Growing up Green

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We live in a culture where the words “must-have” and “I need” tend to permeate our vocabulary. You must have this-hot-new-trend at your wedding, you need that great thing for your house. What? You’re having a baby?! Well let me tell you, I wouldn’t have survived without this! I’ll give you a list of must-have items!

Minneapolis resident Kate Rime was tired of the endless parade of consumption, the steady yearning to buy, buy, buy. She wanted to reject the “must-have/I need” mentality.

Kate and her husband, Austin, had already decided to limit their purchases and buy less “stuff.” They had started paying attention to where, exactly, the stuff they do buy actually comes from, and how it is made. They eat local and organic foods whenever possible, shop at farmers’ markets and their local co-op, and in the summer months, join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. They use nontoxic cleaning supplies (lots of borax and baking soda) and are firm in their commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

When little Solveig (now one) joined their family, “we had to figure out how to apply our goal of living a more sustainable lifestyle to parenting,” Kate says.

At first, it wasn’t easy. “Parents are constantly receiving messages that their kids “need” this and “need” that,” Kate says. “There’s always something you’re being told you have to buy. It’s challenging to stick to the basics when receiving that message all the time.”

Kate was determined to (literally) not buy into that way of thinking. “My daughter has a lot of toys and clothes but they are almost all hand-me-downs,” she says. Solveig doesn’t know the difference. She’s happy, and her clothes are unique because they have history.

Solveig is growing up green in other ways, too. She wears cloth diapers rather than disposables—much better-smelling and easier to manage than Kate originally anticipated, eats organic food (homemade when possible), and spends a lot of time outside in the fresh air.

Kate and Austin hope that one day, through their example, Solveig will learn to value friends and family, adventures, and experiences rather than things. They hope she will appreciate the beauty of the earth and the importance of protecting it, now and for future generations.
 

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