'm an environmentalist. I also care about health and social justice.

My journey to greener living has been a long one. And interesting, as well as challenging, much of the time. I suspect your path has those elements of interesting and challenging as well.

We all choose different issues to get greener with as we go along our life's path. I learn from my My Bigger Half (my husband, the other part of the "we"), friends and family, and hope you'll learn from me as I go along. We'll learn together.

My mom always conserved things when I was a kid, but I think it was for the money more than the environment. But that doesn't matter to me, conserving is conserving as far as I'm concerned. I learned early on to turn the heat down at night and sleep under an extra quilt on cold nights. We tended to combine errands rather than do them individually, saving gasoline. I wore hand-me-downs before it was fashionable.

Kit Cassingham
Kit Cassingham
April 2010
"Photo by Cathy Stucker, the Idea Lady"

My first big "green" lesson was given to me by a friend while we were in fifth grade (and that was a "few" years ago!). She chastised me for throwing the bakery bag into the field when I was finished with it. She made me pick it up, carry it home, and dispose of it in the garbage. I don't think I ever littered again. And my green/environmental/sustainable interest grew from there.

I even earned a BA in Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Maybe that's a path for you. Check out the path our friend offers for green jobs. If you want to get a green job and help businesses become more sustainable you should consider a Green MBA and join the growing number of graduates who are making a positive difference.

I used "Shopping For A Better Planet" for a few years to help me incorporate the issues I cared about into my purchases. I cared about the environment, women's rights, South Africa, and animal testing, and shopped accordingly. I quit drinking Gavalia Coffee and started eating more Quaker products; and I made of point of writing the companies to tell them why I made the decisions I had. There are several sites and books available now to help you do the same thing. The world keeps changing and your buying habits should too.

Now most of my focus is on buying environmentally friendly and healthy products, conserving resources, eating more healthfully, building and maintaining an environmentally sensitive home, operating a green office, and buying used items when possible instead of new ones -- another way of conserving resources and recycling. I care about what my environment is like, and that, by extrapolation, means I care about everyone else's. It's unethical to knowingly buy a product that causes pollution and environmental or health damage in other areas of the world. It's important to develop an attitude of "what's bad for me is bad for others", and to treat the entire planet as my backyard and to treat it with the same care I do my literal backyard.

My greening process isn't complete, but I strive to "get greener" in my life every day in every way. It's challenging partially because there is so much to know it's hard to know what the "right" thing is to buy, because of the abundance of greenwashing which confuses issues and obfuscates facts, and because my husband isn't as passionate about being green, so I have a bit of persuasion, negotiation, and/or giving in to keep life balanced.

I think:

  • water is the biggest environmental concern we have

  • air quality indoors and out can be better managed, and improved

  • the chemicals we use to clean our homes and lives, and to protect our plants or rid us of pests, could be killing us, and irritate us at the very least

  • we need to end our reliance on foreign oil and save our domestic oil for things that alternative energy and other ingredients can't create

"We"
Kit and Randy Cassingham
April 2010

Alternative energy, organic gardening, exercise, electronic devices, toys, paints, flooring, clothing, appliances, food, insulation, office supplies, toiletries, cosmetics, linens, cat litter -- the list goes on and on about our choices and decisions, and how they impact the environment near and far.

I've had a great time getting greener through the years. I've taken strong stands on some products, only to recant later because of information I'd not had before. I've made purchases thinking I was buying a product that took care of me, only to find it has worse ingredients than the ones I was shunning for it. There's lots to do as I get greener.

And how can I educate my husband and friends about things I'm learning so they start being more aware in their choices? Whew! There's even more to do as we get greener. So follow along with me -- chime in about your greening adventures too -- as I learn how to Get Greener so the world we live in now and the one we leave for the generations to come will be a better place.

Comments

I saw that Paul had recommended you on one of his websites, so I thought I would come and check you out! I love the flavor of your website and writings.

Jane at August 29, 2011 9:25 AM

Jane,

Thanks for coming by, and for the compliment. Paul and I have had several conversations about the importance of living green. Glad to see you are involved in greening businesses and people too.


-Kit

Kit at August 29, 2011 1:43 PM
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