As someone who works day to day for a business sustainability consulting and research company with its finger on the pulse of consumer perceptions and behaviors around green and sustainable issues, I naturally tend to view my own life as well as friends and family through this same lens.
On July 28, 2010 my second son, Liam Mason was born, and the whole eco-green thing suddenly became much more personal. Along with the countless nights without sleep and droves of family members parading in, through and out of our home, I become an EcoAware Dad!
After about two weeks…I realized…I was taking a completely filled trash bag out to the big black city barrel at least once a day. Even worse, it was jammed full. Those sporty Flintstone tires would be getting a workout this week!
How can a family use that much trash in one day? Diapers, paper plates, toiletries, empty boxes…and my one major pet peeve – my wife’s Zephyr Hills Spring water bottles. Of course this was not “life as usual” but I began thinking about which things could and should be recycled, and what really belonged in the trash. And about what different product choices we could be making to cut back on this disposable avalanche.
Other thoughts also started popping up. As I played “you turn the water off – I’ll turn it back on” with my 18 month son as we brushed our teeth, I thought…someone would have LOVED to have been given that wasted water as a cool and refreshing drink. I think I just heard my Mothers’ voice from the past…”Someone is starving in India and you want to throw those delicious lima beans away?”
What I realized of course is that it’s easy to talk about being green and eco-conscious, but that as a parent it ‘s part of my job to make sure my boys grow up with a clear and concise picture of what a good citizenship of this Earth should be. Time to walk the talk and make sure I am using my awareness to discover and create teaching moments.
Expect more from me on this topic!