Earth Day!

What will you do for Earth Day?

As I am writing this post, I can feel a baby rumbling inside my tummy, which kinda puts things into perspective. I will soon have two children – which in itself may not be perceived as very environmental. But I feel like my mission is to raise them in such a way that they will contribute to making the Earth a better place for everyone to live on. I want to raise green citizens. Really, I am hoping that one of my children will be the one to discover the solution everyone has been looking for – be it for green transportation, environmental ways to grow enough food for everyone, you name it, there are plenty of solutions to find!

Wait, I take that back. If we wait for one of my kids to be old enough to find those solutions, we’ll already be in so much trouble it won’t be much good anymore. We need to change our habits faster than that – like, last year. And I’m working on it!

In the last few years, we completely gave up on plastic grocery bags. On the rare occasion when I forget my reusable bag, I feel so guilty I often end up buying a new fabric bag. I have been clothing my son almost entirely with second-hand clothes. I don’t own a car and travel by foot and bike as much as possible. We just subscribed to a CSA, which will allow us to receive fresh, organic vegetables grown right here in Vancouver, all summer long. We do not buy farmed salmon. We favor local produce. We unplug everything that doesn’t need to be plugged. We have a worm compost on our balcony, where we will also be growing all sorts of veggies in containers this summer. I live in a small apartment right next to my workplace, which I walk to every morning. We use cloth diapers, wipes and fabric swim diapers. We use no bleach or harsh cleaning products (replaced by vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice). We don’t have a TV – instead we go out and play. We avoid cheap plastic toys, buying mostly wooden toys or second-hand stuff, and making sure that they will be used and last for a while. We borrow books from the library. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Of course, there is still a lot we could do better. We still kinda long for a car on days when the Car Co-op pisses us off for a reason or another. I throw away the occasional recyclable product when it is dirty beyond recognition or full of green stuff I don’t want to have to fight against. I could bike more (although I found out yesterday that this will have to wait until August, as my bump is now getting in the way). I take a plane on a long ride every year, and I am not willing to stop. We occasionally buy fruits that have traveled halfway across the globe to get into our plates (oh, yummy mangoes!). I have a cat, whose poop needs to be thrown away in plastic bags, and we now have fish, who use a lot of water when you consider the water changes needed (especially right now when we have an algae bloom). I could use less water when I do dishes. I should exercise more. I should volunteer or do more good in my community. I should donate more money to charities.

So my resolution for Earth Day, this year, is this: I will try to improve my behavior as a green and community-minded citizen, and when I need an extra boost of motivation, I will ask myself “What does my child(ren) see me do? What will they take away from it? How can I be a better role model?”

How about you?

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