In light of sharing on Earth Day, I thought I would share a few of the times I have let my green show around the edges since last Earth Day that inspired people to change their non-green ways.
Greening while you work - Here's one that I sort of left until last. I try not to be all preachy-green, especially at work. No one really wants to hear the nutritional stats about their frozen Lean Cuisine or exactly how to pack a waste free lunch. However, no one really minded when I sent out an email request asking everyone please use the recycling bin I placed in the kitchen to recycle all those cardboard boxes from the frozen meals, paper bags and cardboard drink holders. Actually, a few people mentioned that they didn't even know that you could recycle frozen meal boxes. My eco-dorkness showed just a little, but no one seemed to mind and one person even thanked me.
Greening your team - I was tickled pink, pleased as punch and as giddy as a school girl at the beginning of this Little League season. Not just because we recycled tens of thousands of gallons of plastic, glass and cans last year. Earlier this week, during field clean up, I busted one of the nay-sayers of the recycling program shoving plastic bottles one by one down the rubber chute of one of our recycling carts. He looked at me and sheepishly shrugged his shoulders. The program worked great, he said, the kids really did a great job. I smiled and said, it looks like the parents did too... Score one for the Trash Lady!
Greening your kids - This one is never easy. Fast food is marketed directly to them, soda is like a drug and the corner store that sells candy, ice cream and potato chips is like their dealer. After almost two years of talking about the evils of corn syrup, fake sweeteners, food coloring, animal testing and processing... They are listening.
Yes, they still take their babysitting cash to the corner market, but they now read labels, they look at ingredient lists and they even compare prices. Does this mean they never, ever drink soda? No. Does this mean they never, ever eat a candy bar? No again. However, my four wise men told me the other day they no longer buy the packaged danishes - 19 grams of fat and almost 700 calories Mom! In ONE danish! And, they opt to only buy one large 2-liter pop to share once in awhile (Mom! It's less plastic!). The rest of the time, they pool their cash for iTunes, movie money and video game rentals. It's only a small victory, but by the age of 13 they're reading labels, looking at fat and sugar content as well as prices. Maybe they will be grown men who know how to shop after all!
Greening yourself - This one is the hardest of all, but the one place you can make the most difference. I'm not talking about whether or not you shampoo your hair, wear organic make up or thrift shop. Nope, I mean doing for yourself. I got a bike last week, I put in a good long 15 miles this weekend and guess what? My four year old kept up on his trail-a-bike hooked to my husband's bike and my three oldest boys were jealous they had plans with their friends and didn't go along. Everyone wanted to bike the trail all the way to dinner, spend time together and leave the van at home. Guess what our plans are for this weekend? A family of six, biking 15 miles round trip to eat dinner at a locally owned restaurant? Now, THAT is as green as it gets people! Those are memories and lifestyle changes I can give my children, for them to give their children and so on down the line.
Take a moment today to share something you do with a friend, a family member or even a co-worker. You never know how it might make a difference!
Happy Earth Day from The Green Superheroes at The Green Phone Booth