Teaching kids to ride more and consume less

The Columbia Tribune this week had an article about Ellen Thomas, a pediatrician in Columbia who taught a workshop in Columbia's Sustainable Living Fair this week:
"We live in a time when there is a lot of consumption. Our kids spend a lot of their time in the car and eating these very highly processed foods and so on. All of those things contribute to a less sustainable system … and also to poor fitness for children," the private-practice physician said.

"Kids spend way too much time being hauled around in the car," Thomas said.

The Overshiner family of Columbia already practices one of Thomas’ key recommendations - get the kids moving under their own power.

Gina Overshiner, 40, and kids 8-year-old Max and 6-year-old Anna Rose decided to ride their bikes on the 2½-mile round trip to and from school. The kids plot their daily mileage on a map of the United States.

"We’ve been charting our mileage" between Lee Elementary School and their home near Broadway and West Boulevard "to see if we can ride to New York City. We’re about to East St. Louis," Overshiner said.

Thomas says today’s culture is all about consuming, which is bad for the environment and for children.