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We hear climate change is happening and many scientists have proven that to be true. I don’t want to leave this planet knowing that I could have done something to help, especially for my children and their children. My faith leads me to believe that you reap what you sow.  I want to leave behind my leadership rolls as an example for my children. 
I travel the East Coast often.  Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and more, I see an abundance of real estate development in areas that were once farmlands and beautiful forests. Now, those places are mud landscapes with apartment complexes, condos, cookie-cutter houses and distribution centers for corporations. Where tall trees and wildlife once habituated are now parking garages.
 
When I go on my excursions,  I see beautiful landscapes of pines and willows interrupted by a clearing where a developer has decided to grow their real estate empire. Meanwhile, the pollen and other allergens are getting worse by the moments.   I see many crumbling homes, abandoned garages, motels, and barns. I wonder to myself, “Why couldn’t the developer build here? The land is already cleared for housing. All they have to do is tear down the old buildings and put new ones in their place."  Yet, there's a new clearing only miles away.  "What is wrong with this location? If they just build here, they wouldn’t have to cut down all these trees. The same trees we need to breathe!”
 
My hometown used to be a quite large industrial town. Caterpillar, Harley Davidson, New York Wire Company and Purina resided here, just to name a few.  Since then, Caterpillar left and returned as smaller company,  New York Wire company moved out as well and Purina closed.  The old Purina building is still standing, barely.  In the meanwhile, crime has gone up immensely in this small town.  When I drive past that old Purina building, I remember seeing the masonry of the bricks and thinking about wanting to work in that building someday.  Now, the Earth is taking the building back that employed  many people and presented the historic architecture of its time. Why can’t a developer tear this building down, plant trees and make a small park?  Seeing the way that building has fallen apart and the state of disrepair can’t be good for tourism.
 
Did you know that planting and having trees in a neighborhood can reduce violence? According to Treepeople.org, “Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.”   Also stated,  when volunteers go into  unsettling neighborhoods, it gets the residents involved and they get to know each other better.  This too, can help a neighborhood where some may not feel wanted.

With all this being said, I’m sort of a hypocrite. I started a coaster engraving business and was using WOOEN coasters. They are beautiful but I was using the same material that I passionately want to save. My coasters were formed from the very thing that I want to to conserve and teach others to do as well.  I temporarily stopped my engraving business.

After reading the book,' Start Something That Matters' by Blake Mycoskie, I figured out how I could combine my love for trees and keep my coaster company.  Blake is the founder of TOMS.  The for-profit shoe company is thriving on the One for One practice. For every pair of shoes that is sold, TOMS gives a pair to a child in Argentina. Pretty cool, right?!  Buy a pair, donate a pair. I love this!  This is what I have been trying to asses for such a long time. I want a business that can help the world and make money to pay my bills. Not hard, right?

 

Here’s the epiphany…. I use re-purposed wood for my coasters. I use lumber that has been laying around in someone’s yard. Or bundles that I find at flea markets. I only use wood that has already served a purpose and I, then, give it new purpose. The coasters (and more)! Proceeds of purchases will go to an organization that plant trees. Or maybe I could start my organization locally! I could talk with the city and find out who owns these abandoned properties and maybe start changing things right here in our back yard.  I mean, I would be happy with organizing a demolition to build a new park or just to plant a few trees for a scenic atmosphere if it helps them increase the quality of life for people!!
 
I love timber in every form. From the seedling, to the tree, to the craftsmanship of making a coffee table or log home. I feel though, that if we’re going to use these resources, we have to replace these resources. Trees are ‘renewable’ after all!

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Hippie Girl's Story

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“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope”

Martin Luther King Jr.