Just about 10 years ago, I was brought to a dinner party by a good friend. By way of introduction, my friend announced that I was visiting from Vermont where I was in grad school. Someone said, “Grad school in Vermont? With all the hippies up there?” My friend replied, “Yep, she’s a Tree Hugger!”
I remember bristling at the time, both because I worried the crowd wouldn’t respond well to the Tree Hugger label, and also because I never really thought of myself that way. (Truth be told, I bristle at pretty much any label applied to people – labels are for food and packages. Not for humans.) But I realized later that being called a Tree Hugger was actually a critical moment for me. From that point on, I started to embrace my innate passion for nature, conservation, ecology, and protection of our natural resources.
When I was a little kid, I was outside as much as I could be, especially after we moved from my birthplace of New York to North Carolina (mountains!) and then later to Florida (beach and climbing oak trees!). I was one of those kids who always came home filthy and was sent straight to the bath. I used to run around the woods by our house barefoot, delighting in the feel of grass and earth between my toes. I played outside in the rain constantly and stared out the living room window whenever a thunderstorm put on a lightning show for, in my mind, my own viewing pleasure.
My parents brought me up with a keen sense of respect for and love of all that nature has to provide. As I grew up, one of the only clubs at school I joined and actually liked was the Ecology Club. We studied the weather and hosted coastal cleanups around the Tampa Bay area, where I made collecting trash on the beach into a competitive sport.
I suppose that deep down it just always made sense to me that we should be the guardians and stewards of our Mother Earth – that if we fail, we will ultimately become extinct, or at the very least, homeless.
The fact that so many of my fellow Earth-dwellers simply do not accept their responsibility as caretakers and stewards of the planet drives me absolutely nuts. With all the data and scientific tools we have today, we know – we KNOW – that we are:
Needless to say, I continue to be a passionate advocate for the work done by conservation and environmental education organizations around the country, but especially at home here in Florida. As Den Mother at Blue Fox, I proudly support a focus on service to nonprofits and social enterprises that operate in these arenas. From electronic recyclers to conservation organizations to environmental engineers, each of these Blue Fox clients play a critical role in safeguarding and protecting our natural resources. We are honored to serve them and help magnify their impact in a small but meaningful way.
If you’re considering making a charitable donation this holiday season, please: send some (or all!) of your dollars to a nonprofit that you trust to make an environmental impact. The global focus on environmental improvements since the first Earth Day in 1970 are impressive! We can accomplish big, great things when we put our political and financial will to work for a cause.
I am a Tree Hugger – there’s no denying it. Question is: are you?
Author: Founder & CEO, the Original Blue Fox, Chantal Sheehan, MS, CFP(r)
Company Info: Our team at Blue Fox provides customized, boutique financial and back office services for social impact organizations. Services range from standard bookkeeping and payroll services, to coaching and consulting, to full-blown virtual CFO services. Our mission is to disrupt the traditional accounting model through technology, innovation, and a radically client-focused approach that truly empowers nonprofits and social enterprises. For more information call (321) 233-3311, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.YourBlueFox.com.
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