Guest Author: Tara Jensen
Ahoy! From the USS Jensen Lifeboat.
This lifeboat consists of Myself, Tara, my co-captain Aaron, and our three crew members Dylan (13), and twins Layke and Brylie (10)! The journey on our lifeboat will be one of triumph, commitment and of respect. We flee from the yacht of societal norms; free of mass consumption; free to roam as nature’s advocates of change, to shed light on the impacts of societal waste. Sometimes these waters will be rough as we develop new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and sometimes calm as we rest to help others find their way to a more sustainable lifestyle. On our lifeboat, we are all committed to reducing the unnecessary waste of our natural resources.
When we first launched this lifeboat, we were young and life was fast-paced. Our wallets were thin and resources scarce. Already environmentally conscious and aware of the vast ramifications of our lifestyles’ impact on climate change, it was only natural that we took to resourceful alternatives. We turned to thrift store shopping for kids clothes; finding reusable containers for lunches and water; and shopping at local farmer’s markets for seasonal organic produce. In addition, we have recently incorporated natural healing methods by using essential oils, herbs and natural products to improve our overall wellness but also remain mindful of what is washed down into our local watersheds. Our ‘ah-ha’ moment of real sustainable success occurred when we were packing to move from California to Louisiana. While packing, we realized that we had the same box of ziplock bags from when we first moved into our apartment. It had taken us 6 years to use 1 box of ziplock bags! A true accomplishment.
Our family chooses to not conform to the technological obsessions, we spend little time inside and a majority of our day playing and learning in our community. We’re experiencing the great world around us. We eventually started asking our family for “experience gifts” rather than material gifts. By engaging in our community, we have enhanced our level of participation to one of education and to be stewards of change. Over the years we have participated in national park clean-up efforts. In fact, I’m writing this from a natural disaster relief camp where the eye of Hurricane Harvey touched down and wreaked havoc. I, Tara, am so honored to volunteer with All Hands Volunteers, an organization open to all who want to help in disaster relief. It’s purpose is to remove damaged and affected portions of homes and help with the rebuilding process. The human touch and experience is priceless and the rewards are endless.
United Nations’ Global Goals # 13 — Climate Action.
Climate change, though naturally occurring, has quickened and morphed by the excessive production to feed our societal norms of mass consumption. The commitments we pledge to follow basic rules … REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Each year, we learn more and more ways to live using only what we need. We’re honored to share our story here and hope to continue to reduce our negative impacts and educate others to do the same.
I encourage you to start your green-living journey today. With a pledge of commitment and practice, it is easy to start a life of sustainability. Just a few small steps will get you hooked!
Here are some easy ways to get started:
-Stock up on reusable bags for grocery shopping
-Keep washcloths in the kitchen in place of paper towels
-Transition to all-natural cleaning supplies from the harsh chemicals.
-Check out local non-profit organizations websites and calendars for opportunities to get engaged in your community.
How do (will) you combat climate change aboard your ship?