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sparking conciousness

April 2, 2010

I added an eco-friendly category to my blog. I have always loved the outdoors and played in the woods behind my parents’ house for hours on end growing up. Not surprisingly, environmental issues have always resonated deeply for me. The other day my mother was telling me about how my dear grandmother tried to buy a wreath made of princess pine at a church fair, when I was in elementary school. I had learned that princess pine was an endangered species at nature camp; so I got really upset and asked her not to buy it. I didn’t remember the incident but my mom and I agreed that some things never change.

My son went on his first hike at about 3 weeks old (in an Ellaroo mei tai). Now that he’s a toddler, he loves playing outside and walking in the woods. As he gets older, I have been thinking about how to foster a respect the earth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to lecture a preschooler about his carbon footprint. I just want to start planting the seeds of awareness.

I think the joy he finds in nature is a great start. There are other things that come up on a regular basis: why we can compost some things and not others, wasting water when washing hands, only taking as many tissues as you need etc. Some of those “lessons” are in a negative context though (“Don’t waste water, just finish washing you hands and come eat dinner.”); I want taking care of the earth to be a positive association.

I bought my son a great book about the earth, Our Big Home, last time I had a business trip and last weekend we borrowed the Little Critter Earth Day book from the library. B helped me plant our kale and basil seeds in peat pots, and helps me spritz them with water every night. After watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, I feel grateful that we get to experience planting, nurturing, and harvesting a small garden together.

I try my best to make my ecological footprint as light as possible but there are tons of things I could do better. I’m going to try adding an eco-friendly tip to at least one blog post a week. I would love for you to share yours too. What is your #1 eco-friendly tip? How do/will  you approach the environment with your child(ren)?

For my first tip: 86 the paper towels. We use cloth napkins, dish towels, hand towels, and microfiber cloths in place of paper towels. Microfiber cloths are amazing if you haven’t tried them, you should! They are more of an investment up front but you make up for it by never buying paper towels.

(p.s. this isn’t the fun eco-friendly mama post I mentioned, that’s coming soon though!)

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