My 11-year-old recently referred to me derisively as an “eco-freak”. With increasing practice, I’m getting good at developing a thick skin, chalking her remark up to increased pre-teen hormones rather than a true reflection of her feelings. And indeed, when I laughed at the name, she giggled along with me.

I’m aware however, that, as a “green” mom, I walk a fine line with my kids. On the one hand, I’m aware that the more I “forbid” certain things, the more attractive they become. On the other hand, I don’t want to seem laissez-faire about issues on which I feel very strongly.

And with my three very strong-willed children with highly developed opinions of their own, I can often feel as if I’m trying to negotiate a climate-change treaty with China, India and a Bush-era U. S.

I’m heartened, however, by small victories.

Case in point #1: My eldest, she of the rolling eyes and sarcasm, refuses to eat at McDonald’s, considering it “gross”. Though, of course, she won’t give me the satisfaction of attributing her dislike of the Golden Arches to my endless lectures on animal cruelty and unhealthy food systems.

Case in point #2: My eight-year-old son, who dreams of the day he can purchase himself a Hummer limousine and insists on pointing out every Ford F250 he sees, confided to me that he really hopes both companies will release an electric version that uses “absolutely no gas at all” by the time he’s old enough to drive.

Case in point #3: My five-year-old daughter, a dedicated carnivore, loves the farmer who delivers our pasture-raised, grassfed meat. “Is this one of Angela’s pigs?” she asks, as she gleefully stuffs another forkful of pork into her mouth. In fact, she refuses to figuratively sugarcoat any of her food faves, insisting on calling it “pig” and “cow” and educating dinner guests about factory farming. To keep me in line, however, she proclaims vegetables “disgusting”, even as she nibbles on organic carrot sticks.

And then there’s my husband, who – during my vegetarian years – began each meal by cutting into his meat and proclaiming “Top of the food chain, baby!”. Yet he drives a hybrid, drinks from a reusable coffee cup and spends considerable time devising ingenious ways to reduce our energy consumption.

Whether they’ll give me the satisfaction of admitting it or not, my family has joined me in my eco-crusade – rebelling only enough to drive their mother crazy. Eco-freak? Eco-freak family indeed…

Leslie Garrett is a national award-winning journalist, author and editor, based near Toronto, Canada. She is the author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World and she has also written a dozen children’s books, including a biography of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki and “EarthSmart”, a book for young children on protecting the environment.

Visit: http://www. virtuousconsumer. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. соm

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