Impact Dash-Baby Steps

>> Sunday, January 31, 2010

I am excited to announce a collaboration between Da Eads and Impact Dash. Some of you may have heard me talking about this but I have been holding out on making an official 'announcement' until the piece was in print. Something about seeing your name officially printed makes it way cooler. Am I right?

So how did this come about? Well my friend Erin over at came to me with an oppurtunity for a website she was currently collaborating with. They were in search of a 'mommy blogger' to chronicle the life of a green parent. At first I was green? But then I started thinking...well I try! I started recycling right after Lily was born, my new years resolution (which I am rocking out!) was to start using reusable bags, and I honestly wanted to use cloth diapers...I did. I just couldn't bring myself to do it! So hey what the heck right?! So started the journey of the a wanna be greener parent.

My new monthly column 'Baby Steps' will feature ways to make small changes as a parent that have a big impact. 'Baby Steps' is built on the idea that not all parents are part of the 'green movement' and are at a loss when it comes to beginning an environmental awareness with our children. Everyone knows the Eads family is not the symbol of green but we still try to make small changes to reduce energy consumption and waste. Usually this not only has an environmental impact but an economic one as well (hey I have to get Michael on board some how)! So this will chronicle some of the things we do and how we try and teach Lily what she can do. Because I have always stood by the belief that it is my responsibility to teach Lily and mold her into the a better person. My first piece centers around the idea that we always want better for our children and teaching and building these steps into their lives is a step in that direction.

I hope you enjoy!

ImpactDash was founded on the idea that an individual’s small choices can add up to have a huge effect. ImpactDash isn’t one expert’s opinions, but rather many voices tackling the issue of climate change in ways that we can in our everyday lives.

Baby Steps

As we teach our children life lessons, we learn a few ourselves.

Stephaine, age 2

Lily (Lil'E) and Mom, Stephaine

Honestly I was never into the ‘green’ movement. If it didn’t bleed red, white, and blue we didn’t support it. Sure, I recycled growing up but only because the military bases I grew up on gave bins and it required little effort. We never talked about why we did it or the side effects of not doing it. And organic food? If that existed in the Piggly Wiggly near Grandma’s house, I never knew about it. We grew tomatoes like good southern women do. Of course my mother sprayed them with a horrible concoction of toxins on a weekly basis. BPA wasn’t bad or even discussed, and cloth diapers were something my great grandmother used before disposables were available in rural North Carolina. We never learned, we never talked and we surely never acted on our environmental impact.

Then I became a mother. I cannot pinpoint exactly what changed. Hormones are an interesting act of nature. They make you do crazy things… like think about the future. Gone were the days of living in the moment and instant gratification. Now I could no longer just worry about my future, but had to consider what it meant for my daughter’s future. Whatever changed it was like a light switch flipped. Would the things that I love about the world still be the same for Lil’ E? Or for her daughter? I felt if we continued on the path we were following, it wouldn’t be. All of sudden I heard what everyone had been talking about for years. All of a sudden I cared.

I realized I wanted better for her. But don’t we all want better for our children? Yet when you ask the average mother what they wish for their children as adults, do you think the first thing they say is a cleaner planet or even sustaining our current state? Doubtful. You get cookie cutter responses of happiness, love, health, education, or financial freedom. I even asked my beloved hippie guru and she gave me the motherly response of ‘total bliss in what she loves.’ If the hippie mom didn’t give me the environmental answer, who would? Maybe that is part of the problem. Modern mothers are so wrapped up in the latest parenting trends, milestones, and new age discipline that we lose our way.

But when you want to act, and you really start thinking about the how, it is a bit overwhelming. Where do I start? What can I do? Do I have time in the midst of my life as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and the ten million other day-to-day responsibilities I juggle between home and work? There is so much information to process. It literally makes my head spin. But the answer is simple. We must. Because if we don’t act then we haven’t given our children the ‘better’ we long for as parents.

With the birth of a beautiful baby girl I am starting a journey to ensure she gets the ‘better’ I desire. It is a slow journey. One that consists of sifting through tons of information from every angle imaginable, then putting it in a language and form she can comprehend. But it is a journey I want Lil’ E to share with me. I want her to understand our impact, and that even she can make a difference. I want her to be greener than her parents ever thought of being, and to lead by example so that other children will follow. You may think this is a big dream to have for a 19 month old, but I am sure she is up for the challenge. After all she will have a partner to travel with.

Baby Steps is a regular column that follows everyday mothers in their attempts to make sustainable choices for themselves and their families. Baby Steps chronicles the joys and surprises of motherhood — with a green twist.


Trish February 1, 2010 at 8:27 AM  

Congrats and great job. Very well written.

I think we all try to be green in our own ways and some just do more than others. I also reuse bags, recycle and wash & reuse plastic water botles. I know it doesn't seem like much but I guess every little bit helps.

Can't wait to see more!