Welcome to Earth Month! This month, I’m profiling a number of “green moms” who purposely live in a sustainable way.
For our next Green Moms profile, welcome Sandi Schwartz! Like me, she’s an environmental communicator. In her interview, she has some great honesty on what’s hard about being green, even as an adult. You can check her writing out online on Happy Science Mom, the blog’s Facebook page, and its Pinterest board.
Why is it important to you to parent your kids in a “green” way?
I believe in passing along green living to my children because it is a healthier, safer way to live, and I want to help protect the planet for their future. It is a simple concept of respecting what is natural (e.g. animals and plants) and what was here before us. I am also teaching them not to destroy things and that our actions have consequences.
What motivated you to care about environmental and social sustainability?
Ever since I cleaned up a local river in the beginning of high school and was part of the Nature Defense club, the environment has been a top issue for me. I studied environmental policy in college and graduate school, and have focused on environmental communications in my career. I am now volunteering my time in the community to be an environmental activist to ensure that environmental progress continues and is safeguarded.
What are the biggest steps you’ve taken to be sustainable, especially as a parent?
Driving an electric car is the biggest step that we have taken as a family. We own an electric car and a hybrid car. Every day my children are driven around town in an electric car and they understand the importance of what that means. We also recycle, reuse, buy organic food, and just started gardening.
Has there ever been a time when you felt like being sustainable conflicted with something that was best for your child?
I found that as a new parent, I was so focused on my baby that I did not do a good job prioritizing sustainable living. For example, I used regular diapers and never bought into the idea of cloth diapers mainly because I was scared to do something different. I was basically just so tired and overwhelmed with dealing with a new baby that I did what was easiest at the time. Now that they are older, I am able to focus more on other issues and incorporate them into our daily decisions.
What’s something you want to do to be sustainable, but haven’t been able to yet?
Composting. My biggest challenge is convincing my husband that it won’t smell and attract bugs. I also wish that I could purchase more eco-friendly clothing.
What’s the hardest part of trying to raise kids in a sustainable way?
Being the odd mom out. For several years when I was a new mom, my biggest concern was fitting in with other moms. I lost the sense of who I truly was. I am an environmentalist and there aren’t too many where I live compared to where I moved from 10 years ago. I now put my passion and beliefs first and don’t care if I am one of the only parents picking up my kids at school in the electric non-SUV.
What’s the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part is that I can go to bed at night and know that I am doing my best to help save the world. I am also proud when I see my children interested in green concepts, such as enjoying the peppers and tomatoes we grew in our backyard without any pesticides!
Thanks for sharing, Sandi! I’m sure other parents are reassured that they aren’t the only ones who feel “weird” for being green. Be sure to check out my other Green Mom profiles, including permaculture expert Jen, clean food-focused Caryn, and vegan Julie. Be sure to follow me on Facebook!