sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

April 17, 2012

Pre-School Eco-Bullying

I suppose it only counts as bullying because everything is bullying these days.

Being a busy girl, Yelena had a habit of not wiping her hands after washing, so her skin turned dry.  I talked to her about drying her hands, applied moisturizer several times a day, and in a few weeks her skin was baby soft again.  Then all of a sudden her hands got dry again.

I asked her if she wipes her hands well in pre-school, and she said, no.  Turns out a certain Miss Smarty Pants admonished her for using more than a single paper towel.  Per Miss Smarty Pants it kills trees.  I can’t say I was surprised by this development.  I told Yelena to not worry about the trees because we will plant new ones, and that, in fact, we farm trees in this country.  And if Smarty Pants ever tells her that she can’t have another paper towel, she can relate that novel concept to her.

DH for his part told Yelena to use the grandpa rule: wipe her hands with a towel until it’s all wet before taking another one.  This way she’s using as much as she needs, but no more than she needs, which is always a good idea.



  1. Why do “environmentalists” always act as if trees are a non-renewable resource? They’re a crop, for heaven’s sake! And if you care about air quality, cutting down old trees and planting new ones makes sense, since younger trees do a far better job than older ones of removing CO2 from the air and replacing it with oxygen.

    Comment by Bob — April 17, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    • Good point. Trees are a renewable resource, and the best way to preserve them is to consume them. Obviously we are not running out of trees because if we were, paper towels would be too expensive. We’d be using cloth towels which take a lot of energy to wash, not to mention that they’d be very messy in pre-school setting.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — April 18, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Intolerant Fox and commented:
    This is why I homeschool. There is nothing worse than eco-terrorists scaring 3-year-olds.

    Comment by intolerantfox — April 17, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  3. This is absurd. Another reason I homeschool. When I get to our science texts about how we are destroying the planet…I simply skip it and move on to another relevant lesson. I refuse to allow my children to be terrorized by eco-nutjobs with no compunction about scaring babies. What jerks. I hope your daughter does tell Miss Smarty Pants to stuff it. Please update if she does!

    Comment by intolerantfox — April 17, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    • I certainly will, although I hope that’s the last I hear about it. She doesn’t interact with that girl that much. It’s good to reassure her that no, she plays no party to some sort of tree holocaust.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — April 18, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  4. At least she wasn’t using one square of toilet paper.

    Kids say the dumbest things sometimes.

    Comment by Harrison — April 17, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    • I can’t imagine a parent teaching her child to use 1 square only. That’s just too much for the grown ups to deal with.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — April 18, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

      • They could use a bidet or just be like the savages and use their left hand and wash it off!

        It’s for Gaia!

        Comment by Harrison — April 19, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

  5. Careful. We don’t want Cheryl Crow to come to your house and lecture on the environment. That would be horrifying!

    Comment by Infidel de Manahatta — April 18, 2012 @ 7:43 am

  6. And so it begins.

    The good news is how easy it is to counter the propaganda aspect of schooling today. Funny enough, I’ve had to explain the exact same thing to my boys: trees are just another crop that we harvest and replant, with the only difference being that it takes more than one season. Since truths like these make intuitive sense, even to a young ‘un, your daughter will remember, and she may take a teacher or two off-guard with this no-nonsense answer in the future . . . and you’ll be so proud.

    The harder part is when they are older and should be absorbing tons of history, from ancient to American. Hopefully, you’ll find a school that teaches more than catch phrases like “nation of immigrants,” and random facts about various cities (for ex: LA is sunny and has beautiful beaches! This was on my older son’s social studies checkpoint today btw.).


    Comment by nooneofanyimport — April 18, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    • LA is sunny and has beautiful beaches? That’s funny. My in-laws live in greater LA, and we go there twice a year. We are yet to go to the beach. But it is sunny.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — April 18, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  7. […] warming, now it’s my turn.  Like liberals I’m going to guilt trip the little ones into proper environmentalist behavior.  I’m going to tell my kids that if they waste any more paper, the dinosaurs will die […]

    Pingback by Endangered Primordials | sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue — September 21, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

  8. […] and they’ll squeal with excitement.  They are conformists, too, so count on them to bully each other into compliance.  As time goes by, layer on […]

    Pingback by Degrees of Environmental Concern | sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue — September 14, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

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