This post is inspired by the latest SVMoms book club choice, Green Guide Families: The Complete Reference for Eco-friendly Parents. I received a copy of the book as part of my participation in the book club.
I learned of a concept for the first time last week, in the run up to Earth Day on April 22nd, that within the eco-friendly green movement, there are actually "shades" of green. I heard that 65% of people fall under the shade "light green." These people have made some earth-friendly changes to their lifestyle, perhaps commuting or taking publictransportation and recycling some of their paper, glass, plastic and aluminum products, but haven't changed eveything in their life to live completely "dark green" by living their entire lives in the most earth-friendly ways they can possibly imagine.
It made me think about how so much of the green movement is really a throwback to the lifestyle from a half century ago, and how my grandmothers' generation must be getting such a kick out of it - as a return to the life they knew in their younger years, and for the most part, never really left behind. When I visit my grandmothers, they've always done more with less, and by comparison of consuming less, seemingly accomplished more. They've continued their gardens and sewing on buttons and cooking from scratch. They're today's hipsters without trying to be.
It made complete sense then as I attended a blogger lunch and tour at Marcal Small Steps last week to hear that the company began producing paper products from 100% recycled paper in 1950, admittedly because of the economics of the times. It simply cost less money to make paper from paper than to make it from trees - and is more earth-friendly too.
I know that for my grandmothers, much of their lifestyle was dictated by their economic situations. People breastfed and used cloth diapers in part because it was economical, but they also spent time outdoors because they had smaller homes, so there was little space for kids to wrestle and run or be noisy. Clothes were line-dried, and hemmed or shortened as they were handed down, meals were prepared from scratch and repurposed - all of these skills were learned in the home growing up, not taught by catching a themed episode on the Food Network, PBS, HGTV or Bravo, etc.
I think my grandmothers would find it funny that there's a big movement to return to that lifestyle, to better use what we have in an effort to be more earth-friendly and that its called being "green." Because the lifestyle they learned growing up used to be indicative of not having any green.