My daughter Laurel is about to celebrate her 20th birthday here in Colorado. She is our sustainability intern for the summer and I am pleased to introduce her to you to welcome her contribution.

“Hi everyone! I am very excited to begin my work here at Your True Nature. Although I have technically worked here before assembling Advice from a Tree seed packets and typing and shipping orders, now I have the skills to contribute in a broader sense. I have been passionate about sustainability for a long time. I grew up with these beliefs and when I started noticing other people being wasteful I realized my family’s sustainable practices weren’t among the norm. Recycling, buying organic, using cloth shopping bags and planting trees was something I had grown up with. Most people were simply unaware of how to live green and didn’t realize the negative effects their wastefulness was having on the world. In addition, the positive impacts from being “green” just weren’t well known.I have been studying environmental economics at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and love some of the projects I have done. The skills I learn enable me to estimate the positive and negative impacts of various environmental practices. For example, when comparing the Toyota Prius with the Toyota Matrix, I found that it takes less than four years to pay off the slightly more expensive Prius in saved gas costs. On a social level, in those four years, the difference in CO2 emitted between the two cars is equal to an additional benefit of $500. This is just an example of an environmental impact I can measure. In another project, I estimated the minimum value of Olympic National Park for overnight use by visitors originating in Washington in 2002 and 2003 to be $11,292,460.63. This kind of valuation is important in preserving natural areas.

I believe education is one of the most important aspects of sustainability. Once people are aware of the negative and positive impact they are and could be having on the earth, they are more likely to change. Also, I think it’s important to avoid being tied up with mainstream consumerism and the lifestyle it encourages. Just because something is convenient doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to do. The world is your backyard, so treat it with care. With each action you take, keep in mind how it will impact the earth.

I look forward to continuing the work I have started here at Your True Nature and hope to further educate and inspire people through the company’s green business practices and through the products we create.”

-Laurel Alyn-Forest

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