Confessions of a paper plate mom

 
 

Tamara O'Shaughnessy

 

From the editor
I diapered my kids in thousands of disposable diapers imprinted with Barney and Disney princesses and froze countless images of them on disposable cameras. I drive my minivan everywhere I need without regard to other ways to get where I’m going.

I love long, hot showers. I haven’t changed our light bulbs to the new CFLs. I don’t unplug my appliances when I’m not using them. I’ve even been known to just throw things in the garbage when I go on cleaning sprees. And for as long as I’ve been a mom, we’ve eaten all our meals off pretty floral paper plates.

There, I’ve finally confessed. I’m the un-green parent.

Of course, guilt sweeps over me every time the radio broadcasts yet another ‘green thought’ because I’m not doing my part to protect the environment. But being green takes work and forethought and frankly, some days I’m lucky just to get through the day without dropping one of the many other important balls I’m juggling.

I keep telling myself I can’t possibly be the only parent who hasn’t gone green.

Since we started talking about doing a green issue a year ago my focus has been on trying to find stories that give even parents like me a little boost in the right direction for the sake of the Earth and our kids’ grandkids. This month, you’ll find simple things you can do to go green while also empowering your kids to care about more than their Wii and iPod.

It turns out going green doesn’t have to be hard after all.

After calculating my family’s carbon footprint online (it’s really not as big as I thought it would be because apparently I do a lot of things right for the environment), I’m already starting to take tiny steps to a greener O’Shaughnessy household. The light bulbs are changing. Some appliances are being unplugged. Showers are shorter. More items are going into the blue recycling bin. I’m even thinking about buying canvas bags for the groceries.

All little steps that everyone can make to create giant steps.

I’m just not ready to give up the decadent luxury of those pretty floral paper plates at meal time—yet.

 
 







 
 
 
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