As a mother I see more and more clearly how we can shape a healthy and bright future through our children. I see my own young child interact with life around him in such a curious and innocent way. The foundation, upon which he will grow, his values and beliefs, is being built right now. He is developing a relationship with his environment that will steer the way he walks through his life. It feels to me that the best way to guide him is to teach him to live in a way that is regenerative to life around him.
In his article, Sustainability is Not Enough: We Need Regenerative Cultures, Daniel Wald explains, “A regenerative human culture is healthy, resilient and adaptable; it cares for the planet and it cares for life in the awareness that this is the most effective way to create a thriving future for all of humanity.”
Why do we need to be regenerative at this time?
Simply put, our impact as humans is so great, that we are by far taking at a faster rate than we are replenishing. If we continue to live in a way where life is barely sustaining itself, what kind of future will our children’s children have? I believe we need to steer away from an industrial-based culture and return to a more traditional way of life that harmonizes with nature and replenishes resources for those who will come after us.
How do we ensure we are teaching our children to live in a regenerative way?
We must practice this ourselves, demonstrating to them what works and what doesn’t, and be willing to closely examine our own choices. Beginning within our own home and seeing where we can lower our impact even more and how much we can revitalize and nurture the living space we occupy. Reevaluating what we buy, how much plastic we consume and dispose of. It is a commitment to being brutally honest and in integrity with our own choices.
Living on Maui gives us many opportunities to practice regenerative living.
We have a year-round growing season that allows us to grow much of our own food locally, lowering our dependence on petroleum while cultivating more oxygenating plants around us. We can do this with our babies as they play in the garden beside us.
We have the opportunity to be outside and foster an appreciation for nature and how to interact within it in a harmonious way. Living in a regenerative way will look unique for all of us, depending on where we are and what our current lifestyle is. In our home we do our best to avoid single-use plastic all together, always carrying our own dishes, jars, and utensils in case we eat on the go. Instead of recycling what plastic we do utilize, we make plastic bricks to ensure it stays out of the ocean (learn more at ecobricks.org). We drive a vehicle that is fueled by locally grown and manufactured biodiesel. We also spend a lot of time outside cultivating and learning about native plant species that will help to revitalize the āina. We get in the dirt and marvel at the miracle of a sprouting seed! Not only is this great for baby, it is great for me to connect to nature in this way.
Most importantly, I believe in the power of honest communication with our children; talking to them about why we are making certain choices and the implications of these choices, no matter what their age. We must remember, through our children we hold the future in our arms. How we live will impress upon them the values and beliefs that will shape the way they interact in their adult life.
It is a great responsibility and we will be stronger in this mission if we come together as a community committed to regenerating a thriving and healthy future.