They showed us films of landfills and gave us lessons on reduce, reuse, recycle for Earth Day. I was 8 and came home from school insisting that we recycle. It didn't happen and I was pretty sure my parents hated the earth.
A year later each student was given a tree to take home and plant for Arbor Day. Mine died under the care of a neglectful bishop while we were out of town. It was a Maple tree.
After we moved to the Chicago area, I joined the elementary school's recycling club. We just gathered up the paper from each classroom's recycling boxes, but I felt like I was doing something, even though I was basically providing the school with free custodial labor.
After that, I didn't do much. The environment wasn't really on my radar. Yes, in Provo, I gathered our recycling and drove it to the recycling drop-off. We slowly incorporated other less footprint-ridden practices like No 'Poo, cloth diapering and EC, family cloth, and our CSA box.
I read the new book Hope Beneath Our Feet, full of essays from various environmentalist writers. I loved the essays about the small things we can do and was inspired about the big things that people have done. Then, fellow blogger, The Organic Sister started her new Sustainable Baby Steps site. Another friend showed me this link about Berkeley's EcoHouse. Meanwhile, my gospel study kept bringing me back to the earth and caring for it.
The Universe has been telling me something. And I've caught caught the bug. I've been actively choosing non-meat meal options more often. Our family milk consumption has gone from a quart a week to about a cup a week (it used to be 3 gallons a week before we had kids!) I'm walking more. I've stopped the junk mail. In my Being the Change post, I mentioned growing a tree from a seed because that's been on my mind. There are a couple of organizations out here that I'd like to investigate as possibilities for environmental volunteerism. Yay for living near Berkeley!