She takes 40-minute showers. Hot.
She groans at the prospect of riding her bike to school. Begs to go to the mall with her friends.
And she just can’t see the point in taking her lunch in a reusable container when — duh! — someone invented plastic bags that zip.
Is it possible, I wonder in my more optimistic moments, to green my (almost) teen?
The first decade of her life was spent, mostly, outdoors, ingesting organic food and propelling herself via her own two feet.
She listened intently when I explained why she couldn’t use the body wash she received as a gift, though the notion of “hormone-disrupting chemicals” might have been baffling. She was enthusiastic at climate-change rallies. A dedicated tree-planter. A hard-working canvasser for eco-minded charities.
The green generation gap
But … that was then. Those halcyon days when I was the reigning queen of green, and she my dutiful princess. Now, there seems to be a coup abrew. Led by someone wearing headphones and a Justin Bieber tee.
These days, my speaking engagements on environmental issues are proclaimed “bo-ring.” My meals, homemade from farm-fresh ingredients, are frequently “disgusting.”
My preferred mode of transport, my tandem bike with 7-year-old little sis perched on the seat, inspires her to pedal madly to ensure she’s geographically removed enough to deny association.
But though I may be wearing lime-colored glasses, I occasionally glimpse green in my (almost) teen.
While she insists on taking the lunch she makes herself to school in Ziplocs, she brings them home so I can wash them for reuse. Sure she trades her homemade organic hummus for Cheetos, but at least someone’s kid is eating well.
She reads ingredient labels on personal care products with the curiosity and knowledge of a bio-chemistry student.
She refuses to eat fast food, citing mostly animal rights issues.
And though she insists she won’t wear “someone else’s clothes,” she nonetheless shops consignment with me … and often picks out one or two items that don’t look “used.”
So, though her shade might not be the same green as mine, it’s in the same family.