Celebrations, prayers and blessing

Filed in Blog by on March 4, 2009 16 Comments
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little miss green on her birthdayToday is a special day at Chez Green. Little Miss Green is celebrating her 8th Birthday! She’s even lost her front tooth for the occasion!

Yes, 9 years ago today, she entered the world; all 9lb + of her with deep eyes wide open, a dark shock of hair, a hearty appetite and a good set of lungs.

Back then I had little knowledge of the ‘green life’. I had an awareness of natural health, having chosen a natural and intervention-free pregnancy and birth, but I knew little about environmental issues.

I dressed Little Miss Green in brand new clothes, no doubt made in a sweatshop (after chucking the plastic packaging in the bin), wrapped her gorgeous tushie in disposable nappies, gratefully receieved any plastic toys and accessories gifted to us and bought ready made baby food in glass jars. Ok, so it was organic, but the jars ended up in the bin – along with the plastic spoons, old stained bibs, rolls of kitchen towel and goodness knows what else.

As Little Miss Green grew I was struck with an awareness about the fragility of life, the state of the planet and the increasing need for us all to do our bit. I figured that in order for her to have a healthy, safe place to grow I needed to model better stewardship of our beautiful land. In short, I needed to be a better custodian of my little bit of earth.

We began to grow our own food and she was in the throes of toilet training before I switched to washable nappies. But at least I did it – eventually! I started to scour charity shops instead of buying new and asked people to respect our wishes for natural wooden or material, open-ended toys rahter than battery operated, plastic toys.

People who meet me think I have ‘always been like this’ in the green stakes, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been fully running like a professional athlete on the consumerism treadmill and have enjoyed the perceived pleasures that a materilaistc exhiatance can being me.

Yet slowly I’ve reflected on the things that bring true meaning, joy and value to my life and I have realised that not many of them are things that money can buy 🙂

Today, I’m asking you all to give Little Miss Green a meaningful present for her Birthday.

I would like you to consider your own life and your own habits for a moment and commit to taking one more step to live a more environmentally friendly life. Could you ditch a purchase that ends up in the landfill or creates waste? Help a neighbour with their recycling? Cook a meal from scratch? Write a letter to a manufacturer? Or take a load of stuff to a charity shop instead of binning it?

Celebrate with us, by making the world a better place for ourselves and our children.

In addition, I would like you to send your love and good wishes to my nephew, who is six. As we are out celebrating a wonderful day with our special girl, he will be seeing a consultant about a recently discovered brain cyst.

As a parent, I cannot begin to imagine what my brother and his wife are enduring right now. There is nothing more precious than the health and happiness of our children.
Our children are so robust and vital, yet so fragile and vulnerable … a little like our planet.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (16)

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  1. Happy Birthday LMG!!

    SO many people I have talked to have been inspired to change after they had children. And Mrs G, I’m impressed that you changed to cloth nappies after going the ‘easy way’ first!

    Best wishes for your nephew. I’m sure your family is beside themselves with worry and hope you can all lean on each other for support.

  2. Happy happy birthday Little Miss Green. I hope you have a most wonderful day.

    Hi Mrs G – it is amazing how much change children can bring into your life, increasing your awareness about issues. Yet ironically that’s also a time when new people throw loads of stuff at you and you do your fair share too.

    Oh how I wish I’d done a Zero Waste challenge BEFORE the children had been born. It would have had a major impact on the early years. But where I can’t go back I’m doing the best I can now and as a present to Little Miss Green, I will promise to do more too. I think it’s time to get on my bike more and leave the car where it is.

    My prayers are with you for your little nephew, his parents and your whole family. I can’t imagine what it must be like. God bless and lots of love Karen x

  3. John Costigane says:

    Happy birthday Little Miss Green

    Hi Mrs Green,

    One heartening thing about our trend is that future generations will be better than us. LMG is growing up with Zero Waste. That is a huge difference from my example for instance.

    Of course, there are less welcome things. Giving school children daft games to learn recycling is too much like the Nanny state. Families do it so much better.

  4. Kris says:

    Happy Birthday LMG – I hope you have a great day, and that your cousin gets some good news from the doctors.

  5. Katy says:

    Have a wonderful birthday Little Miss Green!

    It’s interesting for me as I am just at the age where lots of people I know, both friends and family, are starting to have kids, and there is a huge variation in attitudes. Some seem to want to buy everything new new new, and only convenience matters when it comes to things like food and nappies. Others eagerly use eBay and Freecycle to find secondhand things and are happily cooking baby friendly fresh food and washing nappies. Not everyone has the same moments of realisation and makes the connection between their children and the world they will inherit one day. Not having children myself I feel poorly-placed to make any kind of comment to them though!

    And then things like health issues just put everything in perspective. All best wishes to your nephew and family for good news soon.

  6. Happy Birthday LMG 😀 and best wishes to your cousin for his appointment

    I must admit it is as the boys have gotten older that I have been looking more into organic food, extra recycling etc.

    I was given really funny looks at ante-natal classes when I announced that i would be using terry squares with liners for the majority of my nappies; I managed it with both until they were approx 18 months old as they outgrew the waterproof covers and I couldn’t find any more, didn’t have interent access etc, so moved on to disposables for approx 6 months with each of them. (my DS1 is 14 mid April). I am still using the terry squares now dyed as kitchen hand towels.

    I knitted all the woollens I thought I’d need for them again until they were approx 3 years, scoured charity shops and carboot sales for other clothes.
    I also made all my own baby food, the only packets used were those that came as free samples.

    Both Ds’s came out hungry and have eaten for England etc ever since. DS1 was 9lb 6oz and DS2 was 11lb 2oz.

    Even now at carboot sales etc we still scour the stalls just in case. DS2 last year got a brand new with tags leather look jacket for £3, and was chuffed to bits.

  7. Poppy says:

    **HAPPY BIRTHDAY LMG!!**

    Like the others and Mrs G have said, realisation about cause and affect, dawned after the initial mayhem of motherhood. I previously thought nothing about putting out an overflowing wheelie bin and gave no consideration to what I was buying or what it was wrapped in. There was even a bizarre sense of pride and satisfaction that *all this rubbish* had come from my house! How wonderfully clean and tidy it must be!!

    Then recycling came along and I grabbed the opportunities offered with both hands. It was addictive and I searched for further options that would alleviate our landfil burden.

    I really do think I’m at our absolute minimum waste now. There is little more I can do other than continuing to be a careful shopper. Bargains will always be bargains though, and sometimes we need to let the halo slip when our purses and bank balances will feel the benefit.

  8. Layla says:

    Happy Birthday Little Miss Green!! 🙂

    Know you are an inspiration to us all and little kiddies worldwide too!!

    Aww, shucks, Mrs Green.. This has made me teary-eyed…

    And I do hope that LMG’s cousin hear’s good news too!! (Does he live near an incinerator? or near a chemical factory?)

    *Must think what I will do for LMG’s birthday… hmmm…?!!!*

  9. Mr Green says:

    Thanks for all your good wishes! we had a great day … the sun shone from early morning till late evening and added a special spring feeling to the air. Today was a very meaningful day; First of all because LMG really enjoyed herself and has just declared this was ‘the best birthday party ever’. The fact is we “did” very little in terms of what our consumer society would expect. LMG had one special gift which was an all wooden dolls house, complete with wooden funiture. Because there was no other presents to distract her, she spent most of the morning totally enthralled in setting up her new home and making sure all the rooms were laid out just right. Then we went swimming, had a pic-nic in the sunshine and spent the remainder of the afternoon with her best frind doing girly things. In the evening we had a b-b-q, played games and came home to birthday cake, sat in front of a warm fire and recalled the special moments of the day…

    “That was the best party ever” she said, tired and happy as she went to bed.

    Isn’t it a wonderful thing to step outside of the consumer tread-mill for a moment and enjoy the meaningful alternative of good old fashioned fun and entertainment and the closeness of family life.

    We don’t have a pile of waste to dispose of after her birthday. It was stress free, eco-friendly and best of all, “the best party ever”

  10. Sam says:

    Happy Birthday LMG – glad to hear it was a good day.

    My boys love their plastic toys, but I manage to get most of them from ebay, so at least they’re pre-loved 🙂

    My thoughts are with your nephew and his family.

  11. Grandma Green says:

    Glad to hear the Birthday Girl rated her day so highly.

    Thank you so much to all of you to stopped by to send kind and loving messages to LMG’s cousin. The outcome of his consultation was really as good as it could be – he has already sustained some physical damage and disability but surgery is not an imminent necessity and may never be. However, there is a viable procedure should the need arise. Meanwhile, he and his family can return to their normal life.

    Again, thank you all for your sustaining messages.

  12. Yay Little Miss Green on the best party ever. Mr G, that sounds just the perfect day and no doubt she’ll remember it forever. And thanks too to Grandma Green for the update on your grandson. There is nothing that can ease the worry and concern that your experiences have brought, but I just wanted to share the experience that I have of my own cousin, who suffered a disability at a very early age. She’s never had to undergo surgery, and despite her learning difficulties and minor physical disability she’s now in her forties and I can honestly say she’s one of the most contented and loving people I know and she’s enjoyed a good life and the experiences she’s had along the way. I know the circumstances are different, but I hope it still brings some level of comfort to what must be an immensely worrying time. God bless. xx

  13. VegBoxClara says:

    Happy Birthday LMG, and sending love and prayers for your cousin. XXX

  14. Layla says:

    Great to hear it was such a wonderful day!! 🙂

    Also, WOW, a wooden dollhouse!! so neat!! 🙂

    For the little cousin – are they exploring healthy food, & other alternative options, maybe juicing and such things? maybe reflexology? (not sure about brain tumors, but some people have cured cancer with such methods, my Dad knows a guy who cured his leukemia this way..by growing eco food & juicing the veggies!!)

  15. MrsJ says:

    Sorry I’m late happy belated birthday wishes. For you I am going to venture to the bottom of my garden and attempt to use the compost I have been making in my bin. I have no idea if it’s ok or how I’m meant to get it out! I shall then try and grow some carrots.

    Hope your cousin is ok and sending my very best wishes xx

  16. A very belated, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LMG!” Sorry to be so far behind in email but that is my gift; the fact that I am behind shows how much time we’ve been spending enjoying fresh air and being outside! And also staying home a LOT and not spending money. Gardenining and reading library books – that’s our zero waste contribution.

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