So here I am on my urban farm sustainability blog writing to tell you that my family and I will be climbing on a gigantic fuel-sucking monster to fly across the country so that my kids can run robots around on tables in the Georgia Dome. When you put it like that, it sounds kind of absurd from an environmental standpoint, yet therein lies the rub and one of the stickiest parts of being an environmentalist: how far do you push your values on your kids? Sure, we could tell them that we refuse to go - just because their robotics team made it to the World Festival is no reason to be wasteful of resources. But could you really imagine doing that? Me neither. So off we go.
As with so many day-to-day decisions, we have to balance what is right for our principles vs. what is right for our children. In many ways, our values become second nature for our kids, the "HTF" (a phrase that my mom developed in days of water rationing for "Hold the Flush", and turn lights off when they leave the room. They hang up laundry, vegetable garden, gather chicken eggs, walk and bike around town. But while I will cheerily suit up in my Goretex gear and pedal off to work in a downpour, I don't ever force the kids to bike in inclement weather. Yep, we drive. Of course, we are usually carpooling and try to minimize car miles and maximize the usage when we do take a gas-powered vehicle, but there are many times when having my daughter make it to a dance recital with hair, make-up, and costume intact trumps my tree-hugging values. And this weekend is one of those times, for sure.
So we're off for five days of fun at the World Robotics Festival. Blue skies are in the making as the weather in Atlanta promises to be lovely, and I'm sure the kids will have one of the most memorable experiences of their young lives.