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This blog is the home of THE MAMALUTION! Calling all moms, grandmoms, sisters & aunts to tap into their instinctual & intuitive wisdom to save the day! It is time for our collective voice to be heard.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A look into YOUR life

We are at a critical and stirring point in our history. We know this to be true. No longer can the earth regenerate and replace resources at the rate we are consuming them. What do we do? It is time to change our ways and we are just the generation of mothers to do it!

Making the change may seem daunting or difficult at first. But as we recognize the imperative link between our behaviors and what is going on in the world, we begin to accept our role in the big picture and are motivated to shift our habits.

As mothers, there are several ways to begin implementing more sustainable practices into our homes. Let’s look at how it is possible to integrate concepts of sustainability into a typical day of an average family right here in the US...

“The wind-up alarm clock that has long been out of style but you still very much like rings, and you are up, ready to take on the day. The water in the bathroom runs cold, but quickly the solar thermal water system delivers it steaming hot as you splash it on your face. Ever since the installation of the new water filtration system the smell of chlorine and fluoride that our government adds to all municipal water is now just a memory.

In an effort to conserve water, your husband installed a low flow shower head and everyone in the family has agreed to keep their showers to five minutes. You dry your face with the towel that you had just yesterday washed with your non-toxic bio-degradable detergent – its surface still stiff from your very own solar clothesline. You save energy by line drying but switching over to renewable energy was probably the biggest sustainable accomplishment yet.

You brush your teeth with your recycled plastic toothbrush, and wonder how many yogurt containers it actually takes to make one of them. Your bathroom now showcases all non toxic body care products & cleaners these days. You committed to purchasing only environmentally friendly products after hearing a talk on the watershed issues not only facing your own town but the entire nation as well. It really sunk in knowing that everything we wash down our drains ultimately ends up contaminating our water sources and affecting all of us.

Likewise, once the realization that you were able to do your part just in the ways you shop took hold, you began to look at other ways you could have an impact through your every day purchases. Why support big corporations that are wreaking havoc in the environment when you can support the local economy by buying close to home? There is power in knowing that you can change the world simply by the way you shop!

Last year you began searching out local food sources and started shopping at farmers markets and even joined a CSA. Now, you and your family are enjoying amazing local and organic foods that do not have to be fumigated, irradiated or transported (usually before they have been allowed to ripen). Eating this way has proven to be beneficial in so many ways – from feeling good about feeding your family such high quality foods to getting to know farmers and others in the community statewide.

In doing so, you realized lots of others were thinking just like you. Farmer’s Markets are popping up all over the place. In fact, Farmer’s Markets are one of the fastest growing segments of the business economy, second only to Wal-mart. This year you and the kids are thinking about planting a garden of your own. You see visions of your kids with their hands in the dirt.

You recall last night’s late night reading on growing sprouts. Amazing that sprouts have more nutrition than even the best organic foods and can be grown in the smallest of indoor spaces – a counter or shelf in your apartment or house! One pound of sprout seeds cost less than one dollar and produce ten pounds of food. Sprouts alone could end world hunger!

It’s lunch time and the kids are hungry – so you cut up some organic veggies for them to munch on while you get them bowls of soup you made earlier that morning. You were shocked to discover that ninety percent of all the foods on grocery store shelves contain some kind of genetically modified food last year and finally switched to buying only organic.

The up front cost seemed higher at first but when you eliminated the packaged, processed foods from your purchases and starting buying bulk whole foods, the cost actually went down. It was a bit challenging at first but after the resistance passed the kids actually seem more calm and focused.

It was also decided as a family to try and support local retailers, including consignment stores (your husband is happy!). The drastic reduction in your spending in these areas allowed more freedom in other areas to buy items on your wish list such as the water filtration system and organic bedding.

All in all, you noticed that your spending habits in general began to lessen as you became more conscious about your purchases. As a family everyone began feeling empowered and even discussed what to buy before hand rather than buying things on impulse that weren’t really needed. The times you do find yourself at a store these days you make sure to bring your own reusable bag and one for each kid.

Off to the capitol for the protest to ban PVC from all kids toys that the local Environmental Justice Group has been working on for some time. You realized that working on issues that impact the environment on the legislative level was an important part of action to be taken as a family. The family hops into your biodiesel Excursion with kids and signs in tow.

Another big ticket item for you was looking at how to transport your family around. Luckily you were able to convert your diesel SUV to biofuels and on warmer days are able to run B100 (pure veggie oil). Even still, you are cautious about the amount of driving you do and try to consolidate all your errands rather than making multiple trips. Buying your food bulk from the co-op every other week helps as does living a close distance to where you have your business.

Looking back over the past year you are impressed with the amount of changes you and your family have been able to incorporate into your every day lives. You feel accomplished knowing that all of the little actions you have taken along the way have not only made a difference in the world but also in your quality of life.”

Becoming a sustainable you! Some simple steps:

*reduce energy usage & support clean energy options
*carpooling, using biofuels, driving a hybrid car
*swap clothes with friends or shop at consignment shops
*support the local economy by shopping locally & at farmers markets
*plant a garden, share your harvest with neighbors & friends
*buy bulk organic foods and limit purchases of packaged, processed foods
*protect your health & the watershed by buying only bio-degradable and non-toxic cleaners
*eliminate your use of plastic, especially plastic water bottles & bags – use reusable ones instead


Paula said...

Well written..and very empowering...if not still overwhelming. I actually shed some tears reading this...stirs up some major emotions including guilt and fear.

Imani said...

Thanks Paula _ I appreciate your willingness to openly look at this really difficult issue - I think it is the most challenging of our times. But it is the work that each of us does that will make the difference in the end...and that's something to feel good about! You are not alone!!!!