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General, Nature, redefining

Backing up Actions with Words

I’ve read a series of great articles over on  These women have some seriously wonderful writing about being a eco-woman-warrior.  This series was about environmental education -specifically how to impart environmental ethics to children.

Writer Enviro Girl explains how flabbergasted she was that a group of young children she was teaching did not make the connections between doing something environmental and why they were doing it.  And then when the children don’t make the connection between oil as a non-renewable resource and plastic bags as bad.

I think this disconnect applies to more than just children. For as long as I can remember, recycling as been a standard part of my life.  And I know that most people my age had the same experience.  Yet so many people my age don’t think twice when throwing that plastic bottle out.  So here’s my question: How can we make our convictions and actions easy to understand and express to others?

For example, I firmly believe in not buying plastic bottles of water. I carry a water bottle with me almost wherever I go, and refill it at water fountains, bathroom sinks, whatever is available.  This is an issue that is so important to me, that is such an easy adjustment to make that it doesn’t make sense to me to do anything but that.

But how do I explain why this is important without sounding preachy? Or judge-y. Or explain that there is much more behind that action than just not buying bottled water.

Generally, I believe that the best approach is to do what I believe in, and answer any questions that may arise from it. But I’m wondering if this is enough – are my actions enough to make a difference to other people?

I’m beginning to think that it’s not.  We need to be able to explain, concisely and with no ulterior motive, why we take the actions that we do.  We need to be able to say ‘I refuse to buy bottled water because I support our public water system. The more bottled water we buy, the more money gets diverted from updating and protecting our public water infrastructure.’  It’s simple, it gets to the heart of the matter, and it’s not too preachy ( I don’t think!).

How do you explain why you recycle or use a reusable water bottle?




  1. Pingback: Get comfortable with getting uncomfortable « Redefining Eco - May 1, 2012

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