The Guardian | My five siblings and I grew up in a cruel wasteland of deprivation that included whole-wheat cereals, secondhand clothing and shared rooms. To add insult to injury, we didn’t even have a TV to distract us from our hardship.
My parents weren’t poor, so as a child I simply assumed they had a sadistic streak. Looking back now, as a wise old 31-year-old, I get it. And not only do I get it, I’ve come to realize that depriving your children is wildly underrated.
The road to this realization was long. In my mid-20s, I realized that, although reusing and recycling had become popular, the concept of reducing was being left in the dust, largely because no one could figure out how to make money off of it. I began buying less, making more, and taking a critical look at how much I consumed. As I delved further and further into the bizarre world of bamboo-fibers and up-cycling, my austere childhood took on an entirely different slant. I realized with a shock that my parents were cool: they had been mindful about our planet and its resources since the 1970s.
It wasn’t a great surprise then, that when I became pregnant with my daughter Olive, I vowed to carry on this family tradition of neglect.