If you haven’t heard about our “Green Spotted Volunteer Program” yet, let us fill you in! We have over 200 volunteers from 75+ municipalities all over Canada and beyond. Each month we feature one of our volunteers on the blog for further #greenspiration!
Our GREEN SPOTTED VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH for June is…
Ashley Herzog from Wisconsin, USA!
Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you unique?
I’m a 24 year young-in who grew up in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. My partner and I just moved into a vintage RV this month to try something new to aid us on our lifestyle as wanderers. I live a plant based, chemical free lifestyle, and I make most of my own health products. I study Permaculture and other low maintenance, low impact ways to grow food and exist on the earth.
My partner and I are currently working on an organic farm to learn how to grow nourishing and safe food. In my free time I photograph nature, write poetry and novels, write music, make YouTube videos, hike, and work on my inner self. Once the farming season ends, we plan on taking our RV to a warmer place for the winter. It is common for us to come and go to different places; I love the thrill of uncertainty and trying new things.
What specific Random Act(s) of Green have you completed this month?
Since moving into the RV, I’ve been able to have a much greener lifestyle than I did living in a house.
Waste: I buy my dried food in bulk, like grains, beans, and nuts. I compost all my food scraps. I eat a plant based diet, so everything that is waste gets put into a pile in the forest that decomposes into food for the trees. In the past month, we’ve only collected a small bucket of garbage that gets taken away, and recycled very little since we don’t buy processed food. As for the toilet, the forest is our bathroom and we compost our “other” waste in a secluded pile in a deep hole.
Water: Thankfully, we have a storage tank in our RV that we fill up once a week. We use 30 gallons a week for dishes, bodily care, and showering. Washing my hair once a week has made it feel healthier, and my skin isn’t so dry anymore from over washing it. We have a dry toilet, so we don’t use water for waste.
Energy: There are a few lights in the RV that we use every night. If we want to work on our laptops, we go to the local coffee shop for internet and a cool off from the hot weather. The breeze keeps it cool inside the RV, and if it’s still too hot then we spend the day outdoors. There is a propane stove top that we use for cooking, and so far we’ve only gone through an 8th of the tank, taking around 5-8 months to use a full tank.
Transportation: We live on the farm we work at, so we don’t go out much. A few days out of the week we to a coffee shop, and on Thursdays we play music at an open mic in town. I don’t own a vehicle and my partner’s car is eco friendly. He’s filled up only twice this month, when before it was once a week.
Food: We eat a plant based diet, and try our best to eat what’s in season. Since we live on an organic farm, we know exactly how our food was grown. If we can’t get it on the farm, food comes from other local sources before we go to the grocery store.
Outdoors: Most of my day is spent outdoors. When I’m not planting vegetables under the warm sun, I’m out pursuing the woods behind the RV for interesting plants to photograph. I get lost in another world the deeper in the forest I go, and it’s something that puts me in a deep meditation and feeds my soul.
Purchasing: Since our sink water goes straight into the ground, we use biodegradable products like Seventh Generation and Calia hair products. There are no chemicals in the RV which makes my life cleaner, and the Earth happier.
Why do you want to protect our environment? Why is it important to you?
Protecting the environment has been important to me all my life. We have one Earth to live on in this lifetime, so we should take care of ourselves and our home! It’s my duty to do this in every way I can. If I’m conscious of being eco friendly, I must practice being eco friendly. If we take care of the Earth now, then generations in the future will get to enjoy her too. There is beauty in nature, and that beauty is within us. I must honor it.
What challenges do you face in “going green”? How do you overcome them? What is your advice for other people embarking on a green journey?
Some challenges I have had going green is trying to do it all at once. It is a practice, something to get good at over time. We were all trained to do otherwise, and it can be weird to your friends and family making radical changes for the Earth and your health. To face this challenge, I just go for it. I know in my soul that what I’m doing is right and I have to honor it. I let go of my ego, and follow my heart all the way.
Don’t let people’s beliefs and negative comments stop you.
We all want to be accepted and loved by others, and we always are, even when making big life changes. Be the change you wish to see in the world, take those baby steps every day and there will be a mindset shift not only in yourself, but in those around you. You will inspire others because deep down they care about our existence here too.
We’re so inspired by you, Ashley! Thank you for sharing your #green journey with us!