As a mom of two young children, ages 5 & 2, the state of our environment and climate change weighs heavy on my mind. I am constantly thinking about how the Earth will change in their lifetimes as well as their families, and how these changes will affect their quality of life. At times these thoughts can leave me with an overbearing sense of foreboding. As a working parent it can be overwhelming to manage day to day life and these types of thoughts. I was left thinking what can I do to make a difference.
It is in that mindset that I was determined to teach my children the importance of recycling, something that I have always been passionate about. I believe that education of both adults and children is imperative to achieve positive change. I began speaking with my daughter about recycling and talking to her as I would gather items for the recycle bin. When I was teaching her to throw things in the garbage I was sure to call out items that can be recycled and the process of placing them to the side for recycling. At age 5, it is now second nature to her in terms of what goes in the garbage and what we put in the recycle bin. In fact, at a party at a friend’s home she walked up to him and asked where she should put her can for recycling. It was a “proud mom” moment for me.
While I am happy to see my children learning and following my footsteps in terms of being cognizant of the Earth and making steps to invoke positive change, I know that this is not the norm for all homes and families. I was recently at a family party in which massive amounts of recyclable items were being thrown in the trash. While I was astounded that this still happens, I asked my cousin why. She mentioned that it was not easy to recycle in her neighborhood and she was too busy to make it a priority. I had a conversation about the long-term impacts and the future for our children and their children. It is examples like this that solidify the need for organizations like ours, Green Living Science, that are working hard to educate young and old on the importance of recycling. There is a lot of work to be done in this space, and we will continue to fight the fight so that we can leave a healthy planet for our future generations.
~ Rosana Laurain