Thoughts from Sustainable Generations

Sara Grochowski and Yea! Minnesota Students

Many people think our grandparents’ generation, those who came of age during the Great Depression, are the real environmentalists.

However, it often takes a family effort to initiate and successfully accomplish conservation habit changes.

Despite all of this, it seems there are various opinions about the definition of living green or how decisions of today will impact the next generation and beyond. However, it remains true that the choices made in daily life have deep roots in the family and ancestors. Ideas may be rejected or embraced, but family will always be integral in our decisions and actions to live a sustainable life.

The quotes below were collected from various Minnesotans. We asked questions such as “Why is green living important?” and “How do our decisions impact future generations?”

You watch, this country is going to be a throwaway society.

Aline, Buffalo, said in the early 1950s

We hope that our grandchildren will see what we’re doing and pick up on that.

Joane, Buffalo, age 72

I find that green living is very important to save our future. I love the earth.

Brock, Stillwater, age 13

The world is being polluted with carelessness, and it’s just about preserving the spirit of other people and thinking of others.

Adrian, Buffalo, age 77

My son had asthma and clean air was important for him. Exhaust affected him, especially when we went into the cities. Otherwise I haven’t thought much about it, I guess I’ve taken it for granted.

Madonna, Saint Croix Falls, age 90

I like recycling, because then the recycle truck comes to our house.

Lukas, Minneapolis, age 3

Considering the impacts of my choices have always been important; however after having a child I think about everything I do and what we are leaving behind for his generation.

Sara, Minneapolis, age 33

Kids today could never survive how we did. They think living without the internet is roughing it.

Agnes, Woodbury, age 90

I do what I can, but honestly, some days I am just too busy to think about everything I throw away or how fast I’m driving. If I could hire someone to get my life organized in a “green” fashion, I would definitely live better!

Jeanne, Woodbury, age 57

Community and living with your neighbors was necessary. I remember during the Great Depression when our neighbors were the only reason my father had work. He was a sign painter and every night a few of the men in our neighborhood would go and knock down several of the signs in our community so when my father reported to work at the City Hall, he had work.

Marie, St. Paul, age 92

You kids think what you are doing is so new, but this is how we lived. We always had chickens, never threw anything away. My mother made our clothes and taught us to sew when we were only a few years old. Food was never wasted and everything we made was from raw, local ingredients.

Helen, Woodbury, age 88

Sustainable Generations

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