Wednesday, July 23, 2008

No worries, be happy

When we decided to take a vacation, I thought it was the perfect time to leave the computer behind and completely disconnect. Eek?!? No laptop? No internet access? I can handle it! I also decided to take a mental break from "green".

No, I didn't act like a pig a leave every light in the hotel on and smother myself in Cheez Whiz! Come on, don't you know me by now? I thought it would be wise to take a break from freaking out if there wasn't a recycling bin nearby and keeping myself from panicking reading the restaurant menus chock full of CAFO meats. Some times all the agonizing and debating and worry about foods, landfills, energy and global warming can hang a little heavy over my head and those of my boys. Vacations, by definition, are a way to recharge your batteries, spend time with the ones you love and take a break from your worries.

Yes, we turned off the tap when brushing our teeth, reused our towels, turned off the lights, kept the same sheets for the entire stay, drank out of reusable bottles whenever possible and walked to dinner and the driving range. We even brought home a few magazines and papers for the recycling bin, but for the most part I had to let go. While it was hard, I relaxed and enjoyed watching my boys spend the entire day outdoors playing golf, tennis, basketball and swimming. They hiked trails and admired the forest view from our balcony and the night sky with stars so bright without a backdrop of city lights.

That is an important part of being green in my eyes. Teaching your children to appreciate the great outdoors, the sunshine, the rain, the forest and all the bugs and critters hanging out in there. This way, when we are home and they ask why we turn the heat down, why the air conditioning is off, why we don't eat fast food or fruit roll ups I can ask them to remember our trip. Don't they want to enjoy these things for years to come? Will they one day want to take their boys to the woods, the golf course, the hiking trails? Take care of mother nature, be kind to our planet and it will be there for you when you when it's your turn to teach your children how to hit a golf ball, dive from a diving board or perfect a lay-up on the basketball court. I took a brief intermission from the worry, and I was happy. Tomorrow is another day!


Bobbi said...

Nice post! Tomorrow is indeed another day.

Green Bean said...

So true. I think it is wise to take a break every now and then from being green. I've done it as you did - while on vacation. It's as important for your own sanity as it is for your family. And it is always good to step away and reevaluate when you come back fresh. There's never been anything I've regretted in that.

As to teaching your kids to love nature, what can be more valuable. How else can we explain the craziness we do or motivate them for the future. Welcome home!

Joan said...

It is important to keep things in perspective. Your family is a priority. I'm having to compromise some of my green principles when dealing with my 15 year old son. I lead by example but I don't want his last 3 years at home to be me forcing things on him or nagging. We need to be accountable but not carry around guilt. Sounds like you had a nice time.

eco 'burban mom said...

bobbi - yes, today I am back on the green bandwagon!

GB - It was nice to take a break from the worry, and focus on the family. Now, I am back and it's time to get busy. I feel ready to take on bigger and better things! And, an added bonus? The kids are EXHAUSTED! I love it!

Joan - yes, you have to pick your battles. Mine a still a bit younger, so I have a little more control. I am hoping some of my green habits will sink in before they get too much older!