Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Small Change

I'm very pleased to share that I'm the guest blogger over at One Small Change today.

One Small Change

One Small Change is a wonderful blog (written by Suzy and Andy of Hip Mountain Mama) dedicated to exactly its title-- making those small green changes in everyday life. Each month, blog readers post their new small change and update each other on their progress through comments. One Small Change is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and share your experiences.

And today, you can read a post from me over at One Small Change on one thing in my life that inspired me and can inspire children to be green now-- experiencing National Parks.


The Power of Parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

National Parks. There are lots of them. And at a very young age I fell in love with nature because of the impression National Parks made upon my little, budding soul.

Perhaps it was not an intended small change—my parents choosing to take us on vacations immersed in America’s protected greenery—but family vacations cemented in me the importance of caring for the environment.

So maybe it’s the one thing about me that didn’t have to change that I find important to write about here. There was no magic light bulb that went off inside my brain making me love nature. That deep-rooted love made it all the easier to make small changes (cloth diapers, homemade baby food, etc. etc.).

And here is where I’m going with this…

As a parent to a (big) six-month-old baby boy, there are a multitude of things I want for my son. Very high up on that list (next to ya know, decent health?) is my desire for him to love nature the way I do. I want him to grow up understanding how crucial it is to hug those trees.

I see the clearest path to that in how we spend our family vacations. Those relaxing, altruistic family moments away from our usual routine will be golden opportunities for truly demonstrating to him that this world is worth our green efforts. I guess I am hoping those memories, picture-framed as cherished, will leave him with warm, green fuzzies.

I get excited at the thought of making plans to camp in Shenandoah or hike the Smokies, to climb sea walls in Acadia or be wary of Grizzlies in Yellowstone . My husband and I would rather do those things with our children than ride on Dumbo and listen to Belle sing (those things are fun). It’s our personal preference. And I’m convinced we would rather be out of the amusement parks because we were brought up learning about toads and Leave No Trace.

A vista along the Appalachian Trail in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

So let your love of nature and your family moments transcend a love for the earth. If you already hold the environment dear, maybe this isn’t a change you should be making—it’s time you should be making, time with your children out in nature as a family. National Parks are an amazing place to let this happen.

Let your kids explore as Junior Rangers. Attend the amphitheatre nature talks. Examine wildflowers. Discuss turkey vultures. Pick blueberries and make pancakes with them the next morning.

If you make the memories, I am willing to bet that taking care of our earth, learning about the wild, and appreciating natural beauty will, well, just come naturally to our children.



  1. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    I really love your organic/green posts - I'm really striving to live a better lifestyle and start out our new life in our new home the right way! I can't wait to check out some of your posts! :)

  2. loved the post. u sure are a good person & a great mommy!

  3. Love, love, love your blog! When I had my daughter I researched quite a bit about creating the healthiest home possible for her and us. I have some great links that I started adding to my blog. Visit Mama's Little Chick. I am a new follower and have added you to favorites! Great post!


    Mama Hen

  4. Hey, I love your blog, and I wanted you to know I just nominated you for a Sunshine Award. You inspire me! :)

  5. Awesome! I am planting my first vegetable garden this year and really trying to rally my 3 year old to get in on the excitement. He loves checking the progress everyday. Now if I could just get him to eat the harvest... :)