Justin O. Milligan, from Santa Rosa, CA, shares his story of overcoming shame with the courage to change his lifestyle as our 3rd submitter to our Care, Dare, Act Aware story collection! "Back in 2005, when I drove my car all I could think of was that my travel came at the terrible cost of destroying our planet. During that time I was miserable about it. My job required me to drive. I was making money, but felt I was destroying the Earth to do so.
In 2006 I met my future wife in San Francisco at a birthday party. Of course, I had to drive there. Though my passion for my future wife extinguished my shame for a while, before long that driving angst returned. I had to take action.
Today, I have reduced my footprint! I rarely drive, do not own a car, have an Undriver License (Undriving.org), take public transportation (busses, trains, taxis, Zipcars, car rentals, etc.), shop locally, travel by bike (I think I am called what is in the common jargon, a Townie), buy organic, share my thoughts of conscious living whenever appropriate, write to my representatives demanding environmental action, reuse plastic bags, use reusable shopping bags, pay for my carbon output (carbonfund.org), and more! I no longer live in shame.
Without a doubt, I would not have attained my momentum without my wife's influence. I remember when Maria suggested we pay for our carbon output resulting from our wedding in the redwoods. I think I groaned, then made a face, and then said something like, "how can we afford that?!" Turns out that it is not such a burden. Taking action to better our environment, to reduce pollution and to think of ways to live better not only makes me feel good about myself, but it is good. We can make a better world by doing our part not matter how small." Very inspiring Justin, thanks for sharing and inspiring others! https://www.facebook.com/justin.o.milligan