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Twenty years ago, I set out as a young and energetic Greenpeace canvasser trying to raise awareness of environmental issues. My enthusiasm -- along with my idealism -- was quickly put to the test. Behind most of the doors that I knocked on were people who confronted me with remarks like, "The sky looks fine to me," or the more blunt, "I don't care. Now take a hike." What kept me going was the support I found when I arrived on the doorstep of a true believer. It didn't happen often, but it happened enough so that I didn't give up. Often these were people who lived in homes filled with homemade art, pets, and kids. They were aware of the issues I was bringing to the table, and what followed were engaging discussions and a cash or check donation. Thankfully, we've come a long way since those early days. Now I hear many voices around my neighborhood, my state, and my country rising to say that they do care. And it's most evident in the decisions we all make every day as consumers. Reusable bags over paper or plastic, homemade over fast food, reducing the amount of packaging involved in the products we buy, and doing everything we can to keep toxic chemicals out of our homes. We're voting in a positive way, all the time, with our wallets. Every meal we make and every dollar spent is a vote for or against what we believe in, and it's empowering to see it making a difference. photos: Randen Pederson and: nosha


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Middings used to work at Seventh Generation.