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Making Greener Choices: Leading by Example

Posted by Bryana on 10/1/2007 to Green Living

I love to Google for the term "Cloth Diaper" and select the search link for "NEWS". In fact, even more, I love subscribing to the alerts and have them show up nice and neat in my inbox.

Knowing that the diapering trend has turned back towards cloth diapers and other more sustainable life choices is encouraging. On one hand, it is positive for my online cloth diaper business, but even before the business plan unfolded, I held the conviction to cloth diaper.

I enjoyed Patti Ghezz's article, How I Became a Green Mom", published yesterday. In her interview with Gina Costanzo, she really got to the core of how to tackle maker greener choices in your everyday life. Mrs. Costanzo said,

"I'm just taking small steps in what looks like, from my vantage point, the right way to go. In other words, I'm just being a mom."

At the tail end of her article, Ghezz touches on "25 ways to be a Green Mama or Papa" promoting small, but meaningful "green" decisions. Many of her suggestions are not a far stretch from the recommendations I discussed in my last blog post, Carbon Diapers Reduce Carbon Footprint. It isn't the broad sweeping gestures that stand the test of time - well, not usually. Rather, it is the day to day movements toward our convictions that get us where we want to go.

Costanzo and her husband didn't start with cloth diapers, but instead, what they call "the easy stuff".

"We switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and I looked up what my town's recycling program accepts...Next, I wanted to do something about diapers...I chose a modern cloth diaper with snaps instead of pins called Fuzzi Bunz."

Their daughter liked her cloth diapers so much that Costanzo was encouraged "to not only adopt a green lifestyle but also to teach Celia the importance of treading lightly on the planet."

That is where the true change occurs. As parents we make decisions everyday that are wise or foolish, but they are OUR OWN decisions. If we don't take the time or energy to pass on what we've come to learn, experience, or even just our opinions to our children, we've done a disservice to them.

If you cloth diaper, tell your children WHY you cloth diaper. If you have selected not to cloth diaper, tell them why you don't. Perhaps you live in an area where the carbon footprint of a biodegradable paper diaper is "lighter" than a cloth diaper. Explain it to them.

If you recycle, compost, turn off lights, select certain bulbs, opt for solar energy, reuse, plant, eat locally grown and in season fruits and vegetables, or WHATEVER ... explain to your children what you are doing and why so they understand the full ramifications of your decisions. And then, don't give in to convenience and cancel out your words by not following up with actions.

Small changes, just like a slow, but steady river, can carve out canyons over a period of time. And when, as Costanzo said, "...convenience trumps tree-hugging", don't feel guilty - just keep on keeping on. It is all a part of a process of making greener choices and leading by example.