"I am just one person, but if I write this blog and other people read it and they share it and other people read it and open that conversation, I don't have to do it all. Anything, everything that changes makes a difference." - Christy Myers lives in St. Paul and is pictured here with her grandsons who inspired her blog. Photo courtesy of Christy Myers.
by Kathy Magnuson
On Jan. 1, 2014, Christy Myers posted this on her new blog :
"Can one person make a difference? I've decided to bite off a big chunk for this year's New Year's resolution - doing my part to save our world by writing a daily blog (with a requisite daily action) on one woman's (me) attempt to reduce our carbon imprint and I NEED YOUR HELP!"
What prompted this bold action was seeing a graph showing the per-capita carbon footprint of various countries at a community event. The line for the United States was far across the poster. The next country's was much farther back, and some countries hardly showed up at all.
While such a problem can seem overwhelming and impossible for organizations to tackle, much less one person, Myers took up the challenge. She felt that as a culture we had lost the emphasis on personal actions.
"I had that seed that people can make a difference," she said. "People are a real big part of the problem, not just big corporations. Corporations are manufacturing items to be sold to individuals, but ultimately, it is the individual consumption that creates this carbon problem.
"I have never thought of myself as a 'world-is-coming-to-an-end' kind of person. But in many ways it is possible," she said. "We have already gone over the tipping point, but there is a chance of keeping it from being too bad if we tilt it back. If we don't, it could be really horrible."
Myers is aware that her 3-and-a-half-year-old twin grandsons will experience the consequences more than she will. She sees such significant climate changes that she "just needed to start doing something now." That something that she could do was to write a blog.
Myers' blog has ideas for practical actions about plastic bags, homemade gifts and getting rid of junk mail. One post is about fighting climate change with micro-lending; another includes a link to an interactive map on climate change from the Environmental Protection Agency.
"The key thing to understand is that we all have to change the way we do things. And we need community action to get government and corporations to change," she said.
"I hope that by baring my soul to the world every day for a year that I will make some concrete changes in my life. It's equally as important and wonderful if a lot of people are engaged in this conversation on the blog so that I know it has had additional impact," Myers said. "I am hoping to magnify my one-ness."