What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

02 July 2011

Where it All Began.

Now that I've had this How Green is my Saturday? thing going for six months, and even managed a recap last week without even thinking about how I'd hit the 6-month point, I'm going to take one more trip down memory lane before plunging back into regaling you with my personal Healthy/Environmental/Low-Budget adventures.

Yeah, I've come to think of my lifestyle as Living on a Dime meets No Impact Man. I've mentioned a few times that my family were sustainable before anyone knew what sustainability even was, and for a very simple reason: All four of my grandparents lived through the Depression, neither of my grandfathers even graduated from high school, and then both sets of grandparents raised multiple children (eight on my dad's side, three on my mum's) on small incomes. My parents learned how to make do on very little, then got to put it into practise with a three-children-and-no-money life of their own. It turns out that many things that are good for the wallet are also good for the earth, the chief among these being: Don't Waste.

Hey, it's green.
And really, for me, that's the core of the environmental movement. I know there are other concerns, like about the chemicals getting into our food and water due to pesticides and pharmaceuticals, or the masses of yucky gas created when we move people and stuff all over the place, or the need to extract oil and metals and other modern-day essentials from wherever they are hidden in the earth, causing some level of havoc at the source. And I don't mean to dismiss these concerns lightly, but again, they eventually point back to not wasting things.

So I had "Don't Waste!" well-drilled into me from an early age, and when at age 12 I declared myself to be an environmentalist (that's when the enviro-stuff first started hitting the education system), my parents doubtless saw an opportunity to get me to finally remember to turn off the lights and use both sides of the paper before recycling it. The only real addition I've had to the Don't Waste mantra since then is my mostly-vegetarianism, and that's mainly because I love vegetables and don't love meat.

Anyway. All that to say, most of my earth-loving tips do serve a dual purpose: Keeping the earth as healthy as I can while keeping my bank balance in the black. Usually, those things go well together, and those are the very tips, tricks, and crazies that I share with you.

Until next time: Which of your parents' mantras have stuck with you? How/why?


Anonymous said...

My parents mantras. Good grief I could write a book.
Waste not want not.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
Family first.
Charity begins at home.
You have to earn your way through life.
Someone may be listening.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
I could go on but I won't. They were a tad uptight. Did any of them stick with me? Probably just the "do unto others" one. I like to think that I formed my own mantra which is simply "do no harm".
have a great weekend.

Su said...

I could probably write a book of my parents' things, too. Hee! I definitely think "Do no harm" sums them all up very neatly.

sparquay said...

For some reason, when you said "use both sides of the paper before recycling it" I thought toilet paper... ew.

I've never really been cool, since environmentally soundness is the cool thing now.
I don't think I can give up petrol burning cars (and driving them uneconomically) completely.
I like meat way too much and only eat my vegetables because it would be a bad example to my kid if I didn't.

And I can only remember the parental "mantras" that meant if I carried on, I would be in trouble or I was in trouble.

Su said...

Some days I worry about you a bit! I don't do a lot of the cool environmental things-- driving a hybrid car would be much "cooler" than riding a bike, for instance. It's not about the trend, it's about using your good sense.

Chadwick said...

Many mantras stick with me. I think to filter my experience through a guiding principle is all I can do. But when I feel imprisoned by my guiding principle, then I try to reflect on what it is and have more self-control to change it. I'm working on it.

I want my mantra to be:
Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise, engage these things.

If I can get there, then I want to move a step further and create these things where they are lacking. One step at a time; I may never get past the engagement, but what a beautiful engagement it is. :)