I have had a wonderful week full of days of doing nothing but playing with the boy, sewing and planning out the gardens (mine and the school gardens). I made it a point of doing a lot of what I wanted to do in the early part of the week because I knew yesterday would be non-stop from sun-up until the moment I would crash into bed late at night. My daughter's school is in the process of becoming a Michigan green school and with that process comes many requirements and tasks that they must complete. One of which is having an assembly with a guest speaker who is working to make the earth more sustainable. I decided to take this task on and help the school with this part of the application and so I organized a nun from the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe to come speak to the kids about ways to be environmentally responsible. For those who are not aware of what the IHM nuns have done at the Motherhouse I put the link on here so you can check it out because it is truly amazing what they are doing to make their entire property and facilities environmentally friendly and sustainable. The nun did two presentations, one for the younger children (Jr-K through 2) and then another for 3rd through 5th grades. The presentations were excellent as was the reception from the kids. The nun talked to them about the importance of the 3 R's (reduce, reuse and recycle) and showed ways in which this is possible. With the older children she also discussed the more complex aspects of what has been done at the Motherhouse such as the geothermal heating and cooling system, gray-water recycling, wind and solar energy. But what impressed me the most was her encouragement of exploring the sciences as they get older and her charge to them to take responsibility over their lives and the impact they can make our earth.
As I ate lunch with this womun who was a force of energy, love and life, I myself was inspired to take my commitments to mother earth to a new level and I am now making a commitment to step it up. It is easy to get lazy and use plastic and paper bags, disposable diapers or paper napkins, and that laziness is filling our landfills at outrageous rates. Think about how many diapers a baby goes through in just one day. Here are some disposable diaper facts:
- 18 BILLION disposable diapers are thrown in landfills each year.
- It takes several hundreds of years for one disposable diaper to break down.
- It takes over 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to produce the amount of diapers that are used in America alone.
So my cloth diapers are back out and I am now making wool soakers from recycled wool sweaters this weekend and if I get enough energy I might try making some cloth napkins out of some funky material I have.After my inspiring lunch I had to attend a meeting at the gurl's school about the garden project that the school has to start as part of the MI Green School application and I came to a fast realization that since I run garden club this project is being dumped on me, which I really don't mind, but would have appreciated someone asking me to include this in what I have started doing with the garden club and not assume that I would be okay adding this extra responsibility. This is exciting though because it does open up a lot of opportunity to bring over high-school kids to connect with the kids on the lower campus as well gives me a need to push for parent volunteers and donations. It also might open the possibility of some grants for the school for these projects. SO....this spring is going to keep me very busy between my gardens, the schools gardens and the family.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in my car (which I pretended was a hybrid) driving from Pontiac to the eastside to get the boy from the grandparent's house and then back home to Detroit to do baths and make a very quick dinner so that I could fly out of the house to the health food store and then on to my first kickboxing class. The day was beyond busy and as I crashed in bed last night I offered up a prayer of thanks for the inspiration and renewal of spirit that today offered.
On a side note: This morning as I was unloading a plastic grocery bag that I had reused for items from the health food store and my gurl went into a lecture of why I should NEVER use plastic bags and reprimanded me for not using one of our cloth grocery bags. I tried to explain I had dad's car and there were no cloth bags in that car so I reused a plastic bag I found in his trunk, but it didn't matter to her; it was still plastic. How proud I was at that moment, that my four year old daughter knows so much about being environmentally responsible and was able to bring something from that assembly home to teach her family; I hope many other kids were able to do the same.