A lot of people in my personal life question the initiatives I take and the changes I make to our lifestyle. They don't see why our family eats only vegetarian food, why I insist on buying secondhand and handmade, why we eat organic, why I refuse to buy bottled water or over-packaged products, why my little one is in cloth nappies or why I make my own bread. I hear the chorus ring inside their heads, "Why does she make life so difficult for herself?" No one says much aloud to discourage me, but I can often sense a lack of understanding and alienation when friends and family hear I am taking another conscious stand and replacing "such and such" with a greener version. A slight roll of the eyes or judgemental smirk is all I need to know that they believe many of the changes I make are trivial and make no difference in the grand scheme of life.
Of course, I wouldn’t do any of it if I truly didn’t believe in my heart of hearts that it was making a difference.
So, what difference does it make? In my humble opinion, the over-consumption and abuse of Mother Earth and her precious resources will not end until there is popular demand for it to end. Simple economics- supply equals demand. And Mother Earth, like any infinitely loving mother, will give and give and give until she has absolutely nothing left; while the human race, like any spoilt rotten child who is not taught not to respect his/her Mother, will continue take and take and take until there is absolutely nothing left. I am a child of this planet, just like everyone else, and I want to show my Mother support, love, understanding and respect while she gives me life, and to pass these values on to my own children. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but as cliche as it sounds, the best and first thing one must do to see positive change is to start “with the man in the mirror”. Never be discouraged by the imperfections you see in the reflection but use them as inspiration. No one becomes Mother Teresa in a day. Every action we take to stand for what we know in our hearts is good, is a stepping stone in the right direction. And every step that we take transforms us into a newer, more educated, empowered, loving and respectful child of the Earth.
I am by no means an eco-saint, but I challenge myself everyday to think about the consequences of each and every action I take and then to change what I can, bit by bit, for the betterment of myself, my family, my community, Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants. I am a mother, a wife, a vegetarian chef, a writer, a creator and above all else a believer.
Believe with me.