Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sustainable Parenting- Save the Trees Already

I'm sure that you're thinking that this is going to be a tirade against Kimberly Clark's clearcutting of old growth forests in order to bring you things like Kleenex and sposies, but I'll leave that to Greenpeace. (But you could always see if your school district would reword the supplies list to read "facial tissue" instead of being brand specific, that is, unless Kleenex is sponsoring your child's education like a megacorp might sponsor a NASCAR team.)
No, this is something else entirely, but first let me say I've been known to fall down on this one.
Books. We all love em, own em, read em, but is that responsible. Can you see your bookcase from where you're sitting? Your kids' books? How many were one hit wonders? Sure, you read it. Heck, you enjoyed it. But do you have to own it? Do you ever feel bad, knowing its just going to clutter your home, and that you actually spent money on it? I call that biblioguilt.
I admit, I own the entire Harry Potter series, because sometimes I like a good fantasy with none of the sexual overkill that so often creeps into general fiction. I even admit that I preordered "Deathly Hallows," which meant more waste. I'm not perfect. No one is.
That said, if you open your wallet, there's a good chance you'll find a library card in there somewhere. It might be dusty from neglect, or stuck to the ice cream shop's frequent binger card. It might be well worn and so accustomed to use that it practically scans itself. But try this trick the next time you're out and want a book, or your kids want one. Write down the author's name and the title. Then go to your library. If they don't have it, they can request it.
Sure it takes patience and discipline to get the most out of the library, but think of all the trees that don't have to die because you're book sharing. And now think of how awesome it is that your kids have access to all the reading material they could want, with minimal environmental impact and maximum potential for building lifelong good habits.
Seriously- your kids will learn to be more eco-smart, to be patient in waiting for their bok of the moment to come in if it wasn't on the shelf, and to be responsible for things. Its an all around win.
So go to the library and rediscover the joy of reading a book just once, without guilt.

0 reflections: