Greener Living

Captain Planet and the Planeteers

I remember, a long, long time ago, when I was still in elementary school, learning about recycling, pollution, loving our planet, etc.  This was back in the Captain Planet days.  He’s our hero, you know.  Gonna take pollution down to zero.  But I digress.

I came home from school that day ready to change the world.  I knew I could do it too.  I told my parents that we were going to start recycling.  No more throwing out paper or aluminum cans!  When we went on walks, I carried a grocery bag to pick up trash along the way.  I told my mom we had to cut up the soda six pack plastic thingamejiggy that can get caught around the necks of wildlife.  I was on a mission!

My parents humored me…..for awhile.  Then they got sick of getting preached to and told me one kid could not the world change.  At first I was mad, I was determined to show them they were wrong.  But I was discouraged and my spirit was wounded.  I no longer felt I could change the world.

I believe in teaching my children that they can do anything, one small voice can change the world.  I wouldn’t consider myself a “crunchy” mom, but I do have many “crunchy” values.  Does that make me soggy?

I breastfeed my babies and I believe in child lead weaning.  I make my own baby food because it is just better.  Tastier, easier, no added ingredients or preservatives.  It’s also cheaper!

I am not an organic nazi, but I believe that organic is a better choice.  Think about it this way, would you rather give your child a veggie that was genetically modified and bathed in pesticides, then picked unripe to look pretty when it arrived in the store rendering it nearly completely tasteless?  Or would you rather pay perhaps a tiny bit more and know that there was no fiddling with the genetic makeup of the plant, it was given minimal or no pesticides and it was *gasp* picked when it was ripe, giving better nutrition and tasting better too?

I like to think the answer is simple, but there are so many differing opinions, false facts being thrown around from both sides, I understand that it is hard to decide.  That’s why it is important to educate ourselves on what we are buying with our hard earned money.  What we are putting into our bodies, our children’s bodies, it matters.

Our family is slowly replacing several things in our home with greener choices.  Food, cleaners, toys, it’s amazing what you learn when you dedicate the time.

I also have to say that I do not look down on anyone.  Ever.  I don’t think I am any better than any body else in this world because I choose to buy this instead of that.  How silly is that?  Why should my choices or your choices make any one of us better than the other?  The world is a beautiful place because of diversity.

We are not vegetarians or vegans.  We have no desire to be either.  I think that meat and dairy are healthy pieces of the puzzle.  Our puzzle.  Perhaps not yours.  But please don’t tell me I am evil for eating meat.  I’m not.  And you telling me that does not make me want to be like you.  It just makes me want to eat bacon in front of you.

Mmmmm…..Bacon.

My parents weren’t as evil as I thought they were when they told me I couldn’t change the world.  They were sick of having a kid harp on them about how they needed to change to be better.  That’s not the way to make people think like you.  In fact, it’s a great way to make them rebel, just for the satisfaction of doing the opposite of what you want them to do.

I think sustainable living is awesome.  I often talk about how much I love growing some of our own food and I am looking forward to the day when we can have our own small little flock of chickens for true free range eggs.  I would never be able to eat my chickens though.  Maybe that’s silly, but my chickens will be my beloved pets.  I won’t be eating my dog or cats, why would I eat my chickens?

I understand the people who do.  It makes sense.  I’m just too soft.  If left completely on our own to provide all our own food, I suppose that we would be vegetarians.  I don’t think I could eat meat that had a name.

So there’s my buck fifty on “greener living”.  I think that having children really pushed me further into making healthier choices.  And in my awesome kids, I see that bright spark I had when I believed I could change the world.  We like to throw some wood on that fire, instead of wet blankets though.

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