Happy Being Green: Just How Sustainable is Sustainability?

Saving the environment takes time and energy that we don’t always have.  The more I write this blog and raise my kids, the more I’m convinced that sustainability has to include more than just the environment.  To be great parents and environmentalists, we have to sustain ourselves.

How?  By enjoying our thrifty green adventures.  By letting go of green guilt.  By embracing progress instead of perfection.

And by being happy!

Think about it, how many truly effective green moms are exhausted and bummed out all the time?  How many guilt-ridden women are motivated to keep tinkering with their lifestyles to make eco-friendly shifts?

So maybe, every once in a while, we need to take a hot bubble bath (regardless of the gallons of water it requires) or go for the nap instead of whipping up a batch of home baked bread from flour we milled ourselves.

As our children grow (and our hours of sleep slowly increase) we will have time to keep working at green shifts.  In the meantime, we need to make sure that this journey is fun.  If not, our sustainability efforts simply won’t be sustainable.

Personally, I want my children to see that this simple, green lifestyle is jam-packed with secondary benefits that will enrich their lives while helping the environment for generations to come.  Hopefully if they see me enjoying it, they’ll jump on the bandwagon later. (After a brief period of parent-directed mockery during their teen years.)

How do you sustain yourself in the midst of trying to make green changes?  Do you suffer from green guilt?



  1. Marianne Thai says

    We are firm believers that any “green-ness” is better than no green-ness. I did have some green guilt at times but now it’s all about enjoying the journey and living and raising wonderful children that will be great contributors in the future. Great post for those always feeling bad about how ungreen they are. Here’s to progress!

  2. I remind myself constantly that I can only do so much in this season of life… and that once my son (and future sibling(s)?) are older, I will have time to devote to more endeavors.

    There is a lot more that I wish I could do, and I do sometimes suffer guilt, but I just remind myself that this is a season!

  3. I’m not a parent but I do get upset sometimes but not because it’s to much work as I love this lifestyle. I get upset because I’m in a part of the countries where others can be rude about my choices because they see them as political and wrong.

    Now I do reach for organic packaged food somedays and not EVERYTHING ends up in the compost. 🙂

  4. My dealing with green guilt: On weekdays I take sponge baths which means I get an extra 15 minutes to sleep in and this gives me permission to take long hot baths on the weekends. It’s a win-win folks.

  5. It’s a very good point — if the green life seems really crappy, your kids will probably not follow suit. I just wish the green life was didn’t go so against the mainstream. It takes a lot of time and energy to avoid the default mode of our culture.

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