I´m a veterinarian, and I work as a criminologist in Brasil´s Federal Police. My job is on fighting against animal smuggling, which is rewarding in a way (I DO like putting in jail those animals. Not the poor creatures smuggled from the forest to those cages, but the animals that earn money doing that), and depressing in others (seeing how much people don´t care about animal suffering in first hand sometimes hurts).
I´m also a living biodetector of non-organic food (I´m allergic to one of the most used agrotoxics in my country, so I can tell if a vegetable is organic or not just by touching it) and of cigarette smoke (the same agrotoxic is used in cigars, as it makes cigarretes even more addictive). I´ve been through 4 anaphilatic shocks and one cardiac arrest because of those allergies (avoiding non organic food is easy, but avoiding smokers is very difficult, sometimes).
Those allergies made me make severe changes to my lifestyle. I used to be a happy urban person, living a few blocks away from where I work, in an old house(a hundred years old... ok, Europeans can laugh, but in Brasil that´s a historic house) with enough space for a small garden, with no car and needing only 15 minutes to be at work. A smoking neighboor made my allergies go spiralling downwards, and I was forced to trade my urban home for a rural one.
I´m still in the process of moving. With the money from selling the urban house I bought a small farm of half an acre, surrounded by two acres of primary forestland (which are now my responsability to care for, but they aren´t part of the property proper). From one point of view, I´ll live a greener life: I´ll be exposed to far less toxins, I´m installing windwills and solar photovoltaics, the water in the farm comes from a rain-catching cistern, I plan on producing most of my food.
From another... I´m now 35km away from my job site and away from any public transit, so I´m back with a car, and that negates most of the former greener choices. Except that in the farm I can breathe freely away from any smockers, and having air to breathe is priceless.
I love fairs, public gatherings, downtown, the more artistic neighborhoods and like, but right now I can´t go to any of those (lots of people = lots of smokers = Mariana in the hospital again), and that makes me cranky sometimes.
- I will actually use my reusable bags
- I will eat more meals at home
- I will make my home more energy-efficient
- I will read three environmentally themed books this year
- I will recycle my old electronics & not throw them away before I buy any new gadgets
- I will support my local and green businesses this year