Ecocentricity Blog: Native American Wisdom

Sep 27, 2017 10:30 AM ET
Campaign: Ecocentricity Blog

Ecocentricity Blog: Native American Wisdom

Here’s the situation. It’s 6:45 on a relatively ordinary weeknight, and your 14-month-old is desperately in need of a bath. Why? Because most of his dinner ended up on him instead of in him. It turns out that dish he loved last week is now repulsive and, in his mind, better used as a projectile.

It’s been a long day, and you and your spouse are limping to the finish line. If you could just get your little ball of chaos into the bath and bed, you could then stumble over to the couch for a television respite before sleeping and doing it all again tomorrow. You pop that pacifier in his mouth, quietly back out of his room and are ready to declare a minor victory.

In the words of the immortal Lee Corso (college football fans will know who I’m talking about), “Not so fast my friend!”

Your child has managed to turn your kitchen into a crime scene. The cabinets next to his high chair are splattered with tomato sauce. Milk looks like a Rorschach test on the floor. As you put your hands to your head and sigh, you feel a string of spaghetti clinging to your hair. You sigh again. Time to get to work cleaning up this mess.

In that moment, are you going to consider what the most environmentally friendly way of cleaning up is? If the answer is yes, you’re a better person than I am. I just want to make it to the couch. I’ll grab a paper towel and get the job done as quickly as possible.

Instead, hopefully you and I made a good environmental choice when purchasing the products that we will use to get that job done. To that end, let me give a tip of the hat to Seventh Generation.

Let’s start with the value statements found on their website. They believe in products that are safe for people and the environment. They believe plant-based products can work exceedingly well, while being better for Earth than products made from petroleum. They celebrate recyclability and call waste what it is – waste! I think we can all agree with those values!

Here are a few more accolades. Seventh Generation is a certified B Corporation, and a founding member of B Corp at that. They voluntarily disclose all of the ingredients in their products, even putting a glossary of ingredients on their website. They’re committed to running their operations on renewable energy. They are even committed to getting customers to wash their clothes in cold water, thereby using less energy.

Here’s perhaps my favorite part – their name. Seventh Generation is a reference to a phrase from the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation, which stresses the need to consider impacts of actions on the seventh generation to come. In many respects, it’s the same message as "Tomorrow’s Child." This planet will be inherited by those yet to come. Just like cleaning that messy kitchen, let’s make dang sure we leave it at least as good as the way we found it.