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Practical Environmentalist is a blog that tries to keep you updated with news and tips about the practical aspect of being green.
Kent and Lars post on the site. If you want to contact us or have a suggestion of something we should write about, leave a comment under any of the posts. We look forward to hearing from you!
Kent Swanson has a Masterâ€™s degree in Community and Regional Planning. He has worked as an Open Space Planner for a medium-sized city, as a landscaper, and as a gardener in a small botanical garden. He also helped a small municipal government in Honduras with environmental issues while a volunteer in the Peace Corps. Before that, he worked on river restoration projects in the Rio Laja watershed of central Mexico. He now works as a bilingual educator and as a freelance writer specializing in the environment.
He says about his experiences,
â€œDuring my work Iâ€™ve found that many environmental changes tend to follow the trends of politics. So, sometimes it feels like itâ€™s hard for citizens to make big impacts on the environment unless you become a full time advocate, an environmental lawyer, or a politician. However, while the failures and challenges of environmental work are often present, I have taken away some important lessons from my different experiences. I have learned the importance of environmental education, and of small scale community-based conservation projects to protect the environment. I feel that this is really where we as individuals can have the biggest impact on the environment, through small projects at home and within our communities.â€
Lars is the owner of Clean Air Gardening, an online retailer specializing in environmentally responsible lawn and garden supplies including organic fertilizers, compost bins, reel and electric mowers, rainwater collecting equipment and more. He has a relatively useless bachelor of arts degree in German from Baylor University, a quite useful master’s degree in international journalism from Baylor, and an extremely practical MBA from Colorado State University. His interest in the environment (and his unwillingness to spend a lot of money) led him to buy his first manual reel lawnmower in 1997. It worked so well that he ended up launching a business based on sustainable lawn and gardening supplies that he has run ever since. Lars lives in Dallas, Texas.
“I get really frustrated reading all the doom and gloom news stories about the environment. I don’t think for a second that the environment is a lost cause, or that we’ll end up destroying the planet that we live on. I truly believe that the future is bright, and that technology and human ingenuity will prevail, bringing us a world that is even better tomorrow than it is today. I think that given the opportunity and the choice, individuals want to protect the environment instead of destroying it. When we take small steps as individuals, they add up, and they DO make a difference. Don’t think that what you do doesn’t matter. It’s the millions of individual choices we make every day that make the world go around. Even if you made a bad choice yesterday, you can make a better one today. Do something positive. You’ll feel good about it, and it will make a difference. Together, we are a whole army of environmentalists.”