One of the ideas we’re trying to weave throughout this series is this: you don’t have to be perfect. I had a long conversation last night with a marine biologist in Hawaii for the plastics story, and he felt strongly that parents are too hard on themselves — and on each other — when it comes to being green.

“Even the smallest of things that a parent can do has the potential to have an impact later in their children’s lives,” he said. “Everything they can do will have a long-term effect. Ninety percent is awareness and putting the effort in, and the rest will come.”

Struck me as quite soothing. Parents, if you’re out there reading this, do you feel pressure to be eco-perfect? Where does that pressure come from, and how do you handle it?

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.