It’s Not Easy Being Green. ~ Dana Gornall

Via Dana Gornall
on Sep 16, 2013
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Kermit the Frog

I was a child of the 80s.

We had big hair, bright colors, acid-washed pegged jeans and rock bands that wore more make-up than Cyndi Lauper. We were the generation of excess. We were the generation of paper plates, cheap plastic jewelry, and walkmans.

Almost everything that was bought was disposable—and we bought a lot.

So fast forward to now: the green generation. Slowly, we have shifted to not only recycling, but becoming eco-conscious, striving towards minimalism and sustainable businesses. Factory farming has been given the spotlight (finally!) and plastic is the new evil.

None of these changes have happened quickly, but I find myself struggling to keep up.

A few months ago, my teenage daughter gave me the look  and complained about my store bought bottled water. I snapped back at her that I am busy and I liked  the taste of this water. Besides, I recycle the water bottles.

She responded with a tirade about the adverse effects of these factories that produce bottled water, the chemicals in the plastic that potentially leak into the water and that while recycling is good, avoiding the purchase altogether is better.

Sigh. I really don’t like the taste of my tap water though.

Yes, I can get a filter, but the quick and easy way is just to buy bottled water.

I know the importance of living a green life, but putting these practices to work in every day chaotic life is another story.

For instance, we drive everywhere.

I know that perhaps biking or public transportation is a better option, but in our community, there is no public transportation and the roads are not conducive to cycling. Traveling from place to place with three kids in tow on bikes would be hair raising for me—especially since I haven’t been on a bike since I was 13.

While we are not perfect, we are making strides to improve our lifestyle. We are becoming smarter about our purchases. I no longer buy things without thinking through if I really need it. I can’t say I never buy something simply for the sake of really liking it, but this doesn’t happen nearly as often.

We do recycle. Our community supports recycling and we are steadfast in following through with this. My kids are especially good at remembering and frequently nag my parents to participate.

We eat a lot less meat. I have become vegan, my oldest daughter is vegetarian and my younger two prefer meat, but eat vegan dishes at home. While I would rather we were all vegan, my children are at ages where I can’t force them into this lifestyle. I encourage it, we talk about what factory farming is and the nutritional benefits of a diet rich in plant food.

I remember stumbling on a blog years ago about home organization by a woman that dubbed herself The Flylady. One of her mottos was: Progress, not perfection.

I may have come from the excess generation, but slowly we are living a greener life bit by bit.

Thankfully, I am surrounded by three kids of the green generation to help me along.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Dana Gornall

Dana Gornall is a mom of three crazy kids and a dog. She works as a licensed massage therapist in Amherst, Ohio and is a certified sign language interpreter. She is always looking forward to even more personal growth. While not interpreting, doing massage, or being with her family she loves going to yoga. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


6 Responses to “It’s Not Easy Being Green. ~ Dana Gornall”

  1. Darla says:

    I really enjoyed this, because I am also surrounded by children and grandchildren that are trying to help me in these changes. But a 67 yrs. old I find it a little more of a challenge .

  2. EA Sabo says:

    “Yes, I can get a filter, but the quick and easy way is just to buy bottled water.” Please, I beg of you, buy a filter and stainless steel water bottles. This is green consciousness 101. Purchasing water in plastic bottles is a huge contribution to unnecessary waste. I find it actually IS easy being green, and deeply satisfying. Making what seems like an extra effort now becomes seamless rather quickly. It’s a matter of committing to the the well being of our kids’ futures, which I find to be hugely motivating.

  3. @DanaGornall says:

    Yes, I agree. As I said we are making progress. I wrote this because I am NOT perfect and being greener is a goal we are working towards.

  4. Cat B says:

    Ahh thank you for this reminder. We are only human! As long as you keep heading in that direction, be proud. Parents are busy, busy, busy. It's no excuse not to be green, but we can also cut ourselves some slack and not expect to get everything 100% on the first try. It's not an easy feat.

    If I waited to do something until I could do it 100% perfectly, I'd never do anything at all, ever again.

  5. @DanaGornall says:

    Thanks, Cat! Exactly! Life is a journey. 🙂

  6. sandstone says:

    Would it help if you knew you could save $1,500 or more a year by not using single-use plastic bottles? There's more on ways to break the bottled water habit here: