Hello, I’m Autumn and I recently met the Green Ninja.  As someone new to the “green community”, the Green Ninja asked me to share my journey with our readers. So, over the next few weeks I’ll share with you my goals, achievements and challenges as I try to become more environmentally conscious and live a greener lifestyle.  So here goes!

I would say that this year was the first time I really started to open my eyes to the idea of making choices based in part on the environment.

I come from a community that is not very eco-friendly and people seem more interested in having the newest and greatest things. In fact, when I go home I am teased about bringing my reusable water bottle everywhere. When San Jose passed the law that banned plastic bags, I thought it was a hassle. But once I started bringing my reusable bags to the grocery store, I realized how many plastic bags I would be wasting if I didn’t bring my own bags.

But, really those were the only green actions I was taking until this summer.

I spent my summer living in Oregon, where the residents have more expensive bikes than they do cars. Oregon’s  beautiful environment is very important to its people. Many of their cities’ goals are aimed toward saving energy. For instance, Bend, OR is known for having traffic circles rather than traffic lights. I was told it was more fuel-efficient when a car does not idle.  And, if you think about it the energy is also saved from the electricity not used to power the traffic lights. My new Oregon friends showed me how to start my new green lifestyle.

I started with small steps. I am slowly adding things into my daily routine to help reduce my carbon footprint.  To add to my reusable water bottle and reusable grocery bags, I added reusable containers for my lunch rather than disposable sandwich bags. I also created the habit of going to the farmers’ market to get fresh fruits and veggies from local farmers and businesses.

The best way I have found to stay green is to include my friends on the road there. With their encouragement I feel that we can become more eco-friendly together.

My next goal is to start bringing my reusable coffee cup to the coffee shop.  Stay tuned!

–Autumn

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