The folks at Nature’s Path contacted me about a contest they are hosting with Everyday with Rachael Ray called “My Path to Sustainable Living.” They are searching for people who understand the importance of giving back, sustainability and the value of good nutrition and its connection to the earth. And on their website, they want to know where you are on the path to sustainability – how did you first get on the path, where you are now and where you want to go next?
The winner will receive $5,000 for themselves as well as $5,000 for a charity of their choice from a list of amazing organizations (The Breast Cancer Fund, The Lunchbox Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother Big Sister). The winner will also receive a year’s supply of Nature’s Path breakfast products (which would totally work for us – husband is addicted to Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola) and a block party hosted by Nature’s Path in the winner’s community where they will provide an organic breakfast for up to 100 attendees. Additionally they will appear in the February 2010 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine.
While entering the contest, I thought a lot about my path to sustainable living. Without sounding trite, it is really about being true to my family. Once my kids arrived, and started to eat real food, many of the ideas I had about food began to coalesce into a regular practice. Feeding them healthy food and educating them about where food comes from, how they can be part of the process, and how to manage their own diets became important to me. Learning to eat local and seasonal foods became easier and less expensive, to say nothing of tasting better. Connecting with the farmers who grow our food was a fun way to introduce my kids to a part of my family history (my mom’s family had a small farm in southern California). Talking with my kids about why we avoid products with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils caused me to seek out alternatives in the grocery store. When finding alternatives became difficult, recreating a favorite at home became my path.
Sustainable living for me is about the ability to make my own choices and take responsibility for those choices. On a regular week, we choose bike riding over car trips; we choose to know the farmers who grow our food; we chose to recycle and compost; we chose to be beekeepers and urban farmers; we chose reusable containers for drinks, snacks and lunch; we chose to help our friends and family understand our choices and influence through positive role modeling.
What is your path to sustainable living? What choices have you made?