The name that I have been called by colleagues and students over the years is JB. Why? I am one of the cool, hip, favs of my scene, I think not. It is how I sign my emails. My young friends in my workplace have also taken to saying "You are such a Boomer, JB". Again I thought I was "cool", "trendy", "extra", "Gucci" or just plain awesome. No just an old person.
What I have learned from my climate change fighters at school is that I am part of the problem. I have not done my best looking after the world we share.
I am a grandchild of people who lived off the land and the sea. My grandparents grew all their fruit and vegetables and fished for their meals. My Mum and Dad were busy, but they had a suburban patch and we picked our fruit and vegetables and lived well. Most of all, as children, sun out so were we, in the garden with them or riding bikes and playing. Remember a Boomer was quite old before TV ruined our eyes!
I grew up, married gained an instant family then added two of my own. Hubby and I were flat out being beautiful parents, excellent teachers, friends and family members and everything to everyone. So our instant life grew. Car trips here, specials from the supermarket, take away food, easy, quick grab packaged snacks and lunch box fillers of healthy muesli bars, chocolate covered and yum.
I had my dryer, dishwasher and every chemical I could spray on my surfaces. I was a modern Mum. We had our veggie patch, and fruit trees and my husband would say, "You can't eat it. I won't plant it." Our trips to the tip (waste management centre- non-boomer language), were loads of plastic, cardboard and just stuff.
Years on, my Mum Nola is 92. She gardens a double block, lives on her own, cooks and drives. Grannie is our wonder woman. She is healthy, and we are blessed to have her with us. Her secrets to good living are simple:
- grow your own fruit and veg
- bottle fruit, make jams and sauces
- value the family mealtime
- use the sun to dry your clothes
- shop conscientiously
- make your own clothes
- waste nothing
So the Boomer generation missed something. We created the greatest number of people in the world, used up fuels, polluted everything and thought money bought happiness.
So now my young people around me have helped me see the everyday choices we make in our lives are important, and we need to help clean up our mess. The young ones are asking us to reduce our demand on this beautiful world and in many ways go back to a simpler way of living.
As a family, we are choosing to do this. My 17 month-old granddaughter is actually a product of this eco-friendly and sustainable life. Nola and her great-granddaughter Florence (Flossie) wander the garden together, and the new generation is learning about plants. So we are starting. I don't know it all, but as a family, we are going to learn together and hopefully help conserve our natural resources and live a more fruitful life. We are making decisions today that are sustainable for many years to come. We need to stop making decisions that only provide immediate short term benefits.
So I have to be honest and say, making these decisions often are not the cheapest option. Still, the more of us who band together and support the eco-friendly and sustainable living new norm will help the essential products to become available for all.
Jump on board with us, we are not the experts, but we are on a fun adventure together of learning, making mistakes and hopefully helping to provide a better environment for all families.
So to sign off, I will say
Julianne (JB the Boomer)