There and Back Again: A Green Girl’s Tale

 

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we’re writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.



I grew up in a moderately eco-conscious family. It was always second nature to me to do things like turn off the faucet while brushing my teeth or recycle pop cans. I was always interested in things like recycling and saving endangered species, but as I got older I quickly dismissed those things as ideals. It’s difficult to not become cynical in this disposable world where so many things are taken for granted.

When I ventured out into the world on my own, I continued to unconsciously do environmentally friendly things. It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I actually began to consider the big picture encompassing those actions. I started to look into things like natural childbirth and breastfeeding, I learned those ideals often went hand-in-hand with natural parenting. I used the internet (Oh, I love you internets) to find information on places near me that recycled plastic and how to grow an organic garden. I realized it’s not only important to buy organic foods, it’s important to buy whole foods.

I realized those so-called ideals aren’t really ideals—they’re how the world should really be. Ideals are something to model your life after. Ideals are something you strive to achieve. My daughter deserves to grow up in a world that is not lined with plastic. That is not an ideal. That is a fact.

My passion for being environmentally friendly has become something of a religion to me. I grew up in a home without religion and I am an atheist myself, but I thoroughly believe that we need to respect and cherish our planet. Just because I don’t believe in a higher being doesn’t mean that I believe in anarchy or don’t have morals, every action that I take affects our planet’s and our society’s future. I believe that there is biological meaning to life and that we are ignoring that meaning. This planet must survive for our civilization to survive. We are all made from recycled carbon and nitrogen. We need to be sustainable or we will cease to exist.

I take every opportunity to preach my ideals and the steps I am taking to get to them. Having my mother as my best friend means that she is quite often subjected to this sermons and now the ones who originally influenced me to care about the planet are being influenced by me.

Now my parents (partially) understand the importance of buying organic. My in-laws have even started collecting plastic to give to me to recycle. I’ve explained to many friends the ecological consequences to their actions—often without being asked to—and many of them have changed their ways.

I may not have come from the most eco-friendly family, but they laid the groundwork for who I am now.


 

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama

Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants.

(This list will be updated March 9 with all the carnival links.)

 

21 thoughts on “There and Back Again: A Green Girl’s Tale

  1. Ah- you struck a chord with me when you mentioned saving endangered species. When I was in grade school I was SO into saving the endangered animals, joining the World Wildlife Fund, that kind of thing. And then just like you I lost interest. It seemed like too lofty a goal for me to even influence the safety of animals a continent away. Now I’ve found more local ways to try to be earth-friendly, but it brings back so many memories. Of pandas.

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  3. I feel the same way! I went through a time where I thought “why bother” and didn’t really do anything- and then I started thinking about the world that my children and grandchildren are going to grow up in and it bothered me so much! I love that saying about how this isn’t our world- we are borrowing it from our children.
    <3

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  6. Funny that there is such a prevalent mindset that eco-friendliness and religion/morality must be at odds with each other. Personally I believe that God made nature/the world and that we (humans) are supposed to be good stewards of his creation. But the end result is the same; we both are trying to take care of the Earth and not leave our kiddos a trashed planet!

  7. I thought it was so interesting how you pointed out that your parenting ideals (breastfeeding, etc.) led to environmental ideals. I felt the same way. I didn’t set out to become crunchy. I first became interested in certain aspects of birth and parenting, and it was through repeated conversations with people who practiced those same things that I was convicted to become more green as well. I’m still getting there, though, so you can keep preaching to me!

  8. I agree that my natural parenting enhances my eco-consciousness and vice versa. They kind of go hand in hand. I also hate when religion preaches against green. My sister is atheist and we often talk about how atheist does not equal immoral or lacking in consciousness. And for my part, I feel I often have to defend that all Christians aren’t close minded about the environment.

    Great post!

  9. Every little thing we do really does affect the world around us. It’s easy to lose sight of that fact. I am personally a Christian, and it sucks that so many Christians fail to care about the environment, it’s frustrating. You sound like you are doing an amazing job with being aware of what’s “really” going on on the planet.

    Also- isn’t it funny how the tables turn with your parents once you’re older? We really are able to teach them things. I’m trying to focus on learning “now” from my child, while he’s still young, because I have a LOT to learn! Great post :)

  10. There are always more ways we can help save the environment. Life is a journey of learning that never stops. And we are all on that journey. And I am thankful we’re not all side by side because, well personally I can get a little claustrophobic! ;)

  11. Your eco-friendly groundwork was clearly solid and you are expanding on it beautifully. I also find that natural parenting and green living are so interconnected. One inspires the other and round and round we become more and more committed to the practice. I’d say keep preaching to your family and to anyone that will listen. More people like you are needed to educate and draw people to a way of life that is more in harmony both on an individual family level and more globally. Your posts are always informational and personal, well-written and fun. Great Blog.

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