The materials of action are variable, but the use we make of them should be constant.- Epictetus (c.A.D. 50–c.A.D. 138)
“We have to join the Sierra Club,” my husband would announce once a year, cussing under his breath about the travesties George Bush would bring to the cause of the time.
And so, every 18 months or so, or whenever prodded in just the right manner, we’d concede and send off our student-rate check to join the Sierra Club. And that was that. No letter writing for causes. No joining local efforts. Just a card-carrying member.
Sure, they got our check. But they never really got our hearts.
For years, I thought I was environmentally responsible. I recycled my cans and newspapers. I turned off my lights. I combined my errands. I went to farmers markets. I even grew a few things that survived into the summer.
But I really didn’t think about it. What made the difference, though, were two little eyes looking at me. And I began to wonder what kind of world we’d leave for her. Would she have clean water to drink? Safe food to eat? Outdoors – that hadn’t been ruined by us – to enjoy?
And so, we started making more and more little changes. We cook more, and not from boxed kits or frozen packages. We actively look at the packaging we bring into our home – not to sweat over it, but to be smart about it. We try to offer more responsible in our shopping, from toys to clothes to care items. We get to know the people who help make our soaps, start our plants and grow our food.
Sure, it may not seem like a lot. I’m still not pounding the pavement to protest how endangered species are being treated or oil drilling. And once in a while, I do write a letter or two on saving the world. These days, though, I’m focusing on launching a quiet attack – by teaching my kids habits that can last for this generation and the next.
This is my submission for the December APLS Carnival on "Green Journeys." It's not too late to contribute yours - email firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 15. And read about other bloggers' journeys on Dec. 18 at the The Conscious Shopper.