As a child of the late-80’s and 90’s, there was a huge push in my childhood to be conscious of how one’s actions impacted the environment. It was extremely formative to have Captain Planet, PSAs, and school lessons explaining the importance of the environment to me all the time.
I grew up hiking and going to outdoor classrooms where I was taught about leaving nature just as you saw it (or even cleaner), which is to say cleaning up after yourself and others on hikes. I learned to identify trees and bushes for their use in survival and the various diseases they endured due to a pest being introduced to the local environment.
My parents also taught me the importance of recycling, making my own toys, and appreciating nature (for my mother’s birthday every year we took a hike up a local mountain). As an adult, I have tried to maintain these good habits, but it hasn’t always been easy to be environmentally friendly all the time.
Confession of my Sins
I don’t believe in being preachy about anything on my blog, in fact, it’s extremely important to me that I present a balanced perspective on pretty much everything.
Discussion about the environment lends itself to moralizing and that’s not what I want, so this post is how we are attempting to foster a love for the environment, not that it must be done with each child. I recognize that we have certain advantages that makes this easier that may not be possible for everyone.
With that in mind, before I discuss all we do to teach Jai and try to foster a love of the environment, I am going to confess my personal sins in my non-environmentally friendly moments.
I will admit I have some bad habits when it comes to attempting to be environmentally friendly: we have a coffee-pod machine and we buy the pods that go with the machine instead of putting our own coffee in a reusable pod. I don’t use a reusable cup as much as I wish I did when I go out for coffee because it’s hard to take Jai out of the car at this point for a 2-minute trip.
I do toss things occasionally that probably could be recycled, but that’s because I get too busy to clean it up or deal with it in a proper manner. I also buy some things new out of convenience that I could probably purchase at a second-hand store.
I wanted to fess up to these sins because I am not able to be environmentally friendly 100% of the time. I am not someone who is capable of living a zero environmental footprint lifestyle. Rather, I want to show what an average person can do to be environmentally friendly with a toddler.
There’s only so much a person can do and the importance is doing what you can when you are able and not feeling guilty when you are not. What is important to me is that I raise Jai to be environmentally conscious so he will also be motivated to care for his patch of land when he’s old enough.