Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ramblings of a Semi-Crunchy Mama

Going green is a hot topic these days. Every where you look there are advertisements saying that a product is environmentally friendly, shirts and bumper stickers instructing you to "Save the Planet", tips on the newest and greatest way to be green. Having kids has made me a little more conscience of the movement as I want to do what is best for them. My dad teasingly accuses my husband and me of being "granola eating, tree hugging, tea drink, nature loving yuppies", at least I think that was what he called us. We laugh about it and, I suppose, all but the tree hugging/yuppie part is pretty true.

We love loose leaf tea (we've got at least 43 different kinds - can you say "fanatics???"), we eat granola, and we love to go hiking. We've even started buying meats that are grain-fed/hormone-free from a little meat market close to us - they have extremely tender meat that is very reasonably priced! I'm getting ready to start making my own soap and laundry detergent. Our children are vaccine-free, co-slept with us, were/are breastfed and eat mostly homemade baby food. I even cloth diapered for a while. According to some stuff that I've been reading that makes us "crunchy" parents.

I had to laugh at the name...just what exactly does "crunchy" mean? And if someone isn't crunchy does that make the soft, limp or soggy? What if you're somewhere in the middle?

Our "crunchiness" *giggles* is mostly about convenience and expenses. The two exceptions to that are vaccines and breastfeeding - those are all about the health and well-being of my children. Our granola is store bought. The loose leaf tea and grain fed/hormone-free meat just taste better and really aren't that much more expensive. I'm making my own laundry detergent because it is WAY cheaper and my own soaps as a hobby.

Cloth Diapering and I had a love/hate relationship. I LOVED how much money it saved us. The diapers held up well and were cute - and they helped keep my "skinny minnie's" skirts/pants up. She rarely had problems with diaper rashes and she almost never had leaks. I HATED the laundry part of it. I hate, hate, HATE  laundry (hence the mention of the multiple loads of laundry in yesterdays post). I had a terrible time getting the stains out of the diapers - I followed all the instructions but the Mountain Dew yellow baby poo stains just never seemed to come out. And living in not so sunny Washington state, where it is cloudy and/or rainy approximately 300 days of the year, meant I couldn't even let the sun and a little lemon juice bleach them out. So I gave up CDing out of laziness and frustration. Every now and then I'm tempted to go back to it (especially when I calculate how much we are spending on diapering two children in a month) - then I think about how much laundry I'd being doing and decide I'm not quite that desperate yet!

Then there is the "non-crunchy" side of our family. My children watch more TV than what I really should allow (but, hey, most of it is educational!). I do not go out of my way to buy organic anything. My daughter eats sausage, chicken nuggets (no, I did not watch video going around about it), and cheeseburgers from McDonalds. She even is allowed sips of our sodas and the last time she was sick she drank almost a whole can of sprite. We give our kids ibuprofen when they are teething and I *double gasp* don't always make sure to get the dye-free stuff. We don't use all-natural cleaners. We drive an SUV. And I routinely kill plants attempting to turn my brown thumb into a green one. I'm terrible about remembering to turn lights off, I occasionally forget to recycle, and I love to take very long, very hot showers.

Still, I get caught up in the "go green" movement - it's really big out here on the West Coast. And sometimes I feel like a bad parent because I'm not more "crunchy." What if my daughter gets intestinal cancer because I heated her hot dogs up in the microwave? Or my son winds up with health problems because these "bpa-free" plastic cups aren't as bpa free as they were touted to be? I hear some people say that they are "doing the best that they can" especially in this economy when it is SO ridiculously expensive to really go green. I know that I'm not necessarily doing the best that I can...but I don't particularly want to go overboard either.

My question is...where do you fall in the "crunchy" status? I'd love to hear comments and opinions on what you are doing to be more "green." Where you draw the line and why? and what are things that you have found to be eco and budget friendly?

1 comment:

  1. You know, I kept hearing the word "crunchy" being tossed around, and couldn't figure out what it meant! And it sounds hilarious. But thanks to this post, now I know:) I rarely buy organic anything, but I'm pretty good at turning off lights! I just got into cloth diapering, since another baby is on the way and really- I kind of like laundry:) My daughter eats pretty healthy, but yeah, when she's sick, those standards fly out the door. In fact, she has the flu and all she ate today was applesauce, saltines and juice.