Delicious Living Blog

The eco mindset: What kids can teach adults

As Delicious Living's Editor-in-Chief Radha Marcum's 4-year-old son taught her, it doesn't matter how you come to care about our planet—just that you do.

My 4-year-old son gave me an eco-friendly journal a few months ago. The paper is made of processed elephant dung, and the cover shows mom and baby elephants. He was so proud of the fact that it was made without trees, which he knows are being cut down all over the planet. To him, trees equal animal habitat, and animals are his deepest passion in life.

What I learn from my son—aside from the strange names of carnivorous marsupials in Tasmania and other obscure creature trivia—is that it doesn’t matter how you enter the conversation about the state of our planet. Every person has a unique way of connecting and of making change. I find that connection in foods: where and how they are grown and the people and ecosystems affected by the cultivation of what I enjoy for lunch.

Perhaps your entry point is statistics. Did you know that food manufacturers pump more than 15 million pounds of synthetic dyes into our foods every year? (Learn more about food additives.) As Pamela Bond writes in Deliciou Living's feature "Whole-Life Cleanse": “With more than 80,000 chemicals on the market, researchers have found some 300 chemicals in the umbilical cords of newborns, rendering even our babies 'prepolluted.'" It's scary stuff, but it underscores how life-changing our choices can be.

However you honor Earth Day (April 22), take heart that your choices—yes, yours!—have a ripple effect. By prioritizing eco-conscious foods, products, and habits, you influence what happens on this planet right here and now, as well as for generations to come.

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