Story Collected by Ian Torres
Initially, I was planning on interviewing my grandmother for the Environmentally-friendly Practices interview, but I decided that I would interview my mom instead. It occurs to me that for all the things that I do, I would always involve my grandmother but rarely had I included my mom in the things that I did or believed in. It so happens that the reason why I tend not to share too much about what I do with my mom is because our ways of thinking are very different. She is a little more conservative and is often difficult to get through to her. This was the perfect opportunity to include my mom into a little bit of what I do and in the process make her see and understand, in this case, why we should be engaging in more environmentally practices.
From the list of environmentally-friendly practices there were only four items that my mom marked as things she or we do at home. Among those things she marked down recycling, using energy-efficient light bulbs, using drapes and curtains to regulate temperatures, and hanging clothes to dry. When I asked her why she engaged in these practices she said that she mainly participated in them for the purpose of saving money, aside from recycling which was a practice that she said was her way of contributing to help the environment. The list was very extensive yet she only marked down four. I asked her if she would have liked to mark down more practices than the ones she did and she said yes and that she would like to engage in more activities but she feels she does not have enough time.
At that moment I asked her to mark three other practices that, though she marked down as things that she only did sometimes or never, she would like to do more. She marked down outdoor recreation and relaxation, gardening, and capturing or diverting rainwater. Out of these three practices the one that really called my attention was the practice of capturing or diverting water. She told me that when she was younger she used to capture rainwater with my grandmother for things like washing dishes, cleaning, bathing, watering plants, among other things. She said that my grandmother use to do this because that was a way of conserving water. She then understood that many people engage on these practices on the list because they have a cultural meaning to them, but at the same time these practices are still very relevant to us today, and in fact they are eco-friendly practices.
My hope with this interview was to be able to expose my mom more to the work I do and the way I think. My hope with this is to create some conscious in my house that for so long has been disconnected from our environment, from our community, and from our society. I did feel like at one point she might have felt a bit guilty for not engaging in some of the practices in the list, but my hope is that from now on she will be more conscious about the things she does and the things that we should be doing at our house. I hope to break that indifference in my house and in my family members, and hopefully we will be able to reconnect with our environment, and with our roots by engaging in environmentally-friendly practices.