2006 was a life-changing year for me. At the time, I had my own successful special event planning business. I also turned 40 that year, and on my birthday, the guy I had been dating for 3½ years got a job offer. In London. But before he left (and we broke up), we saw An Inconvenient Truth, the Oscar-winning movie about global climate change featuring Al Gore
I was so alarmed by what I learned in that movie that when it concluded, I stood up from my chair and said, “I want to DO something!” As luck would have it, on my way out of the theatre, I was approached by a representative from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a leader in the climate fight in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She asked, “Do you want to help fight climate change?” and I responded, “Absolutely!” I signed up for their email list and began a journey to learn more about our impact on the planet.
I started to look at every single action I took in my home and home office. Then I started looking at the impact special events had on the environment. I decided that I wanted to make any event I produced as sustainable as possible and started researching eco-friendly alternatives and joined networking groups to meet other green business owners.
I began speaking to event professionals around the world about how to green their events and became the person my friends turned to when they had a question about recycling or anything having to do with the environment. My colleagues called me the “Green Queen” and the “Green Goddess”.
About 4 years after I saw the movie, I met John on GreenSingles.com (yes, there is such a dating site!). He was a cute and witty widower with 2 young sons. I had never been married. We fell in love and eventually I moved in with him and the boys and brought my rescue dog and 2 cats with me.
I became an insta-mom and realized first-hand what I had always suspected: being a parent is exhausting! My 10 to 12-hour workdays were not conducive to my new life. Suddenly, I was grocery shopping for 4 instead of 1. The amount of laundry I had quadrupled and preparing meals and doing dishes took double the amount of time. It was overwhelming.
I always knew I wouldn’t stay an event producer for the rest of my life. It’s grueling work. Plus, I really enjoyed speaking to people about living and working more sustainably. I decided to turn in my clipboard and retire from the event business after 16 years. 8 months later, I launched Sister Eden. 6 months after that, John and I got married.
Living (and working) green can seem overwhelming, especially when we think we don’t have time to do it. That’s why I make a point to ensure my tips don’t require a lot of extra time because I get it. Our lives are busy. Nutty busy. Overscheduled in fact. So my videos are short, my articles brief, and my e-updates succinct so that you can grab a tip and get on with your day.
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Thanks. And remember, take care of yourself, take care of the planet.