What Does it Mean to be an Eco-Friendly Family? {Part 1: Panjee Tapales}

Welcome to Going Green, a new feature on Dainty Mom! This feature highlights people, places and products that inspire and challenge me to live a more green and earth-conscious lifestyle.  

What Does it Mean to be an Eco-Friendly Family?

{an interview with Panjee Tapales, panjeetapales.com}

The good Lord–who made everything in this wonderful planet–knows I’m trying my best to love the earth as best as I can. I am aware that our world is slowly passing away, and I know I can do little things to help revive it. That’s why I’m using less plastic in our home, trying to eat sustainable and organic foods as much as possible, and cloth diapering my son as often as I can. I’m not yet 100% green in my ways, but I do try. Maybe I’m 65-35 right now, so “yay” to me for effort. (Haha.)

 

I totally look up to those moms who are able to live as true “green moms.” I’ve come across a few of them, both online and on the street. I am, at times, floored by their methods and practices: raw food, intentional parenting, etc. But more importantly, I am moved by their values, and challenged by the choices they’ve made in order to help this world live a little longer!

 

I wanted to know how they managed it, so I asked around. A handful of moms responded to a simple email I sent out some months ago. In it, I asked some questions about their beliefs as “eco-friendly” moms.

 

One of the first moms to reply was Panjee Tapales, a full-time mom, blogger, writer and Steiner/Waldorf Education advocate. She’s known for being an inner change and truth advocate, and has written about her support for sustainable ventures, organic/biodynamic agriculture.

 

Here’s what she had to say to my questions:

 

Panjee Tapales

 

DaintyMom (DM): The term “eco-chic” is thrown about a lot at times. What does it mean for you?

Panjee: I’m finding that there are more aesthetic choices now for ecobags, for example ,and other earth-friendly products, so I guess it’s a levelling up of aesthetics where before the term “eco” was limited to very basic designs (in clothes and fabric, for example).

 

DM: What is your philosophy when it comes to being an “eco-friendly” mom?

Panjee: I don’t preach. I simply live it.

I’ve been toting reusable bags and water bottles for years so my children grew up seeing that. They also see that recycling is part of our lives. They get new toys but give away the old. We make sure they share their books. Our kitchen is equipped with different bins, we segregate, compost, plant our own organic veggies, we eat organic and biodynamic whenever possible.

We don’t do soda and fast food. We try to heal ourselves with homeopathic remedies and use allopathic medicine wisely and with utmost care. My kids know to turn off the tap while they are brushing. They know they have to make sure they have all their belongings ready for school because I’m not happy about having the car make extra trips just because they didn’t get organized. They experience me plan our car trips economically.

I chose not to put lights in our garden when I saw them experience darkness and fireflies. Anything that brings them to a real and living appreciation of nature and their role in supporting it, not destroying it, is part of our family agenda.

So, my philosophy is: live it and be the change so that “eco-friendly” is not a term but a way of life.

 

DM: What are a few simple changes a mom can make so that she gets her family on the path towards an eco-friendly lifestyle?

Panjee: Make conscious choices. Read labels. Anything that is close to the earth has more life in it and is healthier for the family, organic is superior to sprayed produce. Anything you buy in a can or in a fast food place is not. I like the Filipino word “sapat,” which means also living with a consciousness towards what’s enough so that our kids have a good grounded sense of that.

The world is going towards an alarming trend of excess. Once you learn to live with “sapat” in mind, you will have taught them to consume less. That’s a simple way to do it, but it goes deep towards living a lifestyle that supports a healthy planet.

 

What are some ways you try to live as a more eco-conscious family? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.

Comments

  1. Carla says

    Hello =) first time commenter here. I think a true environmentalist should not have a consumerist mindset. Many of our environmental problems today are caused by too much waste, trash, and discarded items. People talk about eating organic foods, bringing Eco-bags and healing themselves with herbal remedies, but very rarely will you see an environment advocate speaking against consumerism. I have yet to see an environmentalist speaking up against over materialism and the seeming need of people to buy more and have more. Just look at all the presents we buy at Christmas, all the parties we go to. Think of all the excess gift wrappers, discarded tags, boxes, paper plates, decorations, and overall trash that comes with the season. These all go to our landfills, too. Not to mention all the new toys, clothes, and gadgets that we purchase when we could very well still re-use the old things we have. That’s why I was happy to read about Panjee’s comment about living with a “sapat” mindset. She’s probably the only environmentalist I’ve heard talk about this. If you think about it, some environmentalists are the worst consumerists and are mere capitalists in disguise. They are all about selling so-called organic and environment-friendly (and highly expensive) products, but very rarely will they encourage you to simply use and re-use what you have at home, giving back to the poor, or curbing materialism. So for that, I’m afraid some of them have lost credibility in my eyes.

    • Martine says

      Hi, Carla! Thank you so much for your insights. I do appreciate it when readers give such solid feedback!
      Yes, I agree with you about consumerism and the “eco-chic” label being a cash cow in disguise. It’s true for many so-called eco-conscious businesses out there. I think the key to really caring for the earth is really just paring down our lifestyle and going back to the basics–making stuff at home, repurposing, being good stewards of our possessions, etc. I like that my parents taught me these simple living values (which I talk about in this article), and how to live in that state of “sapat” or enough. Being grateful for what we have–that’s key, too!

  2. says

    I wanted to feature Panjee on my Mom-Style too! maybe next time :)
    I love that she “lives it” and is very authentic in what she says and does. She’s a role model for all of us. I just hope I our little steps at home like saving water and electricity, reusing plastic and donating toys would impact on my kids in some way…

    • Martine says

      Thanks for the comment, Michelle!

      Yes, I applaud her for that! She’s the real deal when it comes to applying what she believes in. :)

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