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My story

I was born and raised in Transylvania, Romania, and came to Germany when I was almost 8.
My parents lived in this tiny German community where no Romanian was spoken and where everybody knew everybody.

And, there was no running water. Consequently, no toilet or shower or dishwasher or washing machine!
Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it?
But that was our normality - I didn't know any other.
Growing up there was actually very healthy since there was no processed food other than what my dad brought home from trips to Bucharest or what relatives brought from Germany when they came to visit.
We had not many toys and played outside a lot, using our imagination.
We were basically self-sufficient.
I grew up as a vegetarian. Not that that was something normal - I think I was and will be the only one ever. Seeing how animals that I grew to love got killed just so we could eat them just didn't seem right to me, even as a little girl. Of course nobody understood as that was the obvious thing to do, and my parents made me eat meat every once in a while. As soon as I was able to make my own choices and stick to them I banned meat from my diet.

Moving to Germany changed our lives in many ways. The western world had a lot to offer, and not everything was good.

It certainly was a good thing to get away from (back then) communist Romania, but all the temptations in the new world weren't necessarily good: consumption, worse eating habits and general overload with media and activities started and, in retrospect, turned my life around.
I kind of lost my understanding for nature, things like knowing what veggies and fruits are in season and became a typical western teenager who just doesn't care much about environmental and health issues.

When I was in my mid twenties, I came to the States as a marketing intern during my time at a German University program. Good thing I came - first night I went out in Manhattan, I met Erik, my husband and father of our two sons - but that's another story.
As an adult I got very involved in environmental issues and coming from Europe I felt like I was always on the greener side anyway, compared to most people in this country (no offense :-).
Back in Germany, I never owned a car. Public transportation is great over there and everybody owns and uses a bike on a regular basis.
Supermarkets don't give you bags for free, even 10 years ago people had to pay for them, which made most of us just bring our own bags.
I was shocked when I discovered how not caring this country seemed to be when I first came:
the cafeteria in my company's building served everything on plastic or styrofoam plates, the air conditioner was running way too cold (everywhere, from the train to movie theaters to supermarkets, man, was I freezing in the middle of summer!)
Everything just seemed to be so wasteful to me.

Erik and I got into it more and more, trying to change our lifestyle to the better and trying to educate people about it (without being too much into someone's face. What a challenge, still!)
Then we started to buy organic food. After that we cut out processed foods more and more, changed our diets because our first son has some food sensitivities. Now we try to buy as many products as possible that are locally grown, and we are members of a local food co-op.

We are very passionate about the environment. We try our best to live a green life and keep our ecological footprint to a minimum. And we stay open-minded. Every day we learn something new.
I hope with this blog I can pass along some of our ideas how we all work together to preserve this planet.