“Going green” is easy, fun, and old-fashioned in the best possible way. My mom comes from a really big family, so they reused and recycled every piece of clothing, every kid’s bike, and every bite of leftovers as a regular part of their lives. I’m sure our grandparents’ generation did the same thing. The writer Michael Pollan recommends that we eat only foods our grandmothers ate, and the same thing goes for the way we show respect for mother Earth.
Living green means, first of all, believing that you have the power to make your life and your world the way you want them to be. With all the problems we face as individuals and as a society, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. But as Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Personal empowerment is the key to being green. You have choices. You can choose what you and your family eat, where you shop, what you buy, how much you throw away and where you throw it, how you spend your time, and how you manage the balance between what you take and what you give.
I’m guessing that you already do a lot of the chicological things we do at our house. We use only non-toxic cleaning products. We use cloth napkins and dish towels instead of paper. We refill our water bottles instead of filling our fridge with plastic bottles. When we get take-out food, we ask for no chopsticks, no plastic utensils, and no napkins. My husband and I look for every possible teaching moment with our daughters—and now that Rumi’s almost eight, she’s teaching us a lot about staying close to nature. There’s a veggie garden at her school, and we have one at home, and when it’s mealtime, Rumi loves to pick some kale or strawberries and bring them to the table for us to share.
I’m eager to hear your ideas for healthy, happy, empowered living, too. Share your thoughts in the comments section!