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As Moms, we have been hardwired to provide our children with the lessons they need to become responsible citizens of the world. From using BPA-free baby bottles to serving local, organic foods, we do what we can to ensure that our kids get the most holistic upbringing possible.


I spent my college years (which were about 40 years ago) buying tofu at the local coop, growing my own vegetables, and supporting organizations such as Greenpeace. I continued my quest to live sustainably by exercising the power of my purse to buy from companies that shared my values. Our three children were early consumers of organic foods and recycled toilet paper.


So when it came time last week for our son, Alex, to move into his own apartment, I suggested going shopping for furniture and household essentials. I was excited about a trip to Ikea and the chance to buy him what he needed. Much to my surprise Alex refused the offer -- he gave back to me my own lecture about the earth not needing more "stuff." He announced that he would furnish his entire apartment with items that already existed so that he would not be contributing to further pollution of the planet.

Alex spent three weeks going to garage sales, consignment shops, friends' homes, and our basement and was able to completely furnish a two-room apartment without buying anything new other than a mattress. His commitment to the values we taught him humbled me and made me realize that my work in rearing my children will continue to reverberate as they grow up and move into their own lives.

A well deserved happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful, caring Moms.


photo: Herkie

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Sheila Hollender likes to blog about the environment and health issues.