This blog post was written by Taylor Murphy Senior at Purdue University.
In honor of Earth Day, I decided to write about how my life has changed in a matter of seven days. Yep, you read that right. And to think it was all ignited by the Conscious College Road Tour. Seven days ago I was your average senior undergraduate student wondering where the wind will take me once Purdue University hands me my diploma in precisely 24 days. I was living life exam by exam, living for the weekends of sunshine and hammocks, and quickly approaching the end of a very big chapter in my book called “life”.
First, let me tell you a little bit about me. I study Natural Resources and Environmental Science with a concentration in land resources and water quality. I love the earth, nature, trees, flowers, the sun, the mountains, the ocean and anything and everything in between. I am what you would call an environmentalist. I eat fresh organic food, shop local as much as possible, avoid packaged food, am a frequent customer at Purdue’s farmer’s market, minimize my showers to 5 minutes, and recycle. That’s not all, but I think you get the gist.
I also once wrote in my journal that my life changed in seven days, which was the week I was diagnosed with cancer. At a mere 19 years young, I was burdened with that horrible word no one wants to hear. I went through the recommended treatments, and am celebrating 2 years cancer free in May (yay!). I always wondered why someone who is otherwise healthy, could get that foreign disease in their body. My only thought was the environment, my every day surroundings. These are catalysts that are virtually out of my control. Ever since then I have wanted to change that, I have wanted to be able to provide people with the lifestyle option to avoid cancer. Basically, I am constantly wondering how can I make a positive change in the world and how can I, essentially, save the world.
This is where The Conscious College Road Tour comes in. My boyfriend, Patrick, invited me to come to a to Town Hall meeting directed by Turning Green. Of course, any sort of green talk sparks my interest, especially when it gives me an excuse to take a break from my hydrology homework and there was free Chipotle. There, I met Judi and Erin, as they enlightened me about how they founded Turning Green 10 years ago and walked us through their list of their very impressive accomplishments. The two mentioned that Turning Green originated from the rise of cancer rates in Marin County, CA, where they reside. As someone who studies environmental science, I wasn’t surprised by the numbers they presented nor the impacts chemicals have on the people and the planet, but what I was surprised about was THEIR impact on the environment and the people that surround us. I was so thrilled to see that two women took a dream and brought it to reality. Turning Green was once an idea discussed at the kitchen table. Now it’s discussed at kitchen tables internationally. These two women are living proof that it only takes a few people to change the world. I thought, that is me! Or at least, that it what I want to do. I want to have an impact. I’ve been spending all this time wondering how I can change the world and Turning Green is my opportunity. So, I expressed to Judi how inspired and proud I was of their hard work and enthusiasm. So inspired, that I wanted to be a part of their team. I wanted to help Turning Green impact others.
Seven days later, I am going to San Francisco this summer to work as a Fellow with Turning Green. So, for those of you who ever thought just one day can’t change your life, I am proof that it can – and it did! So, take those risks, go to the speakers your (boy)friend invites you to, you never know, it might be the day your life was forever changed.