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green living with kids

August 18, 2007

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I have been thinking, well overthinking (as I tend to do) about green living. About even as I try to make good choices and changes in my house, I’m really not doing as much as I’d like to think. What got me thinking about this was a post by angry chicken about some alternative sources and products for traditional plastic storage containers, sippy cups, plates, etc.

Having children is just not conducive to being as green as you can. The idea is to reduce your footprint- your impact on the earth and resources; having kids is an impact in and of itself so it is hard to escape from that point on. You start with the piles of diapers (even the green choices such as cloth and biodegradable have their impact on water use) and we continue on to the mountains of paper children must use to express their creativity, write their name, write term papers….. But we try. We do what we can.

Here is what really got me thinking though. I saw a link on angry chicken’s blog to stainless steel lunchbox containers. “Perfect!” I thought, a good consumer through and through. This could replace the plastic containers I use in my kids lunches (in my attempt at zero waste lunches[more on that in a later post]) and yet free my conscious from the plastic containments they might be absorbing through their food. I was all ready to order off line, add them to my shopping basket and check out, righteousness in hand.

Then I started to think about a conversation my friend Sarah and I had on travelers who purchase airline offsets to ease their conscience about the global impact of their flight. They are freed from feeling guilty and can actually instead feel righteous. Those travelers are still impacting the planet, their just paying for the right to do so. I could say the same about my purchase. First off my old plastics- where are they going? Into the landfills? To the Goodwill for someone else to use? They don’t just disappear when my new “eco” replacements arrive. Secondly, how do those shiny new containers get here? via plane? or truck? So much for my reduced impact.

Now I haven’t gone all through this thinking to just beat myself up about all the “green” choices I make everyday; but I certainly need to think about them. Even if I do end up ordering those containers like I think I will. Because honestly their just darn cute.

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