As a parent, and fellow Earth-dweller, I’ve been really struggling with how to go about my days feeling as though I’m contributing to a better place for my children with my day to day choices. I passionately want to instill a love for nature in Finnegan, without proselytizing to or embarrassing him, or pushing it so hard that he doesn’t want to partake in these decisions or be thoughtful about his choices. I know, he’s only one, and I have a bit of time before we start having in depth discussions about our choices and their impact on the environment, but I feel like it’s never a bad time to start thinking about these things…and I wanted to share the choices I’ve committed to that have helped me to start feeling more sustainable in my parenting, and regular life, choices.
I feel like as long as it’s not a preachy thing, it’s just the way we live our lives, it won’t be too much; it won’t push him away from it. No question, no argument, these are just the things we do because they are good for our Mother. If anyone has other choices they make that really help them create a more sustainable lifestyle, I would love to hear them! But here are some things that I really try to commit to:
- Banning the plastic bags at the grocery store...when I started trying to do this, I would forget my canvas bags often, and just say, "Ah well, next time." But one day, I just thought, "Damn it, Sarah...this is a behavior change. If you forget them, turn around, go back and GET THEM." And it only took turning around to go back and get them once or twice, and now I don't forget them. The newer canvas bags that they sell at Safeway are pretty flimsy, but there are always thick, awesome canvas bags at Second Blessings for sale, or here is a link to a great store that makes awesome quality bags in the U.S...I just made the commitment and stuck to it, and I feel better every time I'm at the store.
- Banning plastic water bottles. I still have to get Reid on board with this. It was the same thing...it only took getting thirsty and not having my bottle once or twice and saying "Tough. You don't use plastic water bottles. Remember to bring one next time." And the behavior was changed. These two things are not even an inconvenience anymore, they are just part of the routine.
- Cloth diapering...this is more a good choice where I live because we have no shortages of water, but we do have a terrible shortage of landfill space. And drying on the line, the flats look like a prayer flag for the Earth.
- More fruits and veggies, less snacks in boxes, and less in the landfill.
- Buying in bulk and freezing batches.
- Washing out plastic ziplock bags...I'd like to try to see how long I can use one box!
- Less toys, more getting outside with Finn. Finding our own "sensory boxes" out in nature.