As far as I know, the first mention of environmental issues in my journal is from 1991. It was Monday, August 19, during a “Back To School Retreat” in Corpus Christi, Texas, with the youth group from my church.
Not long after arriving at our hotel, a bunch of us went to the beach, but only two of us — a beautiful girl named Millicent and I — headed out very far.
“After some time, we got out so far that I could only touch between waves, and she couldn’t touch at all, so she swam, with one arm on my shoulder. We talked about the environment, and what we both do to protect it. (Neither of us are hard-core ‘environmentalists’, but we do our part to minimize our garbage output, maximize our recyclability, and use products that are at least ‘partly’ environmentally safe.)”
Yes, that sounds like me: getting alone with a beautiful female in a noticeably romantic setting, and then talking about a serious political issue. But don’t worry, I didn’t stop there.
“We talked about religion, and the differences between our faiths (she’s Catholic, and I’m obviously radically Protestant). This is part of what makes a good friendship: the act of reasonably, calmly discussing the vast differences between two opposing faiths, while realizing that we each base our beliefs on the same principle…”
Because that’s how I woo people, darn it.
It must have worked. By that night, we’d agreed to wake up early the next morning and walk together to the end of the pier to see the sunrise together — and we did. There is no record of me discussing environmental issues at that point.
A few days later, I left for Bible College and my journal doesn’t record any further meetings with Millicent.
EDIT, 2015.08.08: As it turns out, the above was not the first mention of environmental tendencies in my journals. I’ve since found earlier mentions, which are recorded in a new entry.