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Natural Awakenings - Alachua, Citrus, Marion, Sumter Co & The Villages, FL

Shannon Knight Co-Publisher

I totally identify with the saying, “I was green when it was just a color.” Although the inaugural official Earth Day launched when I was a tot, I first celebrated it with my college roommate Denise Kincer Carter in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in 1990 on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. That was the day my eco-journey began.


The intrepid roommates’ newfound mission to recycle was curtailed when we realized that recycling stations were rare. In youthful exuberance, we thought, “We’ll create a convenient recycling program for our whole city!” Once we understood the magnitude of the undertaking, we went with Plan B, loading up our folding shopping cart with cans, bottles and newspapers and taking public transportation to a distant recycling station. We also collected cans at parties, passionately explaining the mission to friends. We were determined to do what we could to help our planet, and I have remained steadfast in growing such eco-sensibilities.


Recycling is a part of everyday life for most of us now, but we can do much more. I love Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko’s article “Everyday Sustainability,” which shares experiences by pioneering individuals, with pointers on how we too, can achieve deeper shades of green.


Just as we have come to count on our hometown’s easy recycling program, we likewise rely on having access to clean water at the tap. This amenity was put to the test in our home recently when mechanical problems with the well made water levels iffy for two weeks. Thanks to neighbors’ kindness, we were able to borrow their untreated well water via a garden hose hooked up to our water line in order to flush toilets and shower. We purchased drinking water and ice. As trying as this episode seemed, it barely hints at what Flint, Michigan, families are coping with.


I’m also reminded of how a lack of clean water affects those living in a remote region of Guatemala served by, a nonprofit that builds wells and supplies water filters; I’m proud to serve on its board. Together, we are mourning the recent loss of Berta Cacares, of Honduras, allegedly murdered because of her opposition to a proposed dam set to destroy her indigenous community’s water supply. Linda Sechrist’s article “Troubled Waters” shows that the local water supply we take for granted is amazingly vulnerable, threatened by poisonous fracking and conventional agricultural interests, accelerating population and the unknowns of climate change.


Cathy and I are pleased to share such valuable articles with our community each month to help you make informed choices and decisions for yourself and the planet. Anticipating our May issue, we would love to hear how you’ve changed your eating habits for the better and the benefits you feel. Send a paragraph to [email protected] by April 10 with your first and last name and city. We look forward to hearing from you.


Be well in love and peace,

Shannon Knight, Co-Publisher

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