Our Green "Good Life"

Moss ©Janet AllenWe enjoy simple things, like this moss-covered rock in our back yard

We have a good life. We owe part of this to good fortune—living in a country with many opportunities and at an exciting time in history—but part also to choices we've made.

I'm grateful we weren't infected by "affluenza" and that we make decisions based on our own values, not by what the crowd thinks.

Instead of stuff

Our children ©Janet Allen
Our children, almost 20 years ago

When our children were growing up, our priority was fostering their development. We spent much more money on music lessons, art lessons, and creative experiences than we did on the latest clothes or toys. These experiences will enrich their whole lives; the clothes would now be long gone.

Raising kids in the suburbs, though, left a lot of room for simplifying … if we had had time to think about it!

Now that the kids are grown and with kids of their own, we enjoy our yard, and we seek out experiences rather than stuff. We enjoy participating in discussion groups, going to lectures and conferences, and participating in community groups. Who needs stuff when we have such enjoyable experiences!

Going for the green

Grandchildren  ©Janet Allen
Two of our grandsons playing in the dirt

We're now grandparents, so our priority has become working to leave a living planet to them and their children, and to all living things—human and non-human.

We're trying to make our "good life" increasingly green, though it's hard to be environmentally responsible given the constraints of living in our society. It's hard as individuals to make some of the needed changes.

The good news is that we meet more and more other people who feel the same way. By working together, we can help create a green life that's also a "good life" for everyone, now and in the future.

Social investments

HGCNY ©Janet Allen
Our HGCNY gardening apron

Although we support many national organizations, we increasingly believe that real change is going to come from the bottom up.

That's why we're participating in local organizations such as Habitat Gardening in Central New York (a chapter of the national organization Wild Ones), Edible Gardening CNY, and in Northwest Earth Institute discussion groups.

If you're in Central New York, join us! If you're not, join similar organizations in your community—or start one yourself.