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I took the title of this post from a comment on our Facebook page. It’s an interesting question. Those of us who have stepped off the path of mainstream culture find that even minor changes, like switching to recycled toilet paper, can remove toxic chemicals from our environment and lessen our ecological footprint. It always amazes me how just a few simple actions can eliminate so many health hazards from our families' lives.
So why don’t more people change their behavior? I don’t know -- maybe they want to do what their parents did; maybe they’re just used to the way things are. To address the title of this post: once you take your first few steps down a new path, it's nice to share that journey with the others you meet along the way.
Whether it’s in the grocery store (someone once told me they wouldn’t shop the organic aisle because “only the weirdos” went there) or the farmer’s market (Bill McKibben tells us the average visitor to a farmers’ market has 10 times more conversations per visit than the average visitor to a supermarket), the people you meet when you are trying to make a difference in the world become helpers in your decisions and reaffirm them. You make new friends when you take a new path.
We all make green choices for different reasons -- health, environment, a new baby, locavore, animal rights -- but we're all heading in the same direction together. Any one of us could recite the litany of environmental crimes that led to our world's current state, but the paths that lead us somewhere new are being created all around us, by us. No one has all the answers, but all of us have some. They come from the kinds of conversations we had hoped to see when we created our Forums and Blogs. It’s our privilege to host these, joining in when we can share our part in this journey, and bringing together so many like-minded people -- over 40,000 in the four months since we launched our new website.
Register, ask a question, take us to task on something we do, celebrate our successes with us, or simply talk with a neighbor who might live 1,000 miles away from you, but shares your values nonetheless. Join the conversation; it’s a great first step.