What are we doing this for? Why? How come? As a nanny for two young girls, I get hit with these kinds of questions every time we have to do something that doesn’t seem fun. “Let’s clean up our toys before we go!” I say. “Why?” I get in response. Another way of phrasing this is “what’s the point?” The point is that if we don’t learn to clean up our toys, then we will get in the habit of leaving messes everywhere we go, either expecting someone else to clean them up for us, or hoping they will just go away, which leaves you with a lack of respect for the things in your possession and a lack of responsibility for your actions. Obviously this isn’t how I phrase my response to a two year old, but in the long run that’s why you clean up your toys! When every building block is put back in place and the dolls are all tucked into their beds, we end up with a wide open floor perfect for an impromptu dance party with our favorite DJ’s Alvin, Simon and Theodore.
Even a two year old can understand that once things are cleaned up, we have an environment to enjoy and play in. She first has to see what that fun environment looks like in order to motivate her to clean up her messes. She has to experience the benefits. This is a round-about, yet awesome, way of getting to my point: GET OUT THERE. You’ll be way more likely to recycle your box of Cheerios and reduce the amount of trash you produce if you experience the emerald green trees and rolling hills that could cease to exist if you leave your toys on the floor, figuratively speaking. Even in the most dense of cities you have the opportunity to experience and witness nature. I am fortunate enough to live in Seattle which from every angle has a more beautiful landscape than it does a skyline. You’ll see more trees, mountains and water here than you’ll see people, cars and coffee. This lush, beautiful landscape extends north, south, east and west of the city which houses endless hikes, campgrounds and moss covered evergreens. I know this stuff because I’ve experienced it. These experiences have not only ‘recharged my batteries’, but they’ve given me a deeper love and concern for the backbone of our lives; our environment.
This section of Tomato Boots is devoted to my experiences on back country trails, rain forest hikes, sailing trips on the sound and everywhere else that requires a little adventure. “What’s the point?” you ask? The point is that in order for us to clean up our toys and take responsibility for our lifestyles, we should experience the benefits of our incredibly beautiful environment. Maybe if you see what we could lose, you’ll work a little harder to protect it.