All green, nature, and sustainability posts have been moved to Loving Nature's Garden

Friday, August 22, 2008

Are Homeschoolers Environmentally Responsible?

Why are we spoiling this lovely planet? What are you doing to improve your environmental footprint? If we're not doing enough yet, why not?

It's been a LONG time since I attended elementary school, yet I remember clearly the first time I was told that we are spoiling our planet, that their was worry over the legacy being given to my generation, and that oil would not last forever. At age 12 it was really inconceivable to me that we would act this way. What are we going to do when everything we had that was lovely is spoiled? What is your small part in improving the way we live? Are homeschoolers as a group more environmentally responsible and aware? Are we doing enough yet, and if not why not?

Often-times it seems like I have more questions than answers. I know that I'd like to have zero environmental impact, yet that's not the reality. I don't like using gasoline, yet I drive a vehicle. I don't like the environmental cost of electricity, yet I live in a air-conditioned home. I believe in Organic farming, yet lots of non-Organic food passes my lips. I like to live simply, yet I live surrounded by things I could do without. I've often felt like a hypocrite. Why don't I do more?

I recently read a book that talked about change. If I could remember the title, I'd give it here. Do let me know if you recognize it! It said something like this - when the cost of not making a change exceeds the cost of making a change we will act. Maybe it's a no-brainer, but that explains a lot! This book was not just talking about the $$ cost either. Change is hard, most of us don't do it willingly.

OK, back to the question. Are homeschoolers environmentally responsible? Are they generally more environmentally responsible? Do we save gas by not driving the kids to school, but use it up visiting our friends instead? Do we grow our own vegetables instead of doing recess, or just shop at the store like everyone else? Do we spend time doing lessons that require learning about the environment and get busy doing science fair projects that develop environmentally conscious ideas? Do we wear Organic clothing, build our own homes, hang our laundry to dry, and purchase locally? Or are we as a group pretty much like everyone else?

What do you think?


Sara said...

I don't know about homeschoolers in general, but in my family homeschooling does make it easier for us to live more responsibly. I don't drive, and my kids and I only get in a car 3 or 4 times a month. We don't ever buy new clothes. The kids don't care about new or in style. We have time to grow veggies and visit the farmers' market. So, if homeschooling doesn't necessarily make a family more responsible, it would make it easier to be.

Alison said...

Hi Sara, thanks for visiting. I think it's great that you manage without a car!

I'm curious about how you take care of daily business.I used to live that way, but I'd struggle to do it in my current community. Did you choose your place of living with this in mind? Is this unusual for the place you live? Can you walk to the farmers market from where you live, or how do you take care of your weekly grocery needs?

Sara said...

I specifically chose a home in a town where I could walk just about everywhere I would need to go. I've lived where I couldn't before, and learned from that experience. We now live within 2-4 blocks of the post office, grocery store, hardware store, even the doctor's office and library. The farmer's market sets up a block over. I don't know how common it is to have everything a person could need all in one smallish town (population 6,000), but I appreciate it. There's even an art school, dance school, and taekwondo school down the road where my kids can take classes.

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