The following article was written by my friend Amy Hearst, a very green mama and one of my favorite people. She recently told me that when she eats at restaurants she asks for the manager to make sure they are recycling; if they aren't, she takes the opportunity to tell them why they should.
She is a true character, a devoted mom and she's passionate about saving the environment. She may embarrass her husband occasionally (we feel for you Matt!), but it's all in the name of making this world a better place……
So I'm at the grocery store tonight and I always bring my own reusable bags. I'm checking out and the sacker person asks a seemingly innocent question without noticing I brought my own bags.
I snarl back, "No, plastic is NOT okay!"
Then I angrily toss my organic fruit into my own reusable bag.
My husband keeps telling me I need to be a little kinder when I'm trying to get my point across, but people, we don't have time to be kind! Years of being kind have led to a suffering earth.
Years of, "You know what, I'll just double bag this for you - you have an extra heavy load here."
Years of, "I want to recycle but I get so tired of thinking about all of the sorting."
And years of, "Our area doesn't offer curbside for glass, but we really recycle everything else."
Use it once, throw it away. Is that what I want my kids to grow up thinking? That we are disposable, that the earth revolves around what we, as brief inhabitants of this place, desire and want? I don't think so.
We moved from a Chicago condo to a house in suburban Kansas City. While in Chicago the trash (and recyclables) that my family generated didn't really register to me. We just sorted things and tossed much of it into a giant dumpster outside our bedroom window.
In KC, we faithfully put our limit of two trash bags out per week along with blue bins for recycling. It was staggering to me when I walk in our neighborhood in the mornings to see all of the giant bags of trash lining the streets…and we are one small neighborhood in the midst of so many.
I also had a bit of an emotional epiphany one day at Target. I walked the aisle of laundry detergents and started thinking about how many of those plastic bottles could be recycled…and probably weren't. They could end up in a landfill, slowing leaking their BPA toxins in my children's drinking water someday. My eyes filled with tears.
I can get myself so worked up sometimes thinking, What can I do? How can I help?
I have found some ways, and I hope that my passions have paid off somehow.
As an addendum, I just received this email from Amy…. Matthew and I went on a date Friday night to this great burgers and beer place we love (Blanc Burgers and Bottles) and the server said they recycle glass along with several other Plaza restaurants. I was SOOOO excited……
Do want to tell Amy she's doing a good job, ask her advice or tell her to stop embarrassing her husband? Email her at email@example.com.
Do you have any green tips? Feel free to share.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.