a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

I came across another list of tips for going green at home. I love lists since they help my brain keep things present. I know some people disagree, but the “list” actually helps free up space in my head, offering assurance that I won’t forget things. So, instead of thinking about my to-dos 100 times per day, I can think of them once or twice, when I look at my list.

Anyway, list person or not, you have to appreciate Green Lists – I always read them because they help me see what I may have missed – one more  thing I can do – or not do – to simplify my life, feel healthier and/or green my daily habits. I came across this list offered up by Millie Barnes at, who manages to have a really clean, green life at home as a working single mom.

Then I came to step # 7. “Used cloth diapers for all 5 kids.” Impressive, but hey, wait a minute. 5 kids? I think she missed a step on the socially responsible way to be green on our crowded planet. That’s still a lot of diapers, washed in a lot of water, using a lot of detergent and that’s just where the consuming begins when it comes to raising five children, who become five adults in five homes of their own, with five cars of their own, with kids of their own, and so on.

Let me be clear. I’m not anti-kids. I am anti-“have-as-many-as-you-want-despite-the-fact-that-we-are-outnumbering-our-capacity-and-that-there-are-many-children-who-need-foster-and-adoptive-parents”. Steven Kotler, author of West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief, says it a lot better than this on

Want a chip off the ol’ block experience? That’s inevitable and a beautiful plan of nature. So, do your biological thing – after all, those little green footprints are adorable – and then, if you want more, consider the alternatives.

Still, I read the rest of the list and learned something new about composting. It’s a good list by a motivational and inspirational person. Take a look.

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3 Responses to “”

  1. Roger Hartsell Says:

    Thanks, Tracey
    I commented on this article. Good ideas. The t.p. issue is a personal one…
    The big problem is affecting the population that is doing nothing.
    Jolly Roger

  2. tao Says:

    Yes, it’s a tough issue that is no fun to face for either side. But, it’s our reality. Read Steven Kotler’s article linked above, where he lays the facts on the line and advocates a 5-year birth ban….Tao

  3. mary roster Says:

    Tao, This woman did have 5 children but by 4 different fathers and lost custody of all 5 in different custody cases spanned out over several years. True she was single but did not raise any of her childen and failed to help support any of them. I wanted to fill in the facts that were lacking in her post. Thanks
    P.S. She did use dispsable diapers.

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