By Florence “Flip” Ross, LuxEco Advocate

Since I was fortunate to have just celebrated my 88th birthday, I assume I am the oldest person writing for LuxEco Living.  Therefore, allow me to tell you what life was like back in my day, and how we treated the environment.  We didn’t.  We simply accepted things as they were, and I did not become aware of  our world and how to keep it clean.  It was just sufficient to live it.

It was not unusual to see people discard their well-chewed gum on the sidewalk, nor to see their adored pets deposit their goodies wherever they pleased with impunity,  It wasn’t until I was in the Army and was ordered to strip my cigarettes before I discarded them that I came to respect the environment –a respect that has remained with me ever since.  Many years later I lived in a beautiful suburban area on a lovely canal when one day I saw a next door neighbor’s housekeeper come out of her kitchen with a bucket full of garbage, and empty it into the canal.  I went ballistic, confronted her, and told her if she ever did that again, I would fill a bucket full of water from the canal, and dump it into her kitchen.  Isn’t it a wonder that I have lived to this age?

I have since witnessed graffiti all over everything, atomic factories depositing nuclear waste into our rivers and streams, and some of those factories exploding and contaminating the environment for  years to come.  The residents living near these plants have developed cancer, and their children have been born with all sorts of abnormalities and have not lived for very long.  Instead of the perpetrators compensating these poor victims with dollars, would it not be better to have kept the environment clean and liveable?  It all gets down to the buck.

I lived in New Orleans, and later moved to Baton Rouge.  The “River Road” all along the Mississippi River, from New Orleans to Baton Rouge was lined with huge chemical plants, all of which were dumping  their hazardous waste material into Old Man River, and the route was known as “CANCER ALLEY.”  In Baton Rouge a large chemical plant was dumping its waste into the Mississippi which turned the river red as far as the eye could see.  Would you believe this was our drinking water?  Of course it was cleaned and treated, but it tasted so awful, that although I was used to it, my visitors would turn green with the first sip.  Now I drink only bottled water, but although the printing on the bottle says it is “100% Natural Spring Water” how do I know the Spring Water is not contaminated?

In short, I am so glad there are movements today to clean up the environment. I am so glad the people are aware of the environment.

When climbing the Great Wall of China, I was appalled to see all the locals, who were climbing with me, constantly spitting all over one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  Hopefully we can be instrumental in the world cleaning up its act.  Green has become my favorite color.  I hope it has become everyone’s favorite color so that it dominates all that we eat, all that we accomplish, and all that we see.


  1. I am so glad you have written an excellent and compelling article pertaining to “cancer alley.” I hope this will be exposed on platform media links such as the OWN network and others. More people need to be aware of this situation. My niece was diagnosed with leukemia and is we were told by a medical professional at St. Jude Children’s Research hospital that they see a lot of leukemia from that area and most likely due to all of the toxic plants along the Mississippi and elsewhere in this zone.


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