When my son, Ethan, entered first grade and the extracurricular rat race, I was appalled by the over-consumption of bottled water and other waste. Parents with cases of bottled water in the back of their cars to dole out between activities, garage refrigerators stocked full of bottled water and Gatorade, as if their children were in training for a triathalon.
I was already concerned about the environment and the plight of the polar bear, but it was my son who inspired me to take action.
The school instructed all parents to pack water for our children daily. I packed a reusable bottle for Ethan. The first day, he whined about being the ‘only one’ without a “plastic” bottle (bottled water). My explanation about the waste and cost of bottled water-not to mention the obvious negative impact on the environment-fell on deaf ears. Or so I thought.
One day, Ethan found bottled water (one lonely half-full bottle that my husband, Craig, had somehow purchased under the radar) in our refrigerator and just about hit the roof. “Mom! What is that doing in our refrigerator?!” Another day, Ethan tattled on Craig for having an empty bottle in his car’s cupholder. And Ethan began reminding my husband to turn off the lights and hoof it to the next errand if it was within walking distance. Ethan took great pride in alerting us (yes, even me… I’m not 100% perfect. Yet.) of our own environmental mis-steps. It hit me. Wouldn’t all children, if so inspired, serve as daily environmental champions within their homes, too?
I custom designed reusable water bottles and developed I Count for myEARTH, an environmental awareness campaign geared toward elementary school children, which launched in January at Ethan’s school. Neighbors and friends started asking my advice about other things and myEARTH360.com was born to support my passion for helping families transition to an earth-friendlier lifestyle.