by Wendy Gabriel
Derek Markham is a father, freelance writer, and Twitter addict. He covers environmental and natural parenting topics for a number of green blogs, including Natural Papa, Twilight Earth, Blue Living Ideas, Green Living Ideas, and the Green Options Media network. For the last 10 years, he’s worked in the natural foods industry, most recently as the general manager of a food co-op.
How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?
I’m a big bicycling advocate and commute by bike as much as possible. I have a trailer for hauling groceries and running errands, and we’ve always tried to live within biking distance of our community. We buy only organically grown food, shop exclusively at our local food co-op and farmer’s market, and have been CSA farm members the last couple of years as well as having our own garden. We use only eco-friendly soaps and cleaners in our house, and love to go thrifting instead of buying new. Our family is also working toward establishing an off-grid homestead, with the hope of establishing an intentional eco-community.
You are such a wonderful and prolific writer. What is your favorite green topic to write about?
My favorite topics are probably homebirth and homeschooling, which I don’t write about nearly often enough. I try to balance writing about my favorites with the topics in demand at the blogs I write for. I also enjoy writing about natural foods, seasonal recipes and health topics.
I really enjoyed the interview you did for Green Talk Radio’s Green Blogger Series. You explain natural fatherhood in a wonderful way. Could you give us a little overview of what being a natural father means to you?
To me, a natural father is one who makes the effort to instill in his kids a sense of reverence for, and a love of, our natural world, while taking the time to connect with them on a deep level; a dad who balances the needs of making a living with the needs of his family and takes the steps necessary to be present with them, no matter what the sacrifice. I’ve been fortunate to be intimately involved with all of my kid’s births, which is an important part of fatherhood, in my eyes. I also believe that dads can and should play a bigger role in the education of their children.
With Father’s Day fast approaching, what would be your perfect eco-friendly Father’s Day gift?
I’d be very happy with a gift basket filled with organic Fair Trade coffee, some organic dark chocolate, and gift certificate for a massage. I am also a big fan of green gadgets and bikes, so perhaps a solar powered battery charger for my LED bike lights would also fit the bill.