Hello, Internet travelers! Welcome to my blog, Viridorari (Latin, meaning “to become green”).
My name is Faith, and I’m a high school senior in a small town school in New York with college fast approaching. I’m an International Baccalaureate (IB) student, and for those of you who don’t know what that is, I’ll briefly explain. IB is a rigorous and advanced high school program that not only creates better preparedness for college level learning, but aims to help students become more globally minded (as the name suggests). IB students take a deeper look into many viewpoints, we explore global issues, and we are encouraged to be more creative, critical thinkers.
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time doing some self reflection and asking myself what I can do to lead a healthier life, not just for myself, but for the people around me, and, most importantly, for the environment. This bout of inward contemplation has accompanied the nostalgia that naturally comes from reaching the end of high school, combined with my recent experiment with a fruit fast, my study of the Indian religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, learning more about the life of Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi for my Historical Investigation, and finally, listening to the podcast, “The Duncan Trussell Family Hour.”
I feel that I’m currently on a path to a lot of personal changes, and one of the new ideas that came to me was starting this blog. I was inspired in French class while doing our most recent IB writing assignment. Our current unit in French is on the environment. Interestingly enough, for the writing assignment I created a mock “blog” as the method for expressing my ideas.
I’ve been passionate about nature and animals since I was a kid. I often chose National Geographic movies over cartoons. My first dabbling in activism came when I was eight years old. Concerned about society’s general fear and distaste for my favorite animals, bats, I created bat fliers with information about common myths, why bats are good for the environment, and how to safely remove a bat from a house. My mom’s friend happily installed the fliers at her greenhouse’s check-out counter. Around a year ago, I discovered the horrible truths about the treatment of animals in the farming industry. Moved to anger and tears about what I had learned, I committed myself to eating only organic or Certified Humane meat, using my consumer power to support farms that raise animals the right way. If humane or organic meat is unavailable, I assume vegetarianism. My proper title is “humaneitarian,” not to be confused with humanitarian!
Today, as a young adult, I find myself constantly struggling with my inherent materialism and the desire to do my part for the planet’s health. Especially since becoming an IB student, I question myself constantly. Does what I just did conflict with my ideals? What could I have done differently? What can I do better in the future? How can I inspire others to do better?
This blog is one of the first steps I’m taking to fulfill those last two questions, and to help me understand myself better in accordance with the first two questions. I have an idea so far of how the blog will be structured. I originally wanted one formal weekly post, but it was brought to my attention by a few people that while I’m a long-winded writer, most people like short and sweet. Now I’m planning on splitting up my different ideas, with each one having their designated day of the week to be posted. While these formal ideas will be on a schedule, there’s a possibility that I’ll post random thoughts and rants as the inspiration comes for them. When something moves me, I cope with it by writing. As for what’s included in the scheduled posts, these are the ideas I have so far:
· Saturday: Green Challenge of the Week- This comes out on Saturday so you have all of Sunday to plan and get ready for the challenge in the upcoming week. The challenge will provide a way for you to incorporate greener habits into your life… but just as the title suggests, it will be a challenge. Consider yourself warned!
· Monday: Harsh Fact of the Week (self explanatory)
Reveal The Animal of the Month- Tidbits of information about this endangered animal will be provided in every blog post for the entire month.
Ecofriendly Economics- Ways to be greener without spending lots of green.
· Wednesday: Recycling Projects for Kids- Craft activities that will keep the kids happy and busy, along with showing them how fun being green can be!
· Friday: Activism Spotlight- A report on an individual, group, or organization who has done something outstanding and noteworthy for the environment. Hopefully it will be an inspiration stimulant for readers!
Suggested Reading- A review of a news article, book, or website that provides interesting reading material about the environment.
· Guest Writer of the Week- This person will write something interesting related to the blog, and give readers a break from my yapping so they can read someone else’s yappings. Hopefully, the Guest Writer will assume responsibilities for one of my formal ideas, allowing me to rest!
· A voting poll- Where you get to vote on stuff! Your opinion matters to me, and I will make sure the readers have an ability to influence the blog.
Posts will be out by 6:00pm on their designated day of the week.
The first Animal of the Month will be an endangered bat species, because that’s my favorite animal! Hopefully, if the blog has a significant amount of viewers, I will be able host a vote for the Animal of the Month so that readers can be more involved in the blog.
The French writing assignment that inspired me to start this blog had to be based off of three sources that the teacher gave us. One of the sources was a song about our dying planet, and the lyrics really stuck with me. One of the lines essentially translates to; “we need to get started now, because it’s already too late.” How true is that? We’re already pushing Earth to its limits. The environmental dilemma isn’t something we can pawn off on the next generation, while simultaneously blaming it on the people before us. We’re all contributing to this global epidemic, and no matter how hard we try to close our eyes and yell “lalalalalala!” it’s not going away. It’s time we accept the role we’re playing in nature’s demise, and it’s time to make amends.
I don’t know about you, but my childhood was filled with outdoor playtime in the field and the woods. I climbed trees as easily as I walked. I’ve always had a deep love for animals, and for that I can thank my first dog, a black Labrador retriever named Sheba. Maybe for you it was Fluffy the cat or Cheeks the hamster.
I want the adventure of playing outside and the joy of animals to be available for my children as they’re growing up. What about you? If your answer is yes, then stay tuned, my first Green Challenge is coming out tomorrow by 6pm! Viridorari will help you live a healthier life, for you, for those around you, and for the planet.
If you have questions, suggestions, comments, or you are interested in being a Guest Writer (whether or not your topic matches one of my scheduled posts), please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, to kick this blog off with a common, but fitting quote from one of my heroes: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mohandas Gandhi
Mentioned in this post:
· International Baccalaureate program
- Giggles for IB students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt-yas76TDw
· Fruit Fasting
- A healthy, challenging way to cleanse your body, test your will power, and lose weight.
- Websites that helped me: http://www.allaboutfasting.com/fruit-fasting.html and http://www.fitnessthroughfasting.com/fruit-fasting.html
· Bhagavad Gita
· Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi
- We all learned about Gandhi in history class, the saintly man who freed India from British rule and selflessly devoted himself to service and human rights.
- For my historical investigation, I found these books particularly interesting and inspiring: The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur Gandhi by Arun Gandhi (Mohandas and Kasturba’s grandson), and All Men are Brothers: Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as Told in His Own Words, a UNESCO production.
· “The Duncan Trussell Family Hour”
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to download the free Podcast App
in the iTunes Store. Episodes of the
DTFH are also free.
- The podcast is made up of the hilarious thoughts, philosophies, and rants of Duncan Trussell, a comedian and skilled speaker, and his podcast’s guests. The topics he talks about are endless.
- Despite the name, I do not suggest listening to this podcast with the younger kids. I do, however, strongly encourage it for your teenager! Still, you should probably preview a few episodes before sharing.
- Unfortunately, I could not track down the video that converted me, but if you’re feeling daring and your stomach is empty, search “the truth about industry farming” on Google. You’ll find plenty of videos that are just as disgusting and life changing, I’m sure.
· Certified Humane