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Are You Green Enough?

by Regan

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As with anything else, people have differing opinions on life. Some of the strongest opinions are from other people looking in on your life without knowing much about you. In a kind of silly turn of events, this new twist on mommy wars has transcended into the green living community.

You may recycle, buy organic foods, make all or most of your food from scratch, cloth diaper your babies, use natural cleaning products, etc. For some, that’s not enough and they may feel the need to stomp on all of the good things you do for your family and the environment if they catch a whiff that you may use a commercial laundry detergent or love paper towels.

As mothers and human beings, do we not have anything better to do? Not very many of us are living in a yurt, recycling rain water, growing all of our own produce, and have a bicycle as our sole vehicle. I’m sure that most of us are doing something that isn’t necessarily environmentally friendly, but we all do our best. We conserve where we can but there are some things that just work better for us than the all natural alternative.

I do:

  • Use cloth diapers
  • Recycle
  • Use reusable shopping bags
  • Buy secondhand most of the time
  • Turn off lights when I’m not in the room
  • Try to run large appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine during off-peak hours
  • Conserve water
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs

However. . .

  • I don’t use an all-natural detergent on my cloth diapers (I do on regular laundry, though)
  • I don’t use an all-natural dish soap either
  • I sometimes forget my reusable shopping bags
  • I don’t drive a hybrid vehicle
  • I don’t have a vegetable garden (yet)
  • I only buy a few items that are organic
  • I don’t always buy local
  • I don’t often shop locally either

Sometimes you need to use what works or do what is most cost-effective for you and your family. I would love to strictly shop local and organic but that’s just not in our budget if I want to stay home with my children. My children come first. I would love to use cleaning products that don’t have harsh chemicals in them, but I also need for my dishes and diapers to get clean. I would like to drive a hybrid vehicle and maybe I will when they can figure out how to make them with a standard transmission.

As women and mothers, let’s support one another and applaud the good things that we’re doing for ourselves and our planet. If you’re better at this green living thing than me, well good for you! Really. But don’t put others down when their green path is a little different from yours. We’re all doing the best we can.

 Image courtesy of federico stevanin /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Sarah Jane June 18, 2013 - 7:27 pm

My daughter is currently wearing a sposie. So yeah, definitely not 100% green.

Bri @Eco Baby Mama Drama June 18, 2013 - 3:28 am

Love this post and completely agree! I’m pretty crunchy however not everything in my life is green it just isn’t possible. I think being in the media’s eye can be tough but that doesn’t mean we should be judged for our choices when we are just doing what we can 🙂 and we should be supporting each other as moms not criticizing and judging.

Kelly June 17, 2013 - 9:22 pm

This is so true and very well said. I am always afraid that someone will read my blog and tell me I’m not green enough. We can only do so much!

Shannon Stubbs June 17, 2013 - 8:49 pm

Agreed! People are turned off by perfectionism. Most people aren’t reading a “green” blog because they think that every single thing that person does is eco friendly. I started cloth diapering because I figured it might save us money and make life a little easier. That led to other changes in our life. Slowly but surely we are making more green choices, but it isn’t an all or nothing process. Some people are never going to be happy no matter what another person does and that is on them. All any mom, or person, can do is what works best for them. There are many products out there that are green and do make life easier for some people, but those same things may not work for another. There are a few products that we use that aren’t all natural that I”m not sure I could ever part with, I love them that much.

Katherine G June 17, 2013 - 8:21 pm

I love this post and I agree with everything written. People need to stop worrying about others and worry about themselves and their family. Passing judgement does no good for anyone.

Katherine G June 17, 2013 - 8:21 pm

I love this post and I agree with everything written. People need to stop worrying about others and worry about themselves and their family. Passing judgement does no good for anyone.

Karine Traverse June 17, 2013 - 7:40 pm

I try my best to be green, but honestly we could do better. Like you said though being on a budget and wanting to remain a SAHM what we want to do comes after what we need to do. I rather food on our table (even if it is processed or frozen) rather than buy all organic or as natural as possible. For instance strawberries here are (when on sale) $2.99 for a container and organic are $5.99 for half of the amount of strawberries. Sure I would love to do more, but sometimes it just isn’t an option.

Mindy June 17, 2013 - 7:26 pm

I absolutely agree. I’m not on a mission to prove something, just live the best life I can. This means seeking things that are great for the planet and my family and supporting companies who value the same things. I strive to be green, but I don’t think all corporations are evil, everything is better if labeled natural, or organic is a must.

Melissa Mendez June 17, 2013 - 7:03 pm

Yay! Love this post! Every little bit helps, but not everyone can do everything green. And the dissing needs to stop! We should be supporting each other and not nitpicking every little thing.

Suzi Satterfield June 17, 2013 - 6:48 pm

I do a lot of green things, but some of my cleaning things I just can’t compromise on. I tried. It made me insane. Even the greenest product isn’t particularly green if we have to use 5x the amount to get the same results or have to travel several hours by car to obtain it. Funny bit of info, though: did you know that a Prius is actually as awful as a Land Rover from an environmental standpoint? It’s because so many of the compounds needed to manufacture the “green” aspects of it are scattered that to mine them (which isn’t done greenly), bring them to the various points of manufacture, and get them to the car lot ends up being a full trip around the world. Crazy, right?

Regan June 17, 2013 - 6:55 pm

I have heard that about the Prius. Interesting stuff! My manual gets better gas mileage than an automatic so I’m okay with that, even if it’s not a hybrid 😉

Heather Johnson June 17, 2013 - 6:36 pm

I use cloth diapers and mama cloth. I recycle. I compost. I often use vinegar to clean. I buy a lot secondhand. However, I use plastic bags at the grocery store that I then reuse the bags as garbage bags.

Being green is not black and white.

Regan June 17, 2013 - 6:53 pm

I use the plastic bags to clean my catbox so while I try to bring my reusable bags to the store, I don’t feel too bad when I forget since I need a small supply of plastic bags on hand anyway.We also use vinegar with orange peels in it a lot for surface cleaning.

Ruth V. June 17, 2013 - 6:27 pm

Love this post!

Rowan June 17, 2013 - 6:25 pm

Yes! I completely understand that people want a “green” focused blog to always be the most eco-friendly, but it is not realistic sometimes. what do we do? Lie? Or admit to imperfection?
I may re-use a bajillion things, but sometimes life gets busy or complicated or the budget gets tight and you find yourself buying that giant costco jug and ignoring ingredients.

Toni Keltner June 17, 2013 - 6:23 pm

Love! 🙂

Julie M. June 17, 2013 - 6:21 pm

I love this! Thanks for posting. Just because someone does some things that are green and not others does not mean that it is any worse or better. Thanks for the post!