This morning, Duncan and I were eating oatmeal for breakfast. If you don't have children, you may not be aware of the mucilaginous quality of oatmeal. If an adult drops a little oatmeal, s/he wipes it up. Done. When a Duncan drops some, it's more than a little. When you attempt to wipe it up, each molecule sticks to something else, and you end up with an impressive, sticky mess. Duncan and I tried to wipe the oatmeal from his pajamas, to no avail. Oatmeal stuck to the napkin and to the table and then restuck to the pajamas in a vicious, ever expanding loop (or so it felt at 6 a.m.) Finally, I said "How about I just put this napkin in the hamper and get you a paper napkin?" My angel-child looked at me incredulously and asked quizzically "A PAper NAPkin?"
Duncan is about 3 1/2; I gave up paper napkins about 16 months ago. He has almost forgotten they exist. These steps seem so small on a day-to-day basis, but they are already teaching my child that we don't have to (and indeed, shouldn't) live in a disposable society if we want to "save the planet, Mama."
(And yes, Mom, I am rinsing out and reusing Ziploc bags. I'm sorry if I ever mocked you.)