'The Reluctant Environmentalist,' a blog about humanity helping the planet, debuts


Mariann S. Regan, Ph. D., professor of English at Fairfield University, never expected to turn green. But here she is, to put it in her words, "a bit green about living green," and blogging about it, too. Dr. Regan's new offering to the blogosphere, 'The Reluctant Environmentalist,' (http://blog.fairfield.edu/redtogreen) debuts this week, just in time for Earth Day, on the University's web site about Earth-friendly living, 'From Red to Green.'

Dr. Regan, who has been teaching at Fairfield for 40 years, said the blog will be a step-by-step tale of her belated good-will efforts to learn a greener lifestyle. "If I can start from scratch and learn how to do the right thing for the planet, so can anybody. My audience is everyone, not just experts or those 'in the field.' In this blog, I'll write down my stumbles and gaps as I move through the days. That may appeal even to readers who, like me, find environmentalism topics huge and scary sometimes."

The blog, a project facilitated by Web Communications and Computer and Network Services, hopes to provide the community with thoughtful discussion and information on the green movement in and around the University. Also included will be web sites and user-friendly blogs that Dr. Regan finds helpful.

In her first entry, Dr. Regan writes about the importance of steering clear of plastic bags. Millions of barrels of oil each year are used, she writes, to make 100 billion plastic bags in the United States alone. Most of those bags end up in landfills, where they never biodegrade - a dangerous impact on the environment. "Why talk first about plastic bags? Because they're simple and small and all around us, in our faces. They're an easy place to start - one true thing we can get a handle on. A first step."

The 'From Red to Green' site and blog have numerous links to organizations and companies trying to help the planet, the latest news on the environment, tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint, both locally and globally, and profiles of the University's environmentally conscious.

(It was Dina Franceschi, Ph. D., associate professor of economics and the University's environmental steering committee head, who asked Dr. Regan, an author and writer of fiction and non-fiction, to write a blog.)

Read the postings, comment if you wish, and be sure to visit the site for more on how faculty, staff and students are making the University community more aware of the importance of caring for the environment. As Dr. Regan emphasized, "Environmental action is something you really need a group to do. A blog might help people come together, inside and outside Fairfield University. We're all in this together."

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 22, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 252