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One Family’s Journey Out of Eco-Cluelessness
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6/4/2012  •  Comment (1)
By MegM

Recycling

Episode 1 — A Family Turns Around

If I’m being honest, my husband and I make an unlikely pair of environmentalists. He’s a salt-of-the-earth, old-fashioned guy — not the activist type. I myself have never been against environmental issues, I’ve just always told myself it was a problem I had little time to think about. Seeing myself as an environmental crusader would’ve been like trying to picture Lucille Ball at the helm of a composting project.

What precipitated our turn around?   Our son. Our children often have the power to shame us into more conscious behavior with their innocent surprise and disappointment with our choices.

Our son didn’t learn about the environment at home. His eco-education began at school. He’d talk excitedly about recycling and reclaiming strategies they were discussing in class. I must admit I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it at first.

Then he was voted recycling manager of his classroom. Before our very eyes he was becoming a passionate conservationist. One day I asked him why he was “getting so into this environmental stuff”. He answered, “Who wouldn’t care about the earth? I mean besides people who live on some other planet?” It was difficult to disagree with his “DUH” argument.

That’s when the environmental tide started turning for me. The turn around began for my husband when he became leader of our son’s Boy Scout troop which required him to teach conservation and respect for nature.

The idea of completely changing our lifestyle overnight seemed as hard to swallow as Soylent Green. But starting by taking one small aspect of our lives at a time to work on seemed like a reachable goal. We came up with the concept of the Doable Compromise: when trying to make environmental changes we start with two switches that bring us one step closer to green. Small steps ultimately mean smaller carbon footprints. Beginner Recycling Tips

Tags: recycling, environmental responsibility, conservation, green living, ecological living, saving the earth
The hardest part for me was just getting in the habit of recycling.  I found that once I was in the habit of recycling, it started to change my mindset about consumption too.   I notice wasteful packaging a lot more than I used to.

Looking forward to more of your posts!
SusanR SusanR
6/4/2012
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