Parenthood is full of difficult choices. Whether it’s deciding whether or not to vaccinate your child for swine flu, agreeing with your partner on a discipline strategy or finding a school, there is never ONE correct answer.
Which is one reason I found this article on The Nature Conservancy’s blog so compelling. The article speaks to another tough set of choices we face as parents: how to raise a child while attempting to reduce our impact on the planet. Specifically, how to stay green and stay on a schedule. The author discusses the trade-off between walking to school — the time for family togetherness, the ability to observe nature and the environmental benefit — versus the convenience of driving to school and getting up and ready a little later. As a night owl, I have a hard time thinking anything is worth getting up extra early for, although I admit that over time, mileage and gas emissions DO add up. It’s also hard with kids to embrace anything that adds MORE time to your morning routine.
I also like how the author points out ways to save time during other parts of the day to make up for the time spent walking, since that is certainly eating into some other priority. In particular, I like the idea of making sure you combine errands so you aren’t making one trip out for one thing (although I am occasionally guilty of that during the evenings, especially if I’m stuck at home all day).
Not having a school-aged child (yet), I also realize there is more to the equation. Is the route to school safe enough for a child to walk alone? Is the road well-lit throughout the year?
Has your family made any conscious choices to reduce your “footprint”? Do you have any ideas to share on making it easier to be green?
Written by: Nicole Basham