Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I needed to get away. So I used my frequent-flyer miles saved up from the past decade, made plans to stay with a friend in Chinatown and went to Boston. Over one short weekend, I drank a phenomenally delicious avocado-date-kale-banana-almond smoothie at Life Alive and a mango-basil mojito at Wagamama. I stumbled upon Shakespeare in the Park in Boston Common. I walked barefoot for hours at the Arnold Arboretum. I people-watched over a latte in Harvard Square. I sat on a bench along the Charles River, deep in conversation with an old friend long after dark. I saw some college kids jump naked into the river. I wandered. I ate raw chocolate. I stuffed my face at an amazing Indian vegetarian restaurant. I met some cool people who totally belong in my tribe. I recharged my batteries. It was divine. And I wasn't quite ready to come home to Mississippi.
After I got home, totally blissed out on Boston, a Huffington Post article caught my eye. I read that as a result of rising sea levels related to global warming, Boston may not exist in 100 years.
OK, whoa. My great-granddaughter can't get away for a weekend to Boston? Or New York City? She can't take an eating tour of Boston's Little Italy or choose to be a writer living in a tiny studio apartment in Brooklyn?
This got my blood pounding. In my 20s, I got totally burned out and overwhelmed by dire environmental statistics and doomsday global warming scenarios. No Boston? That stuff stresses me out and makes me feel like I want to shut down rather than be proactive about being a part of the solution. But I do so want to be a part of creating a future in this world in which my child and my grandchildren can not only survive, but thrive. And go to Boston. This is one of the reasons why I try to live a little greener.
It is a process. Everyone makes different choices and has different priorities. Everyone is a different shade of green. What small changes can you make in your life today to help protect our planet for future generations?
Green Books for Kids
"Just a Dream," by Chris Van Allsburg (HMH Books, 2011, $8.99)
"The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth," by Sophie Javna (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2009, available used from Amazon.com and other booksellers)
"If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World's People," by David Smith (Kids Can Press, 2011, $18.95)
"I Can Make a Difference A Treasury to Inspire Our Children," by Marian Wright Edelman (Amistad, 2005, $21.99)
Green Books for Grownups
"Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainble Living," by Rachel Kaplan and K. Ruby Blume (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011, $19.95)
"The Small House Book," by Jay Shafer (Tumbleweed Tiny House, 2009, available used from Amazon.com and other booksellers)
"Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World," by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger (Touchstone, 2008, $19.99)
"The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it," by John Seymour (DK Publishing, 2009, $35)
Green Apps (all free on iTunes)
One Stop Green
Healthy Child, Healthy World
• Incorporate a few meatless meals each week.
• Share with your neighbors.
• Use less air conditioning.
• Hang laundry on the clothesline.
• Experiment with more environmentally friendly cleaning and personal-care products.
At the Store
• Carry reusable bags with you.
• Swap incandescent for fluorescent light bulbs.
• Shop at the farmers market for local, seasonal produce.
• Buy in bulk.
• Choose more efficient appliances and automobiles.
• Buy gently used clothing at cool places like Orange Peel and N.U.T.S.
At School & Work
• Use recycled paper.
• Install motion-sensor lights in areas such as bathrooms.
• Consider a schedule such as four 10-hour days, or working partially from home, which will reduce pollution from the daily commute.
• Pick up trash around the neighborhood.
• Go camping and hiking.
• Sort recyclables together.
• Go thrifting.
• Make do with less.
Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.
Sign in to comment
Or login with: