Tuesday, April 29, 2008

not easy being green

Everywhere you look these days there is the Green movement going on. I remember when I used to roll my eyes at teachers I worked with at school who always said we should recycle and laugh at the people who only shopped organic, knowing they were just being ripped off! And how aggravated I was that everyone was talking about this just because their favorite celebrity was suddenly green. And although I'm not the picture of environmental consciousness by any means I do see myself emerging into at least a more simplistic, open-minded person when in comes to the environment.

Maybe it is because back in middle school I was idealistic & hopeful for the earth. I remember being all into Earth Day in 7th grade and writing an essay on factory pollution to win a scholarship to an environmental science camp. So maybe I'm just going back to those roots....
Maybe it is because I'm a Mom now and I do worry about where my kids and grandkids will live. I'm also concerned by Kaya's very sensitive skin. She can't walk outside now without her face breaking out (I'm not sure if it is heat, an allergy, or the smog.....I do know it cleared up when we visited the country air in Kentucky).
Maybe it is since I visited the Amish iridoligist with my Dad this fall and saw firsthand their knowledge and simplicity of life.
It is probably because I want to be an earthy girl to impress Michael Egan. (That is Matt's suspicion at least).

So I've been doing my little part to try to be halfway green. I now use reusable bags (most of the time) when I shop. This is the best thing to do when you have 2 kids. Just keep your bags together and hand them over when you check out. They hold so much more.......less trips in from the car! They are so much less mess.....no bags to put away and figure out what to do with. Although when I do have to get plastic I reuse them in our bathrooms or for other cleaning projects. I have also found that asking for paper bags to use when I know I need to ship a package or want some fingerpainting paper is a great plan! I know my reusable bags aren't saving the world but they make me feel like I'm making a tiny effort at least.

I've also been using some natural products from Trader Joes that I love. And the reason I can use them is because it is Trader Joe's......I can't afford most of the natural cleaners out there! This all-purpose cleaner is the absolute best I have found. I even buy bottles for my mom because she loves it so much! It smells incredible and really makes everything shine (when you take the time to clean anyway). I've also used the dishwash detergent and made the big step to laundry detergent this week. I always refused to use UNSCENTED cleaners. I love scents.....why do they have to be so bad? But I used this and was amazed how fresh and clean the house smelled after doing laundry with this. It smelled so clean......but am I really eco-friendly if I do 11, yes 11, loads of laundry all at once?

I've also been saving money and indulging myself by making homemade bath salts. A delightful recipe from Jenny! I have used tea tree, cucumber, and lavender essential oils. Such a yummy treat to make for my friends and myself. It really does make your skin so soft.....it also makes you wonder what is in all of the other bath products out there?

So this is what I do well in the way of greenness. And this is what I don't...
I do recycle when I can but sometimes when I'm on a cleaning frenzy I don't take the time to sort through what I should recycle. I refuse to recycle glass though because our pickup service doesn't take it.
I buy organic food only when the price is comparable to the "regular" stuff. We're on a budget.....why does it all have to be so expensive?
I can't worry about EVERYTHING you hear out there. I would stand it constant fear of being poisoned by the packaging of our foods, playing in the park, or even taking a shower. I refuse to let the Green movement take over my life and make my family live in fear of what we are doing wrong.
And sorry, Oprah, I'm NOT putting worms in my kitchen to use for composting.

I'll just use my bags and inexpensive natural cleaning products.....that will be green enough for me.

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