In January, Pennsylvania resident Karla Trotman spent a day in her home with our very own Annie Leonard for a taping of ABC daytime show The Revolution. A wife, mother and entrepreneur, she started her own online boutique, BellyButtonBoutique.com, in 2008 while on maternity leave. Here’s a note from Karla about her experience:
Thank you so much for the information that you found on my community. To be honest, I really never thought much about my trash. As a minimalist, I try to get rid of any and everything that is lying around. My first instinct is to just toss it. I’ve never been a “green” person. I love to shop and collect shoes like artwork. When people talk about the environment, quite honestly, my ears would turn off.
But as you know, I have two little boys, both of whom like to play outside. My 5-year old has asthma and coughs on a daily basis, more so after playing outdoors. After learning that our trash gets incinerated and basically blows right back over our home, all I could think about was how he now struggles to get oxygen into his lungs as it is. The information made me sick, sad, frustrated, and ultimately mad.
So much so that I have already started to make changes. My first goal is to reduce the amount of waste that my family produces by utilizing the products that you gave to me. I have already started using my reusable shopping bags because, as you pointed out, they cannot be recycled and will go to that incinerator. My family’s video on The Revolution showed how many paper towels my family goes through in a given week. Instead of being so wasteful, we have implemented bar mops for counter top spills and the regular mop for floor spills. We are also done with single servings for snacks and beverages.
When I shop, I pay attention to the little recycling number at the bottom if I must buy a plastic container of something. I now look for glass containers first, and then the numbers 1 or 2 as you taught me.
I loved the idea of a community shed for my neighbors to share equipment and supplies and have already mentioned it in an email to everyone. A couple of people seemed to be really excited about enhancing the definition of “community” with this approach. I would love for this idea to grow to surrounding communities as well.
And last but not least, I’m not quite ready for compost worms, but give me a little while and I may warm up to it!
I really enjoyed meeting you and definitely plan on staying in contact. Thanks again for the amazing information. You have changed my life.
Clip from Annie and Karla’s Episode on The Revolution: