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Side view of pregnant woman ocean views

I don't drive an SUV. I turn off the lights when I leave a room. I pay attention to environmental issues. In elections, I vote for incentives that protect our planet. I buy environmentally sound products. And, I'm a vegetarian. Therefore, I am environmentally conscious, right? Wrong.

I am a gas-guzzling, non-recycling, energy-wasting hog who values convenience and easy living over the effort it sometimes takes to do the right thing for the environment. This look in the green mirror started when I found out I was pregnant. I began to examine my beliefs and practices closely, and realized that while I was preaching to others about the need to reduce our carbon footprint, I was still driving everywhere, forgetting to sort my used plastics, and keeping the heat at 72 degrees day and night. How, I asked myself, could I perpetuate behavior that is hurting the world my new child will inhabit?

If I take great pains to ensure my body offers the healthiest environment possible for my baby, shouldn't I do the same thing for the environment she or he will be born into? In that case, why do I reach for bottled water when the tap and a reusable container are nearby? Why do I use a disposable mop when the old fashioned kind works just as well? Because it's easy. Being pregnant has taken me far outside my comfort zone. It's a whole new world, one that I want to make sure is safe for my child. I know it won't always be easy to "go greener," but I'm willing to give it a try.