My name is Sydney McDonald. Many of my friends call me Squid. I was born and raised in Iowa. Not a dinky town in the middle of a cornfield as most people think- but the small city of Des Moines- with a population of about 600,000. I had a very normal middle-class American childhood. In high school, I grew restless of the same place so I graduated a semester early and decided to travel. That year I went to Colorado, Las Vegas, Washington state, Yellowstone, San Francisco, Costa Rica, Wisconsin, and ended up in Hawaii for 6 months. While in Hawaii, I did a 6-week internship at a permaculture farm on the North Shore of Big Island. I learned how to grow food, propagate tree cuttings, cook for myself, and use plants as medicine. I also learned about conscious agriculture and the state of the current food system
I never grew up in a farm setting, so I never thought about where my food came from and once I did everything changed for me. I realized that the way modern society farms plants and animals is extremely destructive. The United States is using topsoil 10 times faster than it can be replenished. (1) We store animal feces in huge vats that run into our water supply. We spray our food with pesticides with ingredients linked to cancer. An example is roundup, which is now the most used pesticide in the world and was deemed by the World Health Organization as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” (2) These issues only scrape the surface of how unsustainable our food system is… but don’t worry we have plenty of time to delve into these issues!
I also realized that almost every single aspect of the life of a modern American was unsustainable. The amount we eat, the food we eat, how much we drive, the amount of trash we produce, the amount of electricity we use… As soon as I committed myself to a sustainable life I was overwhelmed by almost everything I saw people doing. I have seen beautiful national parks littered with cigarette butts. I have seen people throw things that are easily recyclable into the garbage where it will remain in a landfill for thousands of years. I have cried a lot…It’s hard not to feel like I can’t do anything large enough to save our planet before it’s too late. There is a quote by the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy I quite like, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” I care deeply about our planet and the people and animals who walk on it. I believe in things like world peace because the only way to save the planet is to put aside our differences and work towards our common goals. I want this blog to be my ripple of hope that reaches others… who will then make their own ripples… and hopefully one day all those ripples will build a collective force strong enough to save our planet.
I like to travel, eat healthy, garden, make videos, hoola-hoop, and read books. I like music, astronomy, music festivals, animals, spending time with family and friends, and of course the planet. I am 19, and I currently live in Hawaii. The words I live by are “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
I will be making educational and fun sustainable living and lifestyle content. I promise my content will always be free and well researched. I do not claim to have all the answers and I know there is great complexity in the topics I will discuss but I hope my content will help change the way you treat the planet in some way. Join my journey if you would like 🙂
1) “Soil, Science, and Society: We’re Running out of Dirt.” FEW Resources.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2017.
2) “Evaluation of Five Organophosphate Insecticides and Herbicides.” IARC. IARC, n.d. Web.