Monday, January 23, 2012


To the caregivers of this newest generation, to people who nurse the planet with more ideas than deeds, here is just a little encouragement which appeared on the Green Mom's Carnival, too long ago for me to track..It's slightly altered for the continuing crisis which may become force of habit. And for the climate which is sure to continue changing along with the hapless inhabitants gravitating upon the surface.

Yes, yes, i know that this is the beginning of the next season! I know that many will struggle to catch up with bills, these little pieces of paper, printed on the backs of trees and the rear section of your brain. No, i refuse to feel sorry, the season will come, the season will pass, and all will resume at the best possible pace. So let's make it an ecological feast to begin the new era.

To be a mother in times of financial uncertainty is a challenge to be met with joy. Oh yes, pleasure comes in small packages. Now is the door to a whole new behavior for many, what an opportunity to sneak in the change that so many have wanted to implement. First you must arm yourself with facts.

Headline news foretelling or demonstrating the economic downturn must be saved as wrapping paper for the smaller gifts. Sunday cartoons can put some cheer in the mix. Free advertisement media make excellent rolled up logs for the fireplace, (caveat) don't light them if yours is one of those fake ones. Clippings of ecological disasters make an easy diary of my planet for school projects, engage, engage.

The larger photos of starving children can be left upon the coffee table for open discussion -- “Mom, who's that on the table? -- No one we know, just another life in another place -- Why don't they have enough food for them? -- because it costs too much to transport the grain to their country-- so why don't they grow it there? -- climate change has created havoc everywhere -- so what are we supposed to do about it? -- well, drive less, eat more foods from local sources and save on utilities? -- oh, Mom!”

When all the depressing news have reached their intended audience, quickly introduce the good news, and there are many in magazines like Ode, Yes or Mother Earth, as well as ENN and green sites online. Softly steer the subject of conversation to renewables, “hey look at that sun! it shines everyday -- exactly, so would it be smart to save for solar panels for our house? “save? -- yes altogether, we can contribute.” “does that mean i don't get my game set?...

I have witnessed parents agonizing over the effects of advanced advertising on their children. My only advice is to turn the television off, or select documentary and nature shows, current events may add to the reasoning skills if watched along with ( reasonable) adults. Each one of us can help in our own way -- but what can we do? I hear the stress hormone levels rise like a disturbing tide-- Buy less -- walk wherever we can -- take lunch in a bag -- clean up the riversides. “But Mom, the other kids are gonna get things and play -- so are you, really healthy lunch and a beautiful healthy river to swim in without fear of 'floating foreign matter'...

So, you're not convinced yet? The work is too intense, the argument too intimate, it challenges your values, your habits, your spending traditions? Worry not, Mothers are well placed in the care system, they are idea changers, cooks and engineers, they can do wonders from the ground to the sky. Watch the effect of each action for one single week, preferably wordlessly. Then quietly introduce simpler foods along with the usual fare, like greens on the pizza, broccoli in the pasta, onions everywhere. Simpler cleaning methods are an easy area to implement on, replace toxic cleaners with green products, and next go hard core with vinegar and baking soda to shine everything from windows to baths. As the doors close against the cold in your hemisphere, warn the family against indoor pollution, add a sweater and lower the thermostat by 2 degrees as a game plan to save for that renewable energy of the future.

Let no one deter you from having a successful season, make it known that no matter the dire economy, you are going to put forth the best dinners and parties possible. Squirrel away some nuts and goodies to cheer the hungry hordes. Save all the shiny paper you can to impress the natives with impromptu decor--and use all that spare imagination to make a personalized fest of your very own. Emphasis on personalized this year. What a great opportunity to come home to values which have been buried under escalating commercialism.

Happy selves to you, empowered with the comfort and intimacy of simpler days. Yes, yes, i know, it's the beginning of that year, wrap it up in elegant resolve to make it with -- just love and lots of it.


  1. Nadine, clever manipulation and teaching the thin edge of the ecological wedge may be the only way modern generations will drift to more sustainable lifestyles; coming home to 'buried values in lifestyles' is certainly applicable. Very few of today's commercial goods are anything near realistic or sustainable. A wonderful read! Welcome back, my friend!

  2. This was humorous and yet serious at the same time. I've actually wrapped presents for my kids in newspaper comics when I ran out of wrapping paper. I liked the grocery store paper bags, I found many uses for them such as covers for school textbooks, and for shipping packages.

    I taught my children to recycle and as adults they know it's important to conserve natural resources.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas :)

  3. thanks katley and raymond, that's my own feminine lineage there greening themselves from my great great grand-mother to my great grand and last to my grandmama; she was the first to abandon the self sufficient way of life which we now identify with country living.
    although i witness a lot of country folk have forgotten how to live frugally and certainly don't operate sustainably at all..abundance and convenience have spoiled the stew.
    yes katley i have taught but mostly steadfastly shown the conserving lifestyle, and i must admit that i am surprised that they are applying a lot of that to their own lives example shall they learn..that's all we can do..the economy is doing the world a favor in some respect..people do respect some resources better by now--may that continue.

  4. Teaching by example is the only way.

  5. It heartens me that your own children have adopted your ways. Proof and inspiration that it can be done indeed. Thank you for being a teacher, to your children, and to us all. :)

  6. oh jennifer...yes i was surprised to see most ethics and some fine habits in my descedants, but in different ways and measures, each kept what he needed and is accumulating his own experience.