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  • Georgia Madiba

A Tribute to my Parents

With Mother’s Day a few weeks ago and Father’s Day coming up, late spring is a fitting time to acknowledge the environmental stewardship I originally learned from my parents.

I had an advantage growing up in Seattle but yet as a child it was those most close to me—my parents—who instilled the importance of protecting the environment. Some actions were apparent to me at the time, such as teaching me to conserve water while washing dishes, saving left-overs to be eaten later or lining the trash with newspaper instead of a plastic bag. Others weren’t, like the year when my parents shrunk our yard’s lawn to a small patch of grass and in its place worked with a landscape designer to plant a variety of flowers and shrubs, how we organized errands via car to minimize distances or that my mom always used non-toxic house cleaners and bar soap. In addition, many “green” actions were part of Seattle’s culture, the culture I was born into, like sorting recycling, bringing your own bags when shopping or curbside collection of food scraps and yard refuse.

I was raised with a mindset to consider the environment, whether it be water, air or “stuff,” in my everyday life. And that’s important. If we teach our children to be environmental stewards at a young age, we raise a generation who will protect our environment. It’s argued that the lack of this has put us where we are today, in a climate crisis. However, I must note that it is encouraging to see many youth environmental leaders emerge in the past few years which has helped bring these issues to the forefront.

I honor my parents this spring and thank them for instilling the value of environmental stewardship.

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