A little story about me

Underwater picture

People have been asking me why I started publishing My Green Goodiebag. You can check out the short story in the About section, but I thought you might like to know a little more.

Like so many other mothers I was fairly unaware of what went in my shampoo, day cream or shower gel until I had kids, of which one has eczema.  When I saw how he reacted to certain creams and lotions, I began scrutinizing the ingredients… unexpectedly, I found many damaging chemicals in products that are advertized to be good for kids and/or good for your skin. It seemed like I would need a degree in chemistry to be able to look through the marketing and fully understand which products would be safe for me and my family.  Once I started digging and reading more about all these different ingredients and their effects, I realized products with natural ingredients have lowest probability of doing harm.

But it is not only about the products we use, it is also about how we care for our environment. As a diver (a very recreational one, that is) I can’t stop myself from picking up whatever litter I see in the oceans, as it really bugs me to see the beautiful underwater world polluted with plastic bottles, cans and whatever else.  The same goes for enjoying a nice day at the beach.  The cigarette butts and pieces of plastic all around me really annoy me.  I mean, would you prepare a nice hot bath and add some garbage and the contents of an ash tray before enjoying it?  I don´t think so. I’ve always hated to see people litter and disgrace the environment, but my intolerance for this behavior multiplied when I saw the documentary, “A Plastic Ocean.”  The amount of plastic floating around the world’s oceans is beyond anything you can imagine.  I also realized that most people don´t know the magnitude of the problems caused by single-use plastics.  Not only do a lot of marine animals die every year from ingesting or getting entangled in plastics, but the plastics break up into little pieces (microplastics) and enter our food chain with long term results unknown. A trend that probably doesn’t end well!

It seems obvious to me that we must do a better job to protect the incredibly balanced ecosystem of our planet.  Not only does our planet give us everything we need by continuously providing us with clean food, water and air for our survival, but it also gives us life’s enjoyable experiences like swimming in the sea, hiking in the woods, snorkeling around coral reefs etc.  We are nothing more than stewards of our planet.  When we die we leave it to the next generation.  As parents and grandparents of the next generation, we must change our behavior – act more responsibly, less selfishly and as a society we must measure the rate of environmental damage versus the rate at which the planet can heal itself.  It makes no sense to me that humanity has reached an incredible level of intelligence, yet we seem content to fill our oceans (and landfills) with non-biodegradable plastics, cut down trees faster than they grow, and pump carbons into the air faster than the biogeochemical carbon cycle can handle. In the end, the health of our children will suffer, and their children will suffer more, and so on.

"A vision without action is daydreaming. A vision with action can change the world." Nelson Mandela

Obviously, changing the behavior of 7.6 billion people across all the countries is a daunting task. There is still a long way to go, and I am the first to admit that I can make more changes to assist the sustainability of our ecosystem.  As we hope our societies across the globe will increase education on this topic, impose change on multinationals and incentivize a change in behavior, I believe all change starts with individuals who lead the way. I hope you feel as I do.  I hope you will favor products that are environmentally friendly… And I hope you can educate those who are unaware of this growing need to buy organic and ecofriendly goods and refuse, reduce and recycle.

I think we owe it to our children to leave this place a little bit better, more beautiful, less polluted, than when we came into it.  I know it sometimes feels like it is an endless battle but each and every one of us has a voice, and with every purchase we make, we make our voices heard.  It might seem like a whisper, but if each person would let his/her whisper hear than all these whispers together might create a scream.  A scream towards policy makers, that we want a change, we need a change.

That is why I started My Green Goodiebag.  To help others make their voices heard and help them make choices that will hopefully help the future of our planet and of our children.