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Elgin’s Green Expo was a success in my eyes because I learned something. I learned how many people are passionate about sustainability — from cleaning up garbage on our rivers to environmental education to eating nutritious foods.

Sustainability is ultimately about the wise use of resources in our daily lives. Simple awareness can help. For instance, choosing reusable, non-Styrofoam containers for  the water and food we consume; consolidating errands/shopping trips; walking instead of driving when possible; choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables; picking up after yourself; not purchasing materials that you don’t really need; following the rules when disposing of out-of-date drugs/medicines or electronics. All it takes is self-awareness and in some ways, the tight economy helps.  We simply can’t spend the way we have in the past – not in our government or in our personal lives.

Instead of looking at this in a negative light, we can be thankful for the wake-up call. It is NOT TOO LATE. Parents, set a good example for your children. Bosses, set a good example for your employees.  We can make changes that will make a difference.

For an inspirational story, look to Chad Pegracke who, since the age of 17, has been making a huge difference:

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