Thu first found her passion for environmental sustainability when working at a family-owned-and-operated Farmer’s Cooperative in New Orleans. She’s been dedicated to reducing her carbon footprint ever since.
In addition to recycling, composting, and gardening, Thu is a full-time doctoral candidate studying Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She even makes her own all natural teas and tinctures, which she offers to the community through a collective apothecary and healing studio: Trans’ Formations. In her own words:
“My commitment to environmental justice is rooted in both the spirit of pride and humility, knowing that I can continue to expand my impact while inspiring others to do their part too.”
Westerly, Rhode Island
From reusing lawn clippings to hand-making static cling balls for the dryer, Daniel and his partner run a sustainable household, top to bottom. When they moved from New York City to suburban Rhode Island, they made sustainability a huge priority — they even bought a compost system before a grill.
Owning a car is a necessity for Daniel, and he goes the extra mile to reduce the carbon footprint that comes with car ownership by “buying biodegradable car soap, rinsing off the car on our gravel driveway rather than letting the soap go right into the street, and using cleaning cloths with natural fibers.”
These days, Daniel’s known around his friends as a go-to resource for composting and gardening advice. He’s already planning his next sustainable addition to his home: a native plant garden, complete with a rain collecting system.
Demetria has been making small decisions to reduce her carbon footprint for nearly 40 years. She started small: taking shorter showers. Over the years, her contributions have added up.
Today, every aspect of Demetria’s household is a little bit greener, thanks to her commitment to sustainability — using canvas bags instead of plastic, washing the laundry in cold water, lighting the house with LED bulbs, and switching to paperless banking. In her own words:
“This has been an adventure for me because of all the changes to endure with going green. It has made a tremendous impact on my life. Not everyone has the same thoughts of the future of America, but one by one we can make a statement about what we believe in.”
Aberdeen, South Dakota
“I started going toward a “greener” life after attending a music festival in Northern California. I saw a gentleman dressed in all of the plastic grocery bags he received in a year’s span. After that I decided to cut those out of my life,” says Terry.
In addition to the small choices Terry makes to live a greener life (buying food from the bulk bins, avoiding plastic water bottles), Terry is an advocate for the environment in his community. Terry works as a buyer for a natural food cooperative, where he purchases 95% organic food and has led a transition from styrofoam and plastic to compostable and reusable containers and utensils.
Whenever Sara has the chance, she takes environmental sustainability into her own hands. In her own words:
“Instead of creating trash, we look to repurpose anything that is no longer working or useful. Our couch was worn out and the material was disintegrating. Rather than throwing it out and filling up a landfill, my husband and I took out all of the filling and made new pillows and built the base out of wood.”
Glen is one of Ottawa’s biggest advocates for sustainable driving options. He’s even shared his green driving experience in front of Parliament, where he was invited to speak by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. On his beloved Chevy Volt, Sparky II:
“Almost every Lyft rider has a question on the car, such as: ‘where do you charge it?’, ‘how to you charge it?’, ‘how far can you go on a charge?’, etc…. It’s been six years of eco-passion that keeps the answers coming.”
Thank you to everyone who shared their story. If you weren't selected this time, keep an eye out for our next contest — to be announced in June or July.