Monday, October 13, 2008

The APLS Blog Carnival-Education

For this month's APLS blog carnival, members were asked to write about environmental education- how we learned about the issues ourselves, and/or how we teach others about them.

At first I wasn't going to write anything (again!). I had written once before about how I came to be concerned about the environment on a personal level, despite the fact that I am otherwise fairly conservative socially and politically. I have also reviewed a couple of books I felt described far better than I could how Christians can embrace creation care from an ethical point of view without compromising on other concerns.

After thinking about it a bit, I decided I did want to write a post for the carnival. One reason I challenged myself to do this is because, honestly, it's been hard the last couple of months to hang in there with the green blogging world. Blogs I have loved, that were essentially about how to make changes in personal lifestyles in order to live more sustainably, suddenly became intensely political. I know people have strong opinions, but I also want to be sure that I don't "sit in the seat of mockers", a position we are advised to avoid in Psalm 1. There are plenty of mockers to be found on both sides of the political spectrum right now, and I'm not going to sit there with them, because even if you are just sitting there, not saying anything, your presence can be construed to be agreement with them. Guilt by association, so to speak.

But, in a couple weeks the election will be over, and we can all get back to writing about sustainable living and encourage each other again. That's something I'm not willing to give up on. I have learned a LOT from the blog world that is very, very helpful, and I'm sure we can continue to do so for a long time to come. And we have to, really. When even a Texas oil baron like T. Boone Pickens is saying, essentially "Hey, people, wake up! We've got a crisis in the making when it comes to energy, and we should not be fiddling while Rome burns!", you know we need to just doggedly find a way to cooperate with each other and get the job done, whether we agree on other stuff or not. So first and foremost, in talking about education, I want to give credit where it's due, to the green blogging community. You guys were out there writing about this stuff while everyone else was snoozing, and now, a lot of your suggestions are now popping up in homemaking magazines, HGTV, and my local newspaper. You put your money where your mouth is and figured out how to convince your spouses and kids to conserve and recycle and get off the "gimmee" cycle, and the rest of us can now see that it is doable.

The flip side of the question is, what am I doing to educate others on sustainable living? The answer is, just leading by example. At least I try to. It's not perfect. However, when I see my grown kids committing themselves to sustainable habits, I give myself a little, tiny mental pat on the back. I know I'm not the only, or even the main influence on them (and they are still young enough to want to make sure I know that!), but hopefully I have contributed at least a little to their habits for the future. If we don't look past ourselves into the future, we could easily grow discouraged. My kids encourage me when I see them putting into practice things I tried to model for them.

So, mixed in with all the pictures of my flower beds and posts about my job as a church choir director, and just things I find inspirational and want to share with others, I will still be posting about that other thing that I think is important: being a good steward of the world the Lord created for our use and enjoyment. I'll still be riding my bike to work. I'll still be composting and turning out lights and catching my shower warm-up water to re-use to flush the toilet. And I'll still be reading and learning from the green bloggers.
**"Is Anybody Listening?"-painting by Michael Owen Thomas


Everydaywoman said...

Very nicely put! We just all have to do our part in whatever way we can . . . and when we see our children taking up some of these green habits, isn't it just wonderful? I have to say, though, that I've learned more from my children, especially the "Farmer's Daughter," than vice versa, I'm sure! I've also learned an incredible amount for this lovely, incredible, green blogging world! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I also joined the APLS Blogging Carnival, which you're welcome to check out at:
It's always nice to touch base!
~~ Ruth

Abbie said...

Joyce- I like how your difference in political views is not steering you away from the green blogging community. Like you, I can't wait until the eletion is over and the president is chosen and we can all get back to the business of living sustainably.

Donna said...

Nice post! I'm not going to make it to put one up myself, so thank you for saying some of the things I would have said, although, I admit I've decided to vote for the other guy. :)

I do love the way our kids pick up on what is important to us. Every time Andrew tells daddy to turn off the light so he doesn't use up all the 'lectricity, I smile.

Joyce said...

EDW-I checked out your post- very interesting place to go learn! It's nice to see your kids move into adulthood and be, well, adult, isn't it?

Abbie- someday I hope we can shorten the crazy election season. It's so long, by the end there nothing left to do but torture the electorate, I think. Thanks again for hosting the carnival!

Donna, I know you thought hard about your decision, and I respect that.
Don't you love how preschoolers keep you following the "rules"? You can't get away with any slacking when there's one of those little guys in the house.

Rose said...

Joyce, You hit the nail on the head (pardon the cliche) at the end when you said we are to be good stewards of this earth, a perfect blending of your posts related to the church and to the green movement. No matter one's religious or political views, no matter one's income, etc., we should all do our part to protect the resources of the earth. You know that I am like you, not a real gung-ho person on this topic, but I think that every individual's actions can have an impact.