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About two years ago, something changed in me. A purpose I’d been unconsciously pushing down and setting aside started to get louder and louder until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. That purpose is environmental responsibility.

Sure, I recycled, had reusable grocery bags and a bunch of aluminum water bottles, but I wanted to do more. So I started researching what I could do to make a difference…and wow! There’s a lot we can do! It was almost overwhelming, so I set out to add a few new practices to my life, one at a time, throughout the year.

I started with getting myself fully educated about Sacramento County recycling and what actually does and doesn’t get recycled (what doesn’t will shock you) and I now do my best to avoid purchasing those things that aren’t able to be easily recycled (like most single-use plastics — don’t let that little recycling symbol fool you).

Next, I got educated on sustainably and ethically made clothing and found a variety of companies from which I now purchase the majority of my clothes. “Sustainably made clothing” means that the products used to make the clothes are derived from eco-friendly resources and “ethically made clothing” means that it involves production that cares for people and communities.

While this was all well and good, it still didn’t feel like enough, so I kept looking for more practical ways that I could help. I discovered that one of the biggest solutions to climate change is trees (and healthy soil, but that’s a story for another day). The Earth’s forests and soil absorb 30% of the planet’s atmospheric carbon emissions. Not only do native trees clean our air and water, but they create habitats for biodiversity, contribute to our health and wellbeing, and create jobs for social impact. I figured that was something worthy of putting my efforts towards next.

So, new for 2020, I’m thrilled to share that Jill Carmel Photography has partnered with One Tree Planted to plant three trees in California for every session booked!

environmental responsibility and photographer jill carmel

I know many of you have a passion for caring for this planet as well, and I hope that this resonates with you. I’ll continue to find more things to help our beautiful planet and plan to share them with you along the way.