I often get asked what I do in my free time, and my answer is usually “meh.” I hate talking about what I do in my free time. I could be hiking the Incan trail for fun and if someone asked I’d be like, um, nothing really comes to mind. I am TERRIBLE at talking about what I do with my life, my day-to-day, everything in between. I’ve been trying to be better, and at least have some salient points picked out, elevator speech style, to fling at the nearest well meaning acquaintance who asks before I sprint in the opposite direction.
But I’m happy to talk about a new ‘thing’ occupying some of my free time: Sustain DuPage! It was founded by one of my closest friends, Andrew Van Gorp. He had a vision for teaching sustainability practices and community building in DuPage county, and one evening at his place he asked me to help him build a website. Sustain DuPage grew from there, with Andrew doing all of the heavy lifting. He recently received 501(c)(3) status for Sustain DuPage, and I was one of the people he asked to be a Board member.
Sustain DuPage is small but right on the cusp of exploding into something huge. We are spearheading a DuPage County-based environmental commission that brings together environmental commissions from municipalities all over DuPage County (even though it is not run by or affiliated with the county). We have teamed up with the Illinois Environmental Council, which does great work at a legislative level – they’re responsible for the excellent microbead ban in Illinois, that prevents, within the state of Illinois, the sale or manufacture of exfoliating cleansers with little plastic beads, which get into our water systems and ruin everything.
(If you’re mad about this because you want to exfoliate, I recommend getting a thing of powdered milk. Keep it in a wide mouth jar in your bathroom. Wet your face, and pat your wet fingertips in the dry milk, then massage it all over your face. You’ll have to apply 2-3 times, but dry milk will slough off skin cells and then moisturize the skin underneath. It’s great for your skin and doesn’t hurt the environment the way those gnarly little plastic beads do!)
Anyway, I’m very excited about Sustain DuPage, and very excited to be a board member. We’ve got some great things that we’ve already done, and great things in the work. From time to time, I’ll probably update about our activities. You’re welcome to check us out on the website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and we’d be honored and humbled by your donations, if you chose to make any (remember, 501(c)(3)!).