One Green Mom Going Down

Eurasian Lynx العربية: منظر لوجه وشق أوراسيا. ...

It is hard to be an environmentalist and a mother.

I’m not the crazy kind of environmentalist who burns down ski lodges because all the human activity stresses out the lynx, but I do believe that God gave us this beautiful earth to live on and we had better take care of it for future generations.

That said, it is very hard during the baby and toddler years to live green. Waste is everywhere and some of it is just unavoidable.

Just teaching the kids how to wash their hands is a lesson in patience. Either they want to barely lily dip their fingertips or they want to let the water flow and play in it for 45 minutes with enough bubbles to impress Willy Wonka.

Don’t even get me started on how much fun the sprayer on the kitchen sink is.

Weather depending, we walk to preschool, but the only way to get my 3 year old asleep is to take an afternoon drive at about 2:00 pm every day. With the price of gas these days, I figure that each nap costs me approximately $1.37. Well spent, I believe.

We only use one diaper/night/boy now, but those early days of diapering are very rough. I don’t want to start a Mommy War about cloth vs. disposable, because both are more brown than green (one on the water meter and one in the landfills). If babes just wouldn’t poop and pee so much, it sure would be easier.

Our toilet has been flushed enough times to fill the Great Lakes.

I wish there was some use for the pounds of toothpaste I have scraped off the bathroom counters. And now the tube is empty (again) and off we go to buy more (again).

And have you ever seen anything cuter than a 12 month old with a box of Kleenex? Each of my kids at that age were absolutely amazed after they would pull one out, and look, another one pops up! Oh, the joy of those gummy grins.

But one time I witnessed my daughter wiping her nose and then putting the Kleenex back in the box. A little environmentalist in the making. Ewwww.

If you come to our house, your toilet paper will be pre-unrolled for you. Just consider it ‘customer service 2-year-old style.’ I would feel too guilty if I threw it out, and I don’t have nearly enough patience to reroll it. I did when I only had one child, but now that the third is in that stage, forget it.

As the kids are getting older, they start to understand and ask questions, “Can we recycle this candy wrapper and get more candy?” or “What is glass made of?” So I know my green-lessons are sinking in but we still have a long way to go.

Yesterday, my 4-year-old picked up a piece of gum at the park and said, “Can I recycle this in my mouth?”


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