"Life will only change when you are more committed to your dreams than to your comfort zone."
y journey unfolded after four bags of trash in one day. One day. We didn't host a party nor did we clean out the garage. I didn't have a garage! Back then I was living in a 1,200 sq ft apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey with my husband and two young kids. There were boxes, wrappers, old mail, food scraps, diapers, bottles, and a sea of plastic containers. It was appalling. Finally, something in me snapped.
I was working in broadcast news, juggling the demands of a career, home, and raising two children. Parents like myself are regularly lured into the economy of disposable items in exchange for comfort and convenience; a practice that will doom anyone's quest for a greener lifestyle. I spent the weeks after searching for feasible ways to help us reduce our environmental impact while keeping our sanity. This journey led me to dig deeper into other lost aspects of child-rearing. I began encouraging old-fashioned pleasures such as playing in the soil, riding bicycles, and tree-climbing. I shared my concerns with a small circle of friends that soon turned into a large group of parents. I read Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein's book The Dirt Cure and Richard Louv's The Last Child in the Woods and felt like these were the stories that the media needed to highlight.
I was convinced that if I were to continue my career in broadcast news, I would focus on shedding light on issues that parents, teachers, and others around me had genuine concerns about; issues that would take me back to my roots.
I grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico — a city with favorable weather year-round and where fresh fruit is the norm for a midday snack. My father, a Boston native, migrated to Mexico in the '80s where he met my mother, launched his career, and eventually settled down to raise a family. My childhood summers were spent in the United States and included non-lavish outdoor camps in New Mexico and playing around my grandparents' farm in Purcell, Oklahoma. My grandfather, Edwin Kessler III, was a recognized atmospheric scientist that spent his entire career advocating for sustainable practices. His spirit of hope, generosity, and pragmatism is something I must have inherited.
Upon earning my bachelor's degree in Communications in 2008, I made my way to the Big Apple where I worked in broadcast news up until the end of 2018. While a successful and fulfilling career, a need for change had been brewing inside me for a while. The undeniable need for environmental consciousness slowly began to take me onto an unbeaten path. I am now pursuing my M.S degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois.
Where this road leads to is yet to be seen. For now, the road is called Simple Green Parenting.