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    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Green Mama, Part Two

    Thanks for coming back for the second half of my interview with Tracey Bianchi, author of Green Mama: The Guilt-Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet. Remember to leave a comment to be entered to win a signed copy of Tracey's book.

    Without further ado, here's more from Tracey.

    ED: In the chapter “Your One Big Thing: Think Big, Start Small” you talk about teaching your children to love the earth so they will want to save it. I found out that assigning dog pile duty in the back yard does NOT produce warm fuzzies toward the environment. Can you give us ideas for activities that will help kids learn to love God’s creation?

    TB: Adopting an animal from the local zoo. Picking a favorite trail or open space area and helping clean it up with a bunch of friends and neighbors. Getting books on certain animals and issues from the library or doing craft projects around an idea you choose can help kids get excited about conservation.

    ED: In your experience, which are the best trees to hug?

    TB: The ones your kids are climbing ;)

    ED: You have an entire chapter dedicated to greening up holidays. Easter is almost here, and I have to admit, I have five bags of plastic eggs ready for our festivities. I’m already feeling guilty about how many of those eggs will end up in the trash. What could I have done differently to make our event more green?

    TB: Reusing eggs from last year. Using real eggs and then eating them and just putting the candy in the baskets. Skipping out on the plastic grass and using real grass or no grass at all. Picking up decorations from a resale or Goodwill shop are a few ideas. I also did a blog post on skipping new Easter clothes for your kids. Some great ideas there could help too! Whatever works for you, don’t make yourself crazy with it all or you will end up overwhelmed and not wanting to do anything. Holidays are already hectic enough right?

    ED: Your book has me seeing everything differently, but one of the greatest truths in Green Mama is that people and the environment are inexorably linked. You said it best in the chapter “Plant a Tree: Looking Out for Every Mom.” It is impossible to lavish the fullest expression of God’s love to other people without caring for his creation. To care for God’s people is to care for the earth. The two are inseparable. Can you give one example of this principle?

    TB: A great story that I just put in my blog for April 18th is the story of a village in Ethiopia where the water source dried up due to misuse and not knowing how to care for the local ecosystems. So the girls in that village had to stop going to school because they now had to walk farther each day to get water. So something as simple as not knowing how to care for a water source prevented a whole village of girls from getting an education. As a nation with a ton of education and experience we can get involved in environmental projects both at home and across the world. It may seem like a trend here in the US but caring about these issues is life and death in some cultures and it shows that by simply caring about a water source that we really care about the people and their lives.

    ED: Do you have a website where we can get more information about Green Mama?


    ED: Silly bonus question: Do you think it’s true that Twinkies will outlast the apocalypse?


    Yesterday a few readers commented on green changes and resources from their own lives. If you have anything to add to the conversation or if you have a question or dilemma please share. If you'd like to make a less-than-green confession (plastic Easter eggs anyone?), this is also the place to do it. Tracey is all about exchanging guilt for small, practical changes. I like that approach.

    You have until Monday, April 25th to leave comments. I'll draw a winner on the 25th and post the name here on Breathe In Breathe Out.


    Fuegita said...

    What a great interview. I don't have kids, but still learned a lot just as a person what little things can start with to help.

    Beth K. Vogt said...

    Confession: I drink bottled water.
    Whew! Got that off my chest, now I feel better.
    But I do have a reusable Starbucks cup for my ice tea, so maybe that cancels the green faux pas of bottled water?
    Seriously, I found the story about the girls not being able to continue to go to school because the water source dried up so, so compelling. Looking forward to checking out Tracey's blog.

    Sonia said...

    Speaking of trees.... In honor of Earth Day, Lowes is giving away a free tree to each person (until supply runs out) on Saturday, April 23rd. Thanks for the interview. It encouraged me that I'm already doing a lot and gave me tips on how I can improve!