Since childhood, nature has been quietly but persistently whispering in my ear.

She talks to me everywhere — in a quiet moment in the woods when four squirrels are playfully chasing one another over the log, up the tree, through the branches; on a cold January afternoon, as the snow blankets the Earth, wrapping every creature in the quiet and muffled sounds of our collective being; in a boat on the Pacific Ocean as a whale reaches skyward, joyously breaching in a show of his power and beauty (I think he knows we are watching); as I glance a hawk circling over head just as the pain and hopelessness has engulfed me.

I’m a member of the baby boom generation, born in 1958 to a middle class family in Central Illinois. Like so many of my generation, our young and innocent eyes took in assassinations, riots, the Vietnam war, fathers and mothers and sons and daughters feuding, students dying on campus, race riots and hate, emaciated children starving in lands far away, and whales and seals and beautiful creatures being either brutally slain or their habitats destroyed by an insatiable human appetite for things.

I survived—as most of us did—and moved on, but not without a fundamental shift in my perception of life on this planet, a firmly held view that something is terribly wrong.

And throughout this time the quiet messenger continued to speak to me through surprising and unexpected moments of beauty and awe, teaching me that nature is full of wisdom if you simply listen and watch carefully.

And then, one chilly November day, my life changed forever when a surgeon discovered my ovarian cancer. Like so many people who have received life-altering news, I knew immediately, in my hospital bed, that I needed to do what nature had been asking me to do for some time. To quit being afraid and insecure. To stand up and say what I knew to be true, no matter how impossible or naïve others may view it. To say it confidently and without fear:

If we are to survive and flourish as a human species, we must become an equal member of the Earth’s ecosystem, a beautiful and inspiring network that without human interference illustrates fundamental truths to living a quality life.

But how does a middle-aged woman, living in Central Illinois, help to reverse climate change, stop habitat destruction, and fundamentally empower individuals in a way that can truly change the course of time?

While great minds like Einstein and Galileo provided determination—and cancer served as the much needed kick in the ass—it was my background in business that led me to create Ecofluent. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, our economy drives much of life, and nothing is more effective in changing actions than the power of the dollar.

Quite simply, by applying economic pressure—forcing businesses and organizations to find ways to deliver their products and services without damaging the environment and the world’s most vulnerable populations—we can transform our marketplace to one that fits within a fundamentally balanced system on Earth.

But we need to know how to spend our money. And thus Ecofluent was born. And thankfully I am a cancer survivor.

So spend wisely, with hope and kindness. Be ecofluent.

About the Author:

Ecofluent Founder and President

Rebecca brings over 30 years of experience in strategic planning, management, and marketing to the organization, most recently as Senior Associate Director of the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Throughout her life, she has felt an inherent and spiritual connection with the natural world, and a compelling desire to re-examine the relationship between humankind and our environment. After earning her MBA from the University of Illinois, she began a personal exploration of the writings and teachings surrounding environmental science, environmental sociology, environmental ethics and related fields. Those studies, combined with her lifelong interest in sustainability were catalyzed into action by a diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2005 (she is currently cancer-free), and in 2008, 4 Osprey—an organization designed to promote the acceptance of an ecocentric value system—was born.



  1. Andrea / 06/20/2016 at 11:57 pm /Reply

    We only have one Earth. Thank God there are people like you to stand up and find some way to do something to stop it’s destruction! Rock on!

    • Ecofluent / 06/26/2016 at 9:42 am /Reply

      Thank you so much, Andrea! Your encouragement and support mean so much to me! Please let me know if you have ideas, comments, or questions I can address!

      Rock on together!


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