How environmental awareness and lesbian parenthood are connected

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For me personally, basically two ways: kid #1 and kid #2, seen above doing collaborative improv music-making this morning before elder of the kids went off to preschool.  In a kid-carrier pulled behind a bike.  We’re trying.  

Basically, I worry a ton more about the planet’s condition when they reach adulthood than I do about their family being legally recognized and socially understood.  Which says a lot, since I worry, fret, and try to do something daily to get their family legally recognized and socially understood.

Truly, one of the things that irks me the most about all social injustice, everywhere, is that the waging of it, which of course then necessitates the dismantling of it, all redirects vital energy from the very, very pressing matter of keeping the frickin’ planet from collapse in another generation.

So we’re forced to multi-task, while the clock is ticking on the planet. Loudly.

[The relationship between social inequity and environmental degradation, by the way, is a big fat  given.]

[Also, while we're at the asides stuff: there was a time when I traipsed around with a pack of eco-anarchists, spray-painting derisive remarks about Earth Day as a liberal sell-out thing.  Individual, not systemic change; consumerism and commercialism highlighted over an analysis of power, what have you.  Mostly I was dating one of the collectivistas and the thrill of the late-night public art campaign was more tempting than reading more Bakhtin. Now I'm a compromised incrementalist worrying myself over my kids' futures.  Emma Goldman would roll in her grave, if she could be convinced to give a rat's arse about me.]

Planet-wise, we’re celebrating Earth Day by taking a family-wide pledge to (1) track our carbon footprint more accurately than we’ve done before, and (2) reduce it by a minimum of 2% a year, until we get to the point that we simply can’t reduce any more.  That’s not just do-gooderism, that’s sensible, and it’s also simply in line with what citizens of our fair city thought we should do.  City of Berkeley Measure G passed in 2006 with 81% of the vote, and it called for the entire community to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.  Check out the Berkeley Climate Action page for more info.

Now, a 2% reduction a year seems totally doable (I say at this point, before we’ve done our thorough self-audit.) Namby-pamby, even.  The challenge will be to keep at it ’til we pretty much are doing the best we can.  I want to burst out the gate by bringing it down a lot more in this first year.  I’ll try to report back regularly to let you know how we’re doing.  I know that’s a lot like pledging to lose X pounds of body weight or fat, or reading X books, and then publicly shaming myself  into it.  Which this kind of might be.  Oh well.

In a later post, I can get into more detail about what we do already (basically, what many of you already do) and the stuff we’ll try to do more of. It’ll be a challenge, since we’re already doing 23 of the 26 “Simply Green” things that the Green Lesbians suggest.  But whoever said saving the planet was supposed to be easy.  It’s just necessary, that’s all.

2 Responses to How environmental awareness and lesbian parenthood are connected

  1. Vikki April 23, 2009 at #

    Don’t know if you saw my tweet last night so I’ll spin ya an Earth Day tale…

    My daughter (age 4) still wears pull-ups at night. I am embarrassed to admit that we use pampers because the enviromentally friendly ones leak and she wakes up in the middle of the night soaked. blah blah blah. I know…choices. Anyway, we were lying in bed last night and overheard Luisa in the bathroom taking out the trash bag full of pull-ups. Miguel was like, “YUCK!” Zeca looked at me and said, “You know, mama. We should recycle those pull-ups.” I said, “Well honey, we can’t because they are full of pee and chemicals”. She said, “Well, we could use them to carry things. You know, like tote bags.” No. Just no. She then started lecturing me on deforestation in Asia (not sure why it was specific to Asia) but she was talking about the importance of trees and oxygen. I take some solace in knowing that our kids’ generation will know a bit better than ours did.

    Sorry for the long comment.

    • Lesbian Dad April 23, 2009 at #

      We could have set her lecture to some background music: my daughter’s little Earth Day song she learned at school, and sang pretty much incessantly thereafter. Thank you for the long comment. Thank you also for setting me to thinking about pull-up tote bags.

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