Join us in celebrating parents who are

raising farmers in DuPage!

Have you ever heard of someone claiming that they, “come from a long line of farmers”?

The funny thing about that statement is that everyone alive today descends from an UNMEASURABLY long line of farmers. It is so important to raise kids up with an understanding of the long scope of their human history so that they too can brag about their farming ancestors. 

There are so many amazing programs online that can help parental guardians in raising their children with a respect and appreciation for their place in the world. (Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here).

In this video, Jacob Cynamon- Murphy serves as an excellent real-life resource for DuPage parents by demonstrating how easy it can be to divert some of your yard away from lawnmaking and toward food production. He jokes about the garden being like a playground, but actually touches on some truth. Gardens can be like playgrounds. They are places to learn, play, and test ideas. Back or frontyard micro-farms can provide endless hours of imagination and exploration that is good for childhood cognitive development and social skills. These activities are also good for a child’s long-term mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health

We at Sustain DuPage hope that some day a majority of arable land in DuPage will be put to use for conservation or food production. Our friends at The Resiliency Institute also envision a landscape for DuPage County that flawlessly blends nature, agriculture, and yard.

Luckily for us, there are many DuPage parents who are already leading this revolution against the ill health effects of lawns!

Thanks for Watching!

Sustain DuPage can’t operate without your support. Find out here all the ways you can involve yourself! 

“How Green Can You Go?” is a friendly DuPage challenge!

Erika

By Erika Harris on 31 August, 2015.

My mom was born in 1960 and remembers when being “green” was a foreign concept to people now only well known by the few remaining hippies of her time. She never ceased to educate us on the knowledge she had and it became a common mentality for my siblings and me. I was homeschooled until 3rd grade, and I distinctly remember being at a friend’s house and turning off the water for them when they weren’t using it to do the dishes and timidly lectured them about conservation.

I think back on when An Inconvenient Truth came out, and how it seemed to set my world on fire. The problem was real!  We environmental advocates were no longer invisible fairies! HOORAY! That was back in 2006. From then on, the issues of global warming began tumbling out of the mouth of the media. It became a hot topic for television and more documentaries. And now it’s 2015. I like to believe enough people know about the devastation and I’m excited to be a part of the spark that’s growing. But how can we turn that spark into a raging fire? The movement to prepare for these crises continues to grow, but it still feels to me like we are lacking momentum.

Why aren’t more people joining the movement in a meaningful way?

              1. Because the media is failing us.

On the positive side, the media generally highlights issues we wouldn’t have been aware of to begin with. But sometimes it focuses on problems too much. We can only watch so much devastation on this planet before we start to feel helpless. And therein lies the problem. People feel helpless!

Cartoon strip that shows a man at desk saying, "yes I know the icecaps are melting but what the hell am I supposed to do about it?"

Is the media known for giving solutions? Unfortunately, in this sensationalist world, the answer is no. In the minds of most of the public, if no solution is reported, no solution exists- and that’s problematic!

        2.  Because we are too comfortable.

Cartoon strip that says, "I agree there are some terrible terrible problems in the world but those icecaps aren't melting beneath my feet. It's sad, but hey, I've got work in the morning. What's on netflix?"

In other words, the problems in the world are too out of reach for us to truly understand their impact. As long as we’re safe, it’s hard to find a motivation to take action. Since the fifties, we’ve grown accustomed to convenience: throwing away tv dinners, drinking soda like it’s water, and tidying up by throwing all our unwanted garbage into those nifty little bin bags.

Woman with kids saying, "after 50 years of this lifestyle you're telling me I have to recycle and compost my food scraps and use my real silverware instead of those plastic barbie forks at this bratty kid's birthday party?! Not a chance!"

I get it. It makes sense as to why we haven’t seen much change. We can’t force people to change their lifestyle if they don’t want to.

BUT:

What DOES matter is if I try to help.

What DOES matter is if I contribute my voice.

I’m at the point where I don’t feel like I have time to count on others to create the necessary change for me.

I have to be the change (you’d think after all those facebook posts with that quote on it, I’d get it by now).

So there you have it. No matter how long it takes, no matter if I fail and fail again, I will take action and change what I can. I only have control over what I do and don’t do. The movement to protect humanity from global warming is something that I need to actively engage in.

How do we motivate people to join the movement in a meaningful way?

We only have control over what we do or don’t do, and preventing climate catastrophe by fundamentally changing how the world works is something that we really need to do.

That brings me to my first article of an ongoing project series I’m going to write in a cross-contribution agreement between my organization, whatsgoood.org, and Sustain DuPage. This series will be called, “How Green Can You Go?”

There’s nothing fancy about this project. It’s more of a personal aptitude test! Here is the gist of it: I’m going to challenge myself to help a business, house of worship, school, friend, family member, or anyone interested- to pursue an additional “green” project in their lives. By picking one group or individual to focus on, we can personably encourage and assist in developing an entirely new lifestyle practice that’s manageable for all!

Once I’ve picked whom I will be working with, I will help them to carry out the project by researching, encouraging, or helping with the project myself. This project is great because it can challenge everyone, even those who are already engaged in environmental advocacy. I will be keeping you all up-to-date on my progress, and encourage you to join me! Pick someone and green them up a little more, then write an article about it for Sustain DuPage!

Sending my love to all the Sustain DuPagers out there. 

Stay tuned!

Erika

 Sustain DuPage can’t operate without your support. Find out here all the ways you can involve yourself!

Restoring Hope: A Snake’s Tail… means?

Enough is Enough!

Sustain DuPage is passionate about encouraging millennial environmental advocates like Tristan to raise their voices and reject the negative and misleading narrative they’ve been given. In our conversation, Tristan did a great job pointing out that the next generation can and should reject the notion that humans are to be valued at the expense of every other living thing. There must be a generational voice that resoundingly cries, “enough!” to the unsustainable and reckless development and consumption we see tearing apart our communities. We touched on the fact that this generation has been tasked with the most tantamount challenge that has ever faced the Human Species: saving ourselves from ourselves. 

You can hear in Tristan’s tone when he speaks about restoring hope, that this mission is an overwhelming burden for those who will inherit our future, and we in the sustainability community must ensure that we are encouraging our young people! This video is a call to action for the Elders in our community to reach out to those young warriors who are taking up the torch to ensure we can all live healthy lives well into the future.

Support your community protectors by restoring hope! 

To all of the millennials reading this: do not fall for the lie you are being told! The media would tell you that as a teenager or young adult in your twenties you should be partying and drinking away your days. People say that you can’t really make positive change because you are too young. Do not waste your prime years! You will never have more potential than you do right now.

If you practice shrugging off community problems in your twenties, you will most likely shrug off community problems until you are gone from this world. Now is the time to capitalize on your beginning years and set yourself up to make even weightier contributions to your community in your later decades. You can truly establish yourselves as community leaders right now by following your true passions and investing in your own potential.

Thank you for watching, and helping us in

restoring hope for snakes and ourselves!

 

Sustain DuPage can’t operate without your support. Find out here all the ways you can involve yourself!