Summer’s here. And with it come so many good intentions: plans to spend more time in the garden; to find extra weekends to escape to that lake on the edge of the northern woods; to go fishing; take a few camping trips, or enjoy more picnics at the beach. But before we can even scan the weather forecast to choose the best days to go, our mailbox fills with birth announcements, graduation announcements, and wedding invitations.
There go the outdoor plans. Pretty soon, the hours we might have spent beside the garden or with a fishing rod in hand slip away and now are spent scanning registry gift requests, racing through the mall on shopping errands, making travel reservations, and opening our checkbooks to make large gifts to our loved ones.
It all makes sense, really. Summer is the season of rebirth and growth. It’s a time when our culture reaches out to our younger generations and helps them move forward into the next phases of their lives. We get that.
But at what cost must this happen? How many baby-genius toys are we expected to purchase, when we know they will wind up in a landfill, leaving baby with a legacy of trash? How many kitchen appliances do we buy that will break in the next ten years? How many checks do we write to high school and college grads that get frittered away as forgotten purchases?
Here at the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill, helping the next generation move forward is what we’re all about. We’re a family business, after all. But we want them to move forward in a way that guarantees there’s a future to move forward to: one that’s rich with plants and wildlife, clean air, rich soils, and lots of good earth to sustain us. So naturally, when it comes time for legacy gift giving, we think the natural gift is the best option. Our wool bedding is not only healthier for the folks nestled beneath them; they’re healthier for the planet. They don’t break, fall apart or become obsolete in a few months or a few years. They’ll be around for generations. And when their useful life is finished, the chemical-free wool and organic cotton can return to the earth and start the cycle of life all over again, rather than clutter up a landfill for the next generation suffer with.
But a wool comforter, mattress pad or pillow does more than ease the eco-conscience of the gifter. It teaches the next generation what it’s like to sleep well and feel well in harmony with our planet. And when we learn that the right thing for the earth also feels best on our bodies, we carry that expectation forward in all that we do; from the foods we eat, to the choices we make every day.
…Which, of course, means there’ll be more gardens to enjoy, more pristine lakes on the edge of the woods, more fish on the line, more beautiful beaches, and more places to pitch a tent and celebrate the great outdoors. And those, truly, are our best gifts for the next generation.
Because that’s the real stuff that we all want in our lives.