what a difference a year makes...

my wonderful former co-workers did me the very nice favor of cleaning out my desk at work and bringing the items my way. lots of papers, random office supplies and other junk filled the large bag that i was given. other items amongst the wreckage include the following: a 50-pack of single use floss packets (each individually packaged), non-biodegradable doggie poo bags, scented in "powder fresh," (i was able to take maizy to work with me for awhile), alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with triclosan--read about the negative side-effects of this chemical here), and random lotions & potions containing parabens, synthetic colors & fragrances, and dozens of other unpronounceable chemicals. needless to say i was a little grossed out as i dug though the bag--especially since i was using most of that crap while i was pregnant with lucy. 

the changes that i've made in the past year--little by little--have me feeling really good when i see stuff like this. tiny changes really do count in the big picture!

now, here's my question: once a person has learned all of these things, and made positive changes, is it for good? some say that this whole "green" thing is simply a trend--much like a low-carb diet or bellbottoms, and those of us who are into all things eco are simply riding the wave, doing the popular thing. i honestly don't know. will i ever go back to using paper towels? plastic bags? not caring about what's in my personal products? 

i have to say i don't think so--as long as education acts as a foundation behind the changes. in my case, i feel i've got a good base of knowledge about eco-relates issues. the decisions i make are made more for my health and the health of my family than anything else. helping the earth runs a close second here, but the primary focus is on our immediate well-being. 

my mom teaches first grade, and was telling me tonight over dinner that she routinely talks to her students about basic ecological issues, from pollution to recycling. if every teacher took this approach, we'd be priming an entire generation to tread carefully on the earth, and make educated decisions about what they're putting in and on their bodies. wouldn't that be something?

of course, i'll be doing my part with lucy. since she's the one who inspired me to get this all going in the first place, it's really the least i can do. :)

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