Sunday, May 06, 2012

Eco Warriors

While we were out one day, Evan wanted to take a brochure that was placed outside a learning centre. I warned him not to. Naturally, he demanded to know why he couldn't take that piece of paper. I stopped and told him that by taking that piece of paper, he was contributing to there being less trees in the world and if there were less trees in the world, the world would be hotter and the air would be less clean.

A parent walked by as I told Evan and Jordan this. He stared disapprovingly at me. And turned to his wife and muttered something about it all being about a piece of paper and why I didn't just let my kid take the piece of paper. After all, it was just a piece of paper.

The problem is that to me, it isn't. Just like a bowl of shark's fin isn't just a bowl of shark's fin, it's a shark that drowned and died for it. My mother said that from a young age, I was like that. And it all started with me asking her why the trees were moving so much in the rain. Her answer was that the trees were happy because the rain was washing off all the dirt off its leaves and if the trees were happy, we'd be happy because they breathed in all the smelly air and produced oxygen for us. Thereafter I, although I do not remember this one bit, marched up to some workers on the street who were pruning trees and scolded them for killing the tree.

I think that little girl still exists in me and now that I am a mother, my voice is more strident and my soap box has a grand reach of 3.

Do the children get it?

Slowly they are. They remember the Truffala trees from the Lorax when they want to take a brochure. They know that electricity comes from burning oil and there is very little oil in the world. They also know that they are not supposed to just throw away things when they are broken, not before they try try try again to fix it.

Will it make a difference?

I don't know. I know my campaigning against sharks' fin and recycling falls to deaf ears a lot in the family. I am not entirely sure that I have been forgiven for not having sharks' fin at my wedding but it doesn't really stop me. If no one listens, at least I am not adding to the problem.

And to me, I got to at least teach my kids that much.

So going to the beach was about playing in the water and on the sand but it was also about picking up rubbish on the beach and dumping it all into the bin.

A nice long empty stretch of beach just for JE (D refused to be even carried onto the sand)

A mermaid being washed up to shore. 

Discovering that the sand could be divinely cool in the shade. 

Evan actually said it was fun and it was teamwork. I liked that he said that. 

Jordan: Naughty people throw things on the sand and Jordan has to pick them up!

They still get a lot of fun out of it and I hope it remains this way long enough for this to become second nature to them. Meanwhile, more trips to the beach! To the joy of everyone except for Muffin who hates it with a vengeance!

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