Years ago, when my husband and I had trouble conceiving, I wondered was it the earth somehow responding to over population? Who, I wondered, was I to fight against what seemed like nature’s decision for us not to reproduce?
But after multiple early miscarriages, failed IUI treatments and at last a successful IVF that yielded beautiful twin baby girls, my feelings changed. Raising the next generation has engaged me with climate change and the future of our planet in new ways. The fear of what my children will have to deal with in terms of rising temperatures and natural disasters is ever present.
Teaching them to love nature, respect animals (and people), and to be curious about the world and science and our place in it, is energizing. How can we reduce our carbon footprint as a family? What plants can we grow in our garden to help the bee population? We try and reduce household waste and go beyond recycling and separating out the yard waste from landfill trash.
My children are growing up knowing that shopping second hand is more earth friendly and fun. That growing food and choosing vegetarian meals is an accomplishment. Walking and biking beat driving. Reusing plastic and paper bags and reducing waste are small positive measures.
Of course, these are small things and there’s so much more we can do as a family. But we are invested in saving the planet and aware of our burden on the natural environment. Small changes may affect a larger movement. And who knows, maybe one of these planet conscious young minds will help invent the next viable natural energy solution.