A brief introduction to the site, its mission, and what Periodically Green means to me.
My personal journey with environmentalism likely started before I was even born. I grew up in a family where the phrase “waste not, want not” was a constant. Disposable plastic bags and straws were washed and reused until they were falling apart, the only cleaning supplies in the house were baking soda and vinegar, and every piece of meat I ate as a child was burnt to a crisp by my vegetarian mother. I’m even fairly certain that my parents have my baby clothes stored away somewhere in the hopes of eventual grandchildren from me or my brothers. From all of this, I was fortunate enough to learn from a young age to question the life cycle of the things around me and to be an intentional consumer.
When it comes to science, ever since I can remember I’ve been curious about the world around me. I spent my summers as a toddler catching bugs in the backyard, performing retrospectively cruel experiments to see how long I could keep them alive in captivity. I received a stethoscope as a birthday gift a few years later and would spend hours listening to how my heartbeat would change as I relaxed or ran around. I remember being fascinated by everything from rainbows to trains, seeing tadpoles grow into frogs, and how eggs went from slimy goo to solid little suns in a frying pan. I remember being that kid in school, spending every recess with my face shoved in a book. Fundamentally, I remember being struck, deeply, by how science could give me the answers to all of my questions and more.
So, what does Periodically Green even mean?
Periodically Green refers in many ways to my personal journey with environmentalism and my efforts to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Currently, I’m a broke student and that’s likely not going to change any time soon. Despite my best intentions, I can’t afford to do everything perfectly when it comes to the environment and often have to pick and choose which efforts I make. But if I’m being honest, I don’t want to do everything perfectly. I enjoy international travel, eating cheese, having a cell phone, and using toothpaste from a non-recyclable tube – all examples of technically unnecessary things that carry varying environmental impacts, but are important to me and the life I choose to live. On the other hand, I avoid plastic as much as I can, walk most places, only use baking soda and vinegar as cleaning supplies, and am now happily vegetarian myself. In other words, my lifestyle is periodically green.
In this, I know that I am not alone. Many people are restricted by money, busy schedules, personal preferences, and the million other factors that contribute to an individual’s environmental footprint. With this blog, I hope to empower others with the information to make these choices for themselves and reduce their impact in ways that are feasible and sustainable for them.
Besides representing my belief that the biggest impact will come from as many people as possible making the small changes that are realistic for them, Periodically Green takes inspiration from my background as a chemist-in-training and refers to the periodic table. In reality, the building blocks to our universe are messy and chaotic, but with the right tools they can be represented in ordered harmony and better understood. Science, environmentalism, and society are the same. At face value the intersectionality between these topics is overwhelming, but by examining one piece of the puzzle at a time we can come together to see the bigger picture.
I hope that you will join me on this journey.