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#1 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I cloth diapered and we use reusable cloth for clean up. We have a backyard garden where we grow veggies and we support our local agriculture by buying what we don't grow at the farmers' market. When the need for the grocery store arises we use reusable canvas bags to tote our food. We make our own Earth-friendly cleaning products and buy 100% organic. Our just-turned-4 year old knows more about the evils of GMOs than most adults and he understands that conventional farming isn't sustainable. Additionally, I use my sewing machine to re-purpose old clothing. We also reuse containers and have minimal waste on trash day, since we recycle and compost. 

 

p.s.- I pinned this give away on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/11047961558741942/ :) 

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#2 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oops, I think I put this post in the wrong place. :) I thought I was commenting on the giveaway thread. Sorry!

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#3 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 01:20 PM
 
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orngbiggrin.gif

 

I think we've all started a thread without meaning to, at some point or other!


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#4 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 03:19 PM
 
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this would still be a great discussion, especially if we related sustainability to our kids education!


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#5 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 03:48 PM
 
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And that's what I thought it was!  But no...

 

So, let's tie it!  Why not?  Make this thread-flub-up worthwhile!

 

So, in what ways do you tie in environmental ethics/sustainability into HSing?  Is it more lifestyle practices that you pass on to your kids?  Do you articulate them?  Do you have curriculum that centers on a subject connected to it?  Did you do something (intentionally or unintentionally) that was phenomenally fun?  Is it something you just tried out and studied for fun?  Or something that is an ongoing practice?


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#6 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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We do a vegetable garden and plan to expand it every year to make it a substantial food source for us. It has been wonderfully educational without us even trying! We did a whole week of Earth Day projects, we talk about recycling and practice that at home, and use reusable bags whenever possible (a.k.a. - when mommy doesn't forget them at home!) I explain to my daughters in the grocery store why we buy some things organic and why that's important to us. Whenever we learn something about nature I try to make them see how important it is we take care of our environment or those wonderful bees we studied or mushrooms we discovered in the woods wouldn't be around anymore. I think just having them outside in nature, going camping, and helping them take part in these basic life activities and explaining our choices to recycle, purchase organic, go camping instead of shopping ect. makes it really hit home for my girls. One thing I would love to do would be to instill a greater awareness of natural rhythms, cycles, and general connection to the earth not only for my kids but for me too. I would love to hear any ideas!


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#7 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 09:09 PM
 
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One of the things we do is this:  We live a rural area and I always have comments on the conditions of the pastures we pass.  We talk about ways of preserving the condition of the soil and grass, and how that makes cows an horses happy, too.  The girls can recognize when a pasture has been mismanaged.  Well-managed pasture reduces pollution, keeping waterways cleaner, animals happier, and soil healthier.  We call one dairy "Happy Cow Farm" because the grass is always lush, never muddy (a huge feat in PNW!)  Unfortunately, this is one memorable dairy--most other dairies and private herds and horse pastures are pretty sorry-looking.


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#8 of 13 Old 05-16-2013, 01:22 AM
 
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It gets a lot more interesting too as they get older, I've found. Because "sustainable living" is a really complex thing. What's more sustainable-using a small amount of pesticides, or pesticide sprayed seeds, in order that we can actually get a crop, or having a crop failure and so buying flown in organic food? How sustainable is homeschooling when it seems to mean spending a lot of time driving? (for us). There's a strong argument that the most oil-economic form of housing is actually well designed high density with good (eco--y) transport. Does this make it the most sustainable?  What steps would be needed for our town to feed itself? And so on. I don't have answers here by the way, but one thing I've enjoyed is seeing my kids starting to grapple with the complexity involved.


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#9 of 13 Old 05-16-2013, 08:01 AM
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One thing not mentioned yet is canning/preserving.  Each year, we do some food preservation.  To us, that aids sustainable living because without it, harvest would go to waste and we would need to rely more on the grocery store.  Additionally, I think it provides the girls with a life skill that also connects them to their ancesters--every generation in our family has "put up" the harvest.  We don't do nearly as much as my grandmother did--she truly relied on it.  My kids are beyond breastfeeding years, but we frequently discuss breastfeeding from many angles, including sustainability.  We compost!  Composting is an ongoing science experiment at our house. 

 

Amy


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#10 of 13 Old 05-17-2013, 07:05 AM
 
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AAK - yes, composting is great! We have a big compost pile, my 6 yo loves find worms to throw in there to help things along. I would love to try canning this year but canning season is right when I am due with #3 so I have no idea if that is feasible this year or not. I would like to get a deep freeze though as many vegetables we grow can be kept frozen for at least a couple months.

 

Fillyjonk - those sound like wonderful conversations!

 

With #3 due soon, I am hoping the cloth diapers will encourage some more thinking about waste and non-renewable resources.orngbiggrin.gif


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#11 of 13 Old 05-17-2013, 04:25 PM
 
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We talk about buying processed vs. unprocessed at our coop and supermarket. Recycled paper products vs. cloth. Reusable bags at any store or saying no to bags... recyclable containers. re-using vs. recycling....
 

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#12 of 13 Old 05-17-2013, 07:40 PM
 
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I went through a phase a couple of years ago where I really despaired. We'd been doing as much of this sustainable living stuff as we'd been able to muster for years ... composting, raising hens, buying milk and cheese from neighbours, planting a garden, buying grains in bulk and grinding them and baking bread, sprouting, cooking from scratch, making yogurt, making nut milks, hanging laundry, using cloth diapers and cloth bags, natural source cleaners, home-made soaps, bar shampoos and conditioners to avoid packaging, bringing in our own firewood, using low-energy lighting etc. etc. It took a ton of energy to do it all, and from a carbon footprint standpoint it was still largely trumped by the fact that we are incredibly vehicle-dependent, living a long way from even simple things like the post office, friends and violin lessons in a steep often-wintry rural area with no public transit. 

 

But my eldest moved out on her own a couple of years ago, and even though she now lives a life very different from what she grew up with I can see that something positive has come out of all those years of small efforts: she has internalized the habit of asking herself continually "What's the environmental impact of this choice?" She doesn't bake her own bread or plant a garden or raise hens. But she has public transit and whole foods stores, and she's still asking herself questions at every turn about how she can make choices that minimize her environmental impact.

 

So I'm thinking maybe that's the most worthwhile sustainable-living education we can give our kids: not necessarily the habits of particular practices, but rather the habit of considering environmental impact at every turn -- in the context of their daily lives, whatever those lives turn out to be.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#13 of 13 Old 05-17-2013, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

So I'm thinking maybe that's the most worthwhile sustainable-living education we can give our kids: not necessarily the habits of particular practices, but rather the habit of considering environmental impact at every turn -- in the context of their daily lives, whatever those lives turn out to be.

 

Miranda

I like that!


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