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Jane Mail – Donna Childress

Hi, Elisa and Leta.

I saw your post on the DC EcoWomen listserv and wanted to share my story.

I’ve loved nature and playing outside for all of my life. But I didn’t know much about environmental issues until a couple of years ago. I was dating someone who is very environmentally conscious, and he piqued my curiosity to learn more. I started by reading a lot on my own – books, blogs, news, nonprofits’ action alerts, etc. I’m still learning, almost every day.

As my awareness has grown, I’ve become convinced that we need to act quickly to change the direction the planet’s headed. I believe we need to change both our light bulbs and our leaders, and that we’ll make progress most quickly if more people make the transition I did from being barely aware to taking action.

So late last fall I started a blog, Leafing Out (http://leafingout.org), to raise awareness and to communicate the many side benefits of going green. Written for everyday women and men, the blog explains environmental issues and shares practical reasons and ways to go green, with an emphasis on how the green lifestyle can make their lives better. Everyday women and men can participate by reading the blog, commenting on it to start a dialogue, sharing it with others, and taking it and similar communications to heart.

In addition, I have my own business doing writing and Web strategy and recently passed up an opportunity for a part-time job, partly so that I’d have time available to devote to work with environmental clients. I’m now spending a few days a week going to environmental-related networking events, seminars, and the like to continue learning about the issues and to make contacts. Ultimately I’d like to transition my work to online campaigns that encourage the general public to take environmental action.

In the past year, I’ve also started making lifestyle changes taking public transportation and walking or biking more, making home improvements to boost energy and water conservation, switching to green cleaners, spending more food dollars on local and organic food, buying organic or recycled clothing where possible, and more. I’ve changed a lot and am still making improvements, heading steadily toward a greener way of living.

To me, Obama’s election means two things – that the government soon will have a leader who leads on environmental issues rather than blocks progress, and that Americans have embraced the concept of change. This is an exciting time. I think (and hope!) the environmental movement will grow in leaps and bounds. A girlfriend and I will be biking to the inauguration; when Obama is sworn in, I want to be part of the great collective cheer that rises up to the sky! That night, three of us girls will celebrate at an inaugural ball.

Thanks for all that you are doing to spread the word. If you’d like any further information from me, you are welcome to contact me. Thanks again, and welcome to D.C. We are glad to have you here. Enjoy the inauguration!

Best regards,
Donna Childress

Donna Childress
Writing & Web Strategy
Leafing Out, green blog: http://leafingout.org
Childress Creative, LLC: www.childresscreative.com

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