Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Guest Post: Raising Conscious Kids(And Other Things Our Great Parents Didn't Teach Us)

Raising Conscious Kids (And Other Things Our Great Parents Didn’t Teach Us)

Thank you, Kelly Cutrone for inspiring the ending of this post’s title. And inspiring me to take a deeper look into my life and contribution to society’s horrific obliviousness. Before this becomes a Kelly Cutrone fangirl post, let me start writing about what I decided to post about today. And that’s raising conscious children. It’s not enough to have recycling bins in your house anymore. We are in a day and age where everything is digital (a blessing and a curse) and the media is even MORE so in the business of driving sales for crap we don’t need. There’s really no getting around it. It’s everywhere. We could take our kids, go hide under a rock and be cave-people. But instead, I suggest we try a new way of thinking.

If you read my first post, you know a little bit about my stance as far as consumerism goes. Where that comes in to raising children is what I’m talking about now. If my kids grow up to be jerks who don’t care about their impact on the environment and the people who inhabit the world, I can at least say they spent a good portion of their lives doing it because they were in my home. By the time they grow up, some animals that we see in the zoo today may be extinct. Maybe because they are being poached for unacceptable and cruel reasons. Maybe because of the waste and pollution ruining the world and in turn the habitat of those creatures.

There will be less clean drinking water. Maybe because of all of the waste factories dump into our water sources. (Here’s lookin’ at you, fashion industry). I could go on forever. And believe me, I will. In the mean time, here are 3 ways you can teach your kids to be conscious individuals.

1. Eat Less Meat
Why it’s Good for them and the World
  • Obviously, buying less meat reduces animal slaughter
  • Less meat in their diet means less hormones which is good for them and their development
  •  Buying less meat means your affect on the shipping process (which in itself isn’t green) won’t be as high
How To Do It
  • Introduce more beans, potatoes and grains. These are filling and healthy alternatives.
  • Take your children to a farm. I wouldn’t go so far as explaining the whole slaughter process to a small child. However, kids are very smart. If you tell them that bacon is made out of the piglet they are visiting, they are more likely to understand why eating less meat is a good thing when they get older.
2. Buy/Use Second-Hand & Donating
Why It’s Good For them and the World
  • Donating your kid’s gently used clothing teaches them to be thoughtful and kind.
  • Using second-hand clothing reduces the need to shop and therefore your impact on supporting companies that manufacture what we call “fast fashion” (a lot of times they don’t pay factory workers living wages, are oblivious to human rights, dumps factory waste into water sources, etc.).
  • Buying second-hand clothes, if they are from an independent con-signer means you are supporting a small or local business.
How to Do It
  • Pretty self-explanatory. Find Second-hand stores. And don’t rule out Etsy for supporting a small business or entrepreneur.
Why It’s Good for them and the World
  • Being unplugged for any amount of time in a day teaches children to appreciate their surroundings and be innovative.
  • All of our computers, iPads, cell phones, etc are connected to coal energy plants, a very unsustainable way of making energy in many facets. Since there is no quick fix for this issue, we can do our part by unplugging devices when they aren’t being used, and just cutting down on our usage altogether. Instead of entertaining the kids with an hour of T.V., shut stuff off and go outside (this is a biggie for me since I’ve moved to North Carolina. Flowers, trees, mountains…the kids love to be outside and so do I!).
How to Do It
  • Plug multiple electronics into a power strip and use that to turn them all off (find more green tips like this here.)
  • Invest in good (eco/socially responsibly made) gym shoes!
Even if you just do one out of three, the world will be a better place because of your influence on your spawn – I mean kids. Well, that’s all for now.

Here’s another piece of My So-called Organic Life.

Meet the Blogger
Kamila Powell is a proud college-dropout, writer & digital content curator. Social justice, sustainability and art (both visual and performing) are a few of her favorite things. She currently lives with her two cubs in Charlotte, NC. Check out her newest venture into fashion and sustainability at Twitter: @kamila_powell

No comments:

Post a Comment