B.Sc. Environmental Science
M.A. Environmental Education & Communication
that if we feel good on the inside, we need less from the outside to soothe ourselves. I’ve come to realize that the biggest environmental problems facing our world are not based on the fact that we have too many people or not enough resources. Climate change, environmental degradation, and plastic pollution are a product of an unconscious society (generally speaking).
For too long, people have been thinking that to be sustainable, they need to sacrifice, miss out, and give up their lifestyle.
I am here to say that this is inaccurate in so many ways.
In fact, the truth is, that once you decide to pick up a sustainable lifestyle, you find yourself feeling more rich and fulfilled than ever before. And it’s not because cleaning beaches or BYOB (bring your own bags) makes you feel that much better, it’s because you begin finding and using tools that work for you. Exercises, habits and rituals that stoke your fire on the inside so you look less to the outside world for validation, love, approval and fitting in.
When you work with me, we begin learning your truth, who you came to be in this world and how to live feeling empowered, to just be you.
When we feel OK to just be ourselves, we need less stuff to make us feel better or fit in.
When I learned it’s OK to just be me, I experienced a deep exhale over many months and I began to see that I was naturally living my sustainability values without even trying. Because I was happy with me (generally speaking…there’s always a little work to do, otherwise life would be boring if we figured it all out right away!) I needed less of everything to feel good. I ate less and better for my body, I shopped less to fill my void, I had healthier relationships because I wasn’t crying my same sad story over and over, and I moved through the world mindfully and with intention.
Suddenly living a sustainable lifestyle that matched my values for a healthy planet and people, was so much more easy to do!
Why hadn’t anyone taught me this in school?! Why is sustainability all about the 3R’s, buying organic and cleaning beaches? Instead, at its core, it needs to be about self care, self worth and self love.
This is why I created the Sustainability Theorem, comprised of the elements: Consciousness, Connection, Consumption & Communication, turning sustainability from idea to action that starts at the source, within ourselves. We need to relieve our own personal pains to be able to care for others and the planet, the way they deserve. We all deserve health and happiness, not once a year on Earth Day or the holidays, but always.
how i got here
I grew up sheltered, smack dab in the middle of North America, where the fields and sky go on forever and the joke is, you can see your dog run away for days.
I headed straight for the west coast and a little town called Whistler, British Columbia after high school. That is where my bubble was burst about the ways of the world.
While sitting in the afternoon sun, my boyfriend told me that the way we are living is killing the nature we love.
This one conversation changed the course of my life forever.
Ever since that warm and breezy August afternoon in 1994, I have been on a mission to make a better life for People and Planet.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is something we have to learn to do, in our lifetimes.
We are the last generation that has the opportunity to make the necessary changes to avoid catastrophic disasters that can end life on this planet as we know it. But we’re also SO lucky to be the history makers that steer us clear of such a story.
I spent the next few years figuring out how I could help with the planetary situation of environmental degradation and society losing it’s way from a healthy and happy existence. I was in the second graduating class of a new college program, Integrated Environmental Planning Technology 2000, I was on the edge of a new wave of environmentalism. Then I was again the second graduating class, this time for my B.Sc. in Environmental Science in 2002.
Environmental work back then mostly revolved around soil, water, flora/fauna or air sampling, report writing and basically monitoring industry activities on the environment they impacted. We weren’t really changing anything, but it was a good start.
So I got a job in Alberta, Canada remediating and reclaiming oil and gas wellsites. When I started I didn’t know the difference between the two, when I finished four years later, I knew too much. I decided I didn’t want to clean up messes while we continued to make them.
I directed my efforts towards sustainability, and enrolled myself in, you guessed it, the third graduating class of a budding new sustainability program, finishing up my thesis for my M.A. in Environmental Education and Communication, graduating in 2008.
Throughout my academic and professional career I was gaining stronger environmental and sustainability values, but struggled with self worth.
The result was a person who cared about the planet but didn’t act like she did.
I was consuming so much from the outside: food, clothes, trips, unhealthy relationships, etc. to feel good on the inside.
I finally hit my rock bottom, smoking cigarettes (??? I had quit years ago!) in the cold winter, crying skywards for help to any power that would listen. At this point, I had no spiritual practice or connection to life force energy, beyond epic ski days or times spent in nature.
I knew something had to change, so I began to read self help books and actually practice the exercises they recommended (what a concept!).
I began meditating and that’s when everything changed.
I gained an inner confidence, knowing I wasn’t alone in the world and I began to feel supported. Meditation was the beginning of my journey looking inwards, learning who I was and beginning to love myself for exactly who I was. Today, after many years of seeking clarity in various spiritual modalities, not based on any one religion or god, I’ve come to learn that we are all love, loved and loving and we all deserve to live authentically.
In fact, the world absolutely needs us to be living our true authentic selves! This is so important because, with the very many challenges we face today, we need a wide variety of solutions, that can only come from a diversity of thinkers. By being who you are, not what society thinks you should be, you’ll be helping solve our environmental problems on an individual scale that ripples out to others, and in a larger way, if you share your ideas and solutions with the world.
Ultimately, the decision to save the environment must come from the human heart. The key point is a call for a genuine sense of universal responsibility that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness.
the Dalai Lama
All that I’ve learned over the years about the environment and my personal well being has brought me to a place of fulfillment and faith. It’s because of my personal care and well being that I have optimistic faith that brings joy to my life about our planet and the future we can create together, that’s healthy, whole and reclaimed for future generations to enjoy.
We must maintain faith. We must become more conscious, get more connected and watch how our consumption changes as a result. If we do this, then we are living a sustainable lifestyle that supports a healthy planet for others to enjoy life!