by Wendy Gabriel
Mindy Lockard is the founder of ManneroftheMonth.com, an interactive publication that teaches manners and etiquette to everyday users as well as industry professionals. She is the president of the Mindy Lockard brand, which includes seminars and training materials, stationery, and industry coaching. Mindy teaches formal etiquette courses for people of all ages and provides valuable corporate training for schools, government agencies, and private companies. Mindy writes for Crane & Co.’s, The Crane Insider as well as Stationery Trends magazine’s column “What’s Write.” She is also the online etiquette consultant at GartnerStudios.com and works as a freelance contributor for several other publications and websites.
She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her two daughters and her husband and enjoys traveling throughout the United States.
How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?
Dare I admit it…I was a plastic-aholic! I loved plastic bags! I now make a concerted effort to reuse my plastic bags or find creative ways to substitute the itch to turn yellow and blue to green. For example, I will now wrap sandwiches for a picnic in cloth napkins which the etiquette consultant in me always loves having a good lap napkin on hand.
Your May 2009’s issue of ManneroftheMonth.com was entitled “Graciously Green.” What is one of your favorite ways to be Graciously Green?
I love the farmers’ market! I have a French market basket that I wheel around and fill with the bounty grown from my local soil. I think it’s really beautiful and gracious to support those who are committed to living organically, promote healthy living, and truly care for the environment. Not to mention the food we buy there tastes so much better!
What has been your biggest challenge living Graciously Green?
I think my greatest challenge to live graciously green is creating new habits, but just like any aspect of living graciously it takes denying my own desire to do what’s easier for me to impact the greater good. The Native American proverb rings true: “we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Since we wouldn’t re-gift an item that had been misused, abused, chipped, or broken, we should not bequeath an eco-disaster to our children and their children.
As an etiquette expert and the mother of two little girls, what advice would you give others about ways to teach children Graciously Green manners?
As parents, it is so important that we are aware of what our words and actions are teaching our children. It’s much easier to tell our children a rule; it’s when we take the time teach and model behavior that our little ones can actually learn. At our house, we had many discussions with our children about giving items away so they could be used by another child. Children, almost more than adults, have an amazing capacity to care for others. Giving them the power to contribute brings smiles to their faces.