One Sunday afternoon I got a phone call. I almost didn’t answer it. My living room was full of a bunch of friends singing old youth group songs and some dreaded “contemporary” church music as if there were a campfire in the middle of the room. And then, on a hunch, I leaped for the phone. It was my son, Dave.
Dave was calling from Scotland, which didn’t happen all that often. He was a student. Usually I called and paid the bill. I was curious. And I didn’t have long to wait.
“Hi, Mom,” he said. “Uh, you’re going to be a grandmother!”
“Wow!” I replied, a little too loudly. The singing stopped.
Then, not so oddly for my family, or for my son, the Vet student, I asked, “Two-footed or four?”
“Two!” my kid assured me. I was stunned. Ecstatic. And stunned.
My assembled friends would attest to the fact that I said nothing else but “Wow!” over and over again for about five minutes.
I chatted some with Kelly, too. I cried. Eventually we did the, “we’ll talk soon” thing and I stood staring at the phone, dial tone buzzing insistently in my ear.
I don’t remember sleeping much for a couple of nights. All I could think of was wanting everybody to be healthy and for the world to be a much better, safer place, preferably in about 8 months!
I got involved.
I hope you will, too. Today.
Chances are you won’t make exactly the same choices I’ve made. Being the postmodern scholar I am, that’s ok with me. I don’t believe that there’s one answer that’s absolutely right for all people in all places and all times. I do believe that doing the same things we’ve been doing is going to keep getting us what we’ve got and that doesn’t sound real promising to me.
Are you with me?
First, at the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker, think globally and act locally. We make tiny changes at home and they’re going to affect the world. Kind of like that butterfly that flaps her wings in China and it rains in Chicago. I try to remember all the faces of children around the world and remember that they, too, need clean water and safe food and a big picture approach to energy. And then I try to do the most good with the least harm.
So, where might you start?
Schools, local politics, helping the homeless, animal rescue, your front yard. More about that later!
Here are three important and urgent and accessible options to consider:
Recycle. Everything you can. Then go one step farther and avoid needless packing. Re-use what you can.
Compost. A lot!
Detox your home. Lemon and salt, vinegar and baking soda will clean just about everything combined correctly. Environmentally friendly laundry soap and dish soap will solve most problems. Borax removes stains and odors and is great for baby clothes. A very occasional capful of bleach for a big stain is better than a cupful in every load of white laundry. There are these little things called “Woolzies” that replace fabric softeners and dryer sheets, both of which contain chemicals and fragrances to which many people have sensitivities. Woolzies work just as well and they’re made out of, well, wool. Which doesn’t seem to stimulate allergies, as it doesn’t come in contact with skin.
Painting a nursery? Look into low or no VOC paints. They’re way less toxic.
Do your research. Choose what works for you. Just get involved, please!”