Saturday, March 16, 2013

What a Green Mom Looks Like, at Least this One

What does being green look like? I'm sure some of you read that and think dirty hippy. Some might think it means that I only do and eat Eco friendly, natural, and/or organic things. And others may think that it means going out of my way to be earth friendly.

You would be both wrong and right about some of those things. There are also some things that may surprise you as far as what I do and don't do.

For starters, I want to say that my going green has been an ebb and flow kind of process. The pendulum of my greenness has swung wide and varied. I was the kid lecturing my parents on the necessity of recycling, the teenager who ate tons of fast food, the passionate 20 something who dabbled in vegetarianism (a whole month), gave up pork and beef for 5 years, and used nothing but green body and house products, the pregnant lady who wanted nothing to do with green vegetables, and finally the mother who is trying to balance greenness with sensibility and enjoyment of life. In some ways I'm greener than I've been and in other ways I'm probably not. Now, a peek into my current life.

Some of the greener things I do are trying to eat clean and organic. At the least, I try to eat foods closest to their original firm and minimize processed foods. But damn I love me some Oreos, Pepsi Throwback, French fries, Starbucks sugar drinks with a little espresso, and BACON! I clean with non toxic and homemade cleaners (vinegar, baking soda, etc.), but there is some bleach for those nasty stains and super grody gunk. I only use all natural bath and body products and make my own toothpaste, but my husband like petroleum based lotion for his super dry skin and while it's way better than the other stuff I LOVE mail polish. We buy energy efficient bulbs and usually moderately heat and cool the house, but you better believe the air was cranking when I was 8 and 9 months pregnant in June and July! I cloth diaper my child, but only when I feel like it. Sometimes disposable diapers are so convenient!!! I actually recently started using what's known as family cloth, but only for pee and I still have toilet paper. One thing I do that is super green, is I ONLY use cloth menstrual pads anymore. They are glorious, comfortable, pretty, and I swear my time of the month is far less uncomfortable. I continue to breastfeed my now almost 20 month old son, but I let him have candy. My son also sleeps in bed with us. I do these things because they make me physically feel better and in many cases are actually cheaper than conventional methods. And I parent the way I do because I feel every person deserves respect and so far, my methods are producing a very loving and independent child.

Some things I don't do or things that aren't so green. I've never really bought organic clothes. Those things cost way too much and seriously cramp my style. We own an SUV, but that was because today's carseats and carseat recommendations for safest use don't work well with small four door cars like they did in my youth. I really hate gardening and really hated growing my own vegetables. Seriously, major props to farmers and especially organic farmers. I hate most vegan and vegetarian foods. I love meat and I LOVE vegetables, but I'm not crazy about fake meat products (even though I ate it for years).

The moral of the story, even if you can't live a pristinely Eco friendly, tree-hugging, swim with the dolphins kind of life doesn't mean you can't make a difference. Think about it, if everyone made a few differences they can live with, it would mean a huge impact over all. Plus, life should be enjoyed and not made more complicated than it already is. Unless we are reincarnated, you only have one life on this planet.