By Contributing Mama Daphne Biener
Recently I purchased these:
Ten points for me. I did good, right? Goodbye to another school year full of wasteful plastic baggies and tin foiled sandwiches. Did somebody say nobel peace prize? What? I did wrong? Bad, bad choice. Plastic is evil and it leeches chemicals and tiny children in China were probably forced to work 12 hours in deplorable conditions to crank out those smiling princesses, and oh hell, Kermit was right. It isn’t easy being green.
Lucky for me, I have help. And it comes in the form of two pint-sized hypocrisy police intent on translating every word I say into action, no excuses accepted. Plastic bags choking our oceans? Then no doubt about it, I shall boogie right out of the long line at Target and retrieve those reusable bags. Do our part to drive the gas guzzler less? Sure enough, I’ll bike us all down to the pool: Come one come all and watch as this dazzling mother of two balances a picnic lunch on her head and a swim bag on the handlebars while trailing a four-year old and watching her seven year old weave in and out of traffic!
Thing is, I’ve been cruising along for a while under the delusional assumption that I have been doing my part. I read all the scary articles and follow rules that shift more than my haughty teenaged eyes ever did. I pony up the price for fresh fruit in December to keep the kids in Vitamin C only to learn that instead I need to think of the oil consumed by the airplane that yanked that produce from its haven in Havana. Who knew that as Americans we put almost as much oil in our refrigerators as we do in our cars? (Barbara Kingsolver, for one. Check it out in her incredible book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.”)
It’s a lot to think about. I’m still nursing the bruises of trying to find that elusive balance between life and work and kids. How on this damaged earth am I supposed to figure out the right balance between doing right by our planet and planning right for my family?
We talk about this quite a bit around the dinner table (we have plenty of time considering the dearth of actual eating that goes on there.) And the kids? For once, these kids are listening. And they are right to remind me to jog back for the canvas bags. And they are right to insist on biking to the park. So despite the fact that it’s usually convoluted and notoriously inconvenient to untangle the messages that obscure the right path, try we must to find it.
Poor Kermit. He sits alone in his pond, pondering the difficulties of his color. What he needs is a couple of unrelenting nags at his side pushing him to carry on down the green path. Not that I mind one bit the adorable little self-righteously organic thorns in my take-the-lazy-way-out side. This swiftly tilting planet belongs to them. It’s the least I can do to help make sure it still spins.
Daphne’s Note: We try, and we try, and we try to do our part. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not, but it’s all part of our effort to be kinder and gentler to our bodies and our planet. Check out what we’re doing to live and eat green at my new website, A Greener Biener.