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We didn’t inherit the Earth

Submitted by on Sunday, 20 September 200910 Comments

One of the (many) things I love about my wife, is that she has taught me and our kids so much about caring for our Earth, and for others.  I have learned through her that giving back to the Earth and others is the most fulfilling thing you can do in life, and I owe her the world for setting a wonderful example for our kids in this regard.

kittenWhen our kids see what we do (she does) to take care of the Earth and others, they want to do the same (you know, kids always want to be like their parents – until they reach puberty at least – which is why it is good to start when they’re young!).

For example, if our son, Smarty Pants, sees a bottle, or piece of paper or plastic on the ground in the park, he picks it up and throws it in a garbage can.  Without even thinking about it.  It is truly amazing to see.  Sometimes I have to stop him from picking up things that look too dirty or like they shouldn’t be touched!  If only that were the most difficult aspect of parenting!

Here are just a few examples of things my wife does regularly that have had big impact on our kids, on other people, and on the earth.  I hope this list gives you a few ideas of your own:

  • If we are going out somewhere for a walk and we know we will pass by homeless people on the way, my wife packs a few extra fruits, like bananas, to give to them to them as we go by.  How great is it for our kids to see us giving food to the less fortunate?  Very good!
  • Recycling everything possible… including food composting.  When we moved to Vancouver, we could not sleep until we found an organic garbage bin in our neighbourhood!
  • Using cloth diapers and going diaper free.  I never would have had the guts to do these things on my own, but Love Buns showed me the way, and it has saved us a ton of cash, and a landfill a ton of diapers.
  • Using rechargeable batteries.  Before I met my wife, the only thing I recharged was myself by sleeping a lot.  Now I recharge batteries and don’t recharge myself nearly enough.
  • Using environmentally friendly dishwasher and laundry detergents.  I don’t even know if they can be classified as detergents.  In any case, they are chlorine and phosphate free and are biodegradable.  I am really glad we don’t dump all that crap into our water system anymore, and hope that others follow suit.
  • Keeping the parks and streets clean.  Like I hinted at before, if we pass by a piece of garbage that some miscreant has littered the earth with, and it looks okay to touch, my wife and son will do the right thing and put it in the nearest trash can (or recycling bin, if it is something recyclable, of course).

Doing things like this is especially important when you have kids, for two reasons:

  1. because we want the Earth to still be in good shape for our kids and grandkids and
  2. because we want to set an example for our kids, and hope that by doing so, they will adopt the same habits into their adulthood, and teach their kids the same.

If you are ever in doubt, just remember the old but timeless proverb, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

If you have any other tips or ideas, or comments, I’d be happy to hear them here.

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