Thursday, May 14, 2009

There are no small things in mothering

As a warning, this post does contain some stereotypes and information that does not apply to everyone. It is also a combination of the last two bullets.

I am putting it out there that no matter how hard we try, women tend to take charge of the children in the home. It is not that our partners do not participate, contribute, etc, but we fill the traditional mothering role while working inside and outside the home. We purchase our children’s clothing, sign them up for activities, and teach our children life skills (cleaning, gardening, etc.). We clean (seven hours more on average once we are married), cook, and model behavior that our children mimic. Because of this, I argue that there are no small things in mothering, and that position extends to environmental issues!

Our children notice when we recycle, compost and use green cleaning methods.

Our children notice when we avoid certain foods and chemicals.

Every one of us can affect change by doing some small things. Here is a short list of ideas. Please, comment and add on!

  • Breastfeed
  • Decrease your shower time
  • Consult the Skin Deep database before buying products such as cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and sunscreens
  • Purchase less stuff (in general) – less stuff requires less manufacturing
  • Choose quality over quantity
  • Compost
  • Use plants to help clean the air in your home
  • Buy local and local organic when possible (here’s a cheat sheet on best/worst produce)
  • Consider the “big” picture (i.e. is what you are doing supporting the oppression of others?)
  • Walk instead of drive when possible
  • Decrease the amount of plastics in your home
  • Decrease the amount of chemicals in your home
  • Use green cleaning products
  • Bring your own bags out shopping

I could go on, but I’ll spare you…for now!

This is the end of my series, and I hope that it was helpful and informative…even if you all did not comment! ;)


dulce de leche said...

Great list, and I've enjoyed the whole series!

Bethany said...

i can't agree more.

Erica Lum said...

Great post Maria. I often say that children are like sponges -- constantly absorbing what is around them. By making even some of these choices on this list a part of our everyday life, children will follow our lead and eventually make the same positive and educated choices for themselves. Can you imagine the improvements we could see in our world in just a few years!?!

sasspot said...

good list. i never considered how much waste i avoid by breastfeeding!

Maria said...

Earth Day 2008 Tip 3 has more information on what you do for the environment when you breastfeed instead of using formula! :)

Natasha said...

I would add, Speak with admiration and respect to/with your spouse. We model marriage for our children. Make it count by not cutting each other down, no matter how much you want to be right.

Rebecca said...

here here!

Melodie said...

Great list. So true. I would also add, being kind to others and to animals. In my household, not eating meat is important to me to pass down to my kids and as they get older I explain why.

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