Can you pinpoint a moment in time when you awoke to a new consciousness, something that would critically define who you are and set you on a path for the rest of your life?
That moment for me happened one Earth Day, April 22. I was hanging out with a friend, flipping through channels and we happened upon a star-studded TV special featuring Ted Danson, Whoopi Goldberg and Doogie Howser’s friend – the one who climbed into Doogie’s window every night as he was journaling on his clunky IBM.
The one clip I’ve found of that show called “Help Save Planet Earth” is the epitome of cheesiness, but the message was as powerful as any other I’ve seen since. When I learned about how cancerous toxins were leaching through landfill liners and migrating into ground water and soil, I was propelled into action.
The next day I began a home recycling program. To my mom’s chagrin, paper bags lined the basement wall of our tiny kitchen and began filling up with paper, plastics and aluminum. By the way, my mom (and dad) is now one of the most avid reusers/recyclers I know.
Years later, I’m still concerned about the carcinogens that end up in our water and food, so I try to stay healthy by eating organic whole foods. I still recycle, but am a greater advocate of the more effective methods of reducing and reusing.
And I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to translate my passion for environmental issues into a fun career. I work as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo), the non-profit building a five-to-nine offshore wind turbine project called Icebreaker. One of my responsibilities is to arrange speaking engagements, press conferences and other events that keep us connected with our public stakeholders.
When I found Climate Ride and learned that I could spend five September days riding my bike from New York City to Washington D.C., I was again propelled into action! I paid a registration fee at once, wrote a profile and applied for LEEDCo to be the beneficiary of my efforts.
Just as building the offshore wind industry in Lake Erie is a winner for local economics, energy diversity and Lake Erie’s environmental health, training for and participating in Climate Ride is a winner for LEEDCo’s outreach budget, my need for adventure and physical health!
This is the only clip I’ve ever been able to find of “Help Save Planet Earth.” Thanks to a Max Casella fan club for making it available!