This blog grew out of my desire to walk my talk. I am an ordinary Mom, with a greater than ordinary desire to minimize the effect that my family has on the environment. As I try and do the right thing, save energy, and minimize my family’s exposure to chemicals, I have developed different practical solutions. I get so excited when I discover new ways to do things, but feel that these stories aren't really right for my bog on Sustainable Home. That is a place where I talk about my green design practice, interior design, green architecture, and furnishings. But I also wanted to write about trying to be sustainable in day-to-day life. So I have decided to start a sister blog.
Many people quote Gandhi's "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Often I think that people interpret this quote to mean that they must be strong enough to make change happen in this world through their own effort and force of will. This is not the case; the story that this quote came from is about a mother, like me.
She brought her son to Gandhi, who was so revered that people often came to him for advice on many things. She was worried for her son's health because he was overweight and would not stop eating sweets. She asked Gandhi to tell her son to stop eating sweets. Gandhi said to come back in two weeks. She was surprised but complied. In two weeks she came back and Gandhi spoke directly to her son, clearly and compellingly asking him to respect himself and his life enough to eat healthy foods and give up sweets and sugar.
"Why did I need to come back?" She asked.
"Well Madam," he answered, "I love sugar, pastries and candy. Before I could ask your son to give these things up, I had to know that I could do so myself."
I have worked in my professional life to educate people on green building, and it's tremendous potential to save energy while making homes healthier, and saving building owners money. But I am also a suburban housewife, mother of three, PTA volunteer who loves sewing, painting, hiking and gardening. I want to be able to do all of the things in my life, but am conscious that every activity has some kind of effect on the environment. So I am always seeking creative solutions to do things in an eco way.
If I can do it, with all the ordinary problems of getting my kids to school, shopping for groceries, doing lots of laundry, and entertaining: then I know that it is possible. Before I ask anyone else to change their life, before I tell people that they should be greener, I green my own life. I have found that few of these changes require any sacrifice, and in fact many of them have paid off in increased fun, better health, and a more beautiful life.
Which brings me to another detail. I love good design! I am obsessed with glamour, charm and elegance. I love my job because I can work with beach cottages, formal homes, warm modern kitchens, and funky vintage living rooms. My clients are a constant source of inspiration.
I am not willing to sacrifice my style to be green. So this blog is called “Seeking (Stylish) Suburban Sustainability.”
Seeking- because it is a process, there is always more to do, but even the first step makes a difference.
(Stylish) – Because what is the point of life without glamour, style and beauty? I rest my case!
Suburban – because that is where I live, and the suburbs have the reputation for being very un-sustainable.
Sustainability – because we need to figure this one out, or we will all be in deep doo-doo.
Hope the new bog is useful and interesting to you, dear reader. I am pleased as punch to start writing it. Future blog entries at this site will continue to be about green design, furniture and architecture. You will soon be able to click through to S(S)SS at the button above on this site, or go directly there now at: www.mamaisonverte.com/wp ('my green house', in French.)