By Naomi Aldort
Raising kind and loving children is not enough if we leave them no livable planet. Our leaders are supported by corporations and devoted to their profit. The corporations want to keep the population dependent on cars, fossil fuel and endless products and appliances. We must stop participating in feeding this system; we must stop being consumers! We hold the power. No consumers no profit. No profit means they have to stop production. We are not victims, but creators. As parents and as people, we CAN make a difference by not feeding the greed machine; by not being their puppets.
As parents, we must stop turning children into consumers and start raising creators of new possibilities and stuarts of the earth. Dangling lots of goodies in front of our babies and children’s faces turns them into people who are dependent, like us, on products, ease, and instant gratification. We must raise a new generation of people who do not join this destructive path, but get off it; people who will care for this beautiful planet and become free of the global consumption trance.
In invite you to start with you, and with your child and family. Taking care of your child must include teaching her to respect the environment. Teach her to feed the body well while nurturing the source – the earth. Parenting in a world in transition requires a giant leap of raising your children to move away from consumerism into creating and living with more love and fewer things; more connection to the earth, and less of raping it for greed and temporary gratifications.
Most modern products are not necessary. I invite you to start cleaning the planet by stopping the use of of something you are ready to let go of. There are so many unnecessary things and humans existed before these inventions and did just fine. Minimize driving, avoid plastic items, shampoo, makeup, creams, after-shave, plastic bags, straws, cloth dryer, hair dryer, gadgets, toys…etc. Think of not only the production and the garbage but of the delivery tracks, packaging, production and storage buildings and their creation/maintenance.
We are all responsible; we are fueling the greed by shopping, gifting, wrapping, shipping, boxes, cards, gadgets… We are creating the next fire, flood, and ice melt. Did you know that using cloth dryer instead of letting the air dry your clothes is triple assault on the environment? The dryer production, delivery, packaging, parts, stores, maintenance and installation is the first huge factor. Then come the second: the insane amount of energy it takes to blow hot air for an hour or so at a time. And third: it destroys the fabrics quadrupling the amount of clothing production; one of the most polluting and toxic industry on the planet.
I have personally stopped buying most products. I hang my clothes (I live in a rainy area, yet even in the winter, I hang my laundry indoor and benefit from the humidity it ads to the dry air.) I take my own produce-bags (mostly of cotton or recycled) as well as grocery bags, and I buy organic and mostly local real direct food. I am developing my own garden and compost my garbage. I hardly ever buy things in containers and I minimize driving and am working with our local government on creating bike trails and more public transportation. I buy second hand clothes and, in the summer, consider a swim in the fresh lake a fantastic shower – its my spa. Cleaning chemicals are another useless line of plastic packaged toxins that ends up in our waters. I use water and vinegar. I make my own toothpaste and use different organic foods and clay for shampoo.
I don’t cook either! I eat raw. This mean almost nothing to clean in the kitchen, no fire, no sticky pots and trays, no need for hot water, soap, sponge, electricity… it is a100% less use of energy in the kitchen. Not buying kitchen products and appliances can cut warming and pollution dramatically. Think of cooking stoves and appliances; their production, the production of the machines that make them, storage, packaging, delivery tracks… As I write I am realizing that eating raw can make a giant difference in curbing pollution and heat (while making us healthier). And no, you don’t have to be vegan, but that is another story.
The fossil fuel companies are behind building a society that is dependent on cars in the “brave” new western world, with neighborhoods far from commerce. We must create other ways of mobility (bikes, more trains), and, bring local services and commerce back into neighborhoods, so daily mobility is less of a need.
We cannot fight greed as along as we feed it; we must make a difference right in our own homes and private lives, right now. The leaders are a mirror of each of us as we run our lives and participate in the destruction.
I invite you not only to dramatically reduce your footprint and get out of the consumption crowd, but find other ways that include your teens and children to contribute to change. Stopping consumerism must grow fast if we are to retain life here. Bring the information to the schools; demand or offer classes on getting off the consumption rat-race. Educate other parents, children and specially teenagers who are eager and full of passion.
Depending on your life activities and work you can bring this commitment to the work place, create a TED talk, and spread this and other information and videos on social media. Politically, your power (in the USA mostly) is in refusing to vote for anyone who takes money from corporations (coal, fossil fuel, guns, most big Pharma productions, junk food, plastic items, toxic clothing, pesticides (Monsanto) etc,. Our rivers are filling up with toxins of medications, junk food/drink, paint, chemicals and toxins from clothing, cleaning materials, and in the production process of almost anything. Eating only organic (raw) non packaged food, not only improves yours and your children’s health, but depletes the manufacturers of the profit that keeps them going. Capitalism and consumerism cannot be saved or sustained. Its over. But if we don’t stop our consumption addiction fast, according to science, we may be too late.
Normally I have a view from my window. Now, as I look out at the white smoke from increase in wildfires is engulfing everything, my heart sinks. Our southern Orca is down to 74 and unhealthy. One newborn died last month, and a five year old died today, emaciated. As I think of the children. What will the children have? Its up to you.
Copyright Naomi Aldort