My Plight

>> 1.16.2010

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.
Rachel Carson

So.. my convictions have this pesky habit of contradicting my reality.

When you are young and single this is nothing to be ashamed of. It can be labeled "finding yourself" or something. It isn't so much about the destination; it's about the journey. You set the goal and work towards it and that is all anyone can ask of you.

However, I suddenly find myself a parent and can already hear Liam's pre-pubescent voice cracking in accusation at that time in every soul's life when they realize that their parents are human but have yet to forgive them for this: "Mom! You are such a hypocrite!

As a parent, consistency is the name of the game.

Uh-oh.

I struggle with this.

For instance, my conviction is to buy locally, organically, and be environmentally aware. My reality is that... we are poor. It is very hard to find a balance between these two extremes. Local/organic and cheap are very rarely used in the same sentence in a manner that is positive for the consumer. However, in order to feel good about my place in the world, I have to find this balance and maintain it. So..I have set some standards for myself:

1. All animal products or byproducts must be all-natural/organic.
2. Anything that can be bought in bulk (sugar, flour, etc.) will be bought in bulk [and will more than likely be organic by default].
3. Next season we will join a CSA so that most of our produce will be purchased locally and in season.
4. B.Y.O.B [Bring Your Own Bag]
5. Buy used and save the difference- clothes, toys, books- anything that can be purchased used should be.
6. Cloth diapers for Liam as soon as he hits newborn sizes.
7. No pre-made/frozen/boxed meals.... ever.
8. Begin working toward replacing store bought with homemade whenever possible.

These are 8 things that I am able to do now. They are not the only 8 things I will do.. but there are 8 things I always do. I may not be able to live exactly as I wish I could due to financial constraints.. but I can do something.

I mean, I do not want to be a hypocrite- gosh!

So, how do you help to marry your convictions and reality?

5 comments:

Becky January 18, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

This is an interesting post. I wanted to do cloth diapers, I wanted to be environmentally friendly, however, after work I only have a few precious hours with Isaac each night, and I didn't want to spend it doing laundry. So we went with bulk diapers. However, I like to make that up by washing alot of our clothes in cold water and I hang certain loads up to dry naturally. We try to buy the majority of our foods locally. Organic for him with his babyfood, but sometimes its not financially feasible, but we have a farmers market that features locally grown food and we try and support that.

We save glass jars to reuse as tupperware, or to gift friends with red sauce or salsa, and I have a water friendly garden in my backyard.

And I am a huge BYOB person and have a collection of reusable bags in each vehicle.

I guess I try and marry the financial, time, and environmental considerations to do my best. We do have our trash down to one bag a week, one bag of diapers, and everything else is reused or goes in the recycle bin.

Tristan! January 18, 2010 at 11:28 PM  

I think this is something that I struggle with as well. I want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment, but I really can't afford it most of the time. I think the worst thing I do for the planet is drive. I drive alot and Gladys the Wonder Camaro is NOT very earth-friendly. I've tried to cut down on driving to make up for it. I also try to find ways to use what I've already got instead of buying something new or I look on freecycle and other sites like that to avoid buying new...Its fun to figure out how much I can find without spending money! Plus, I try to be crafty with junk, so that kinda counts as green right? One day when I get married and move in with Jared, I want to get a recycling center set up in the garage and keep our garbage down to one bag like Becky above me.

Jennifer January 19, 2010 at 1:03 AM  

I'm really glad you posted this. It has got me thinking. We do have a recycle center in our garage and we ate down to about two trash bags a week. I SO wanted to do cloth diapers. Right now it isn't feasible as the boys feedings takes up most of our day but I am hopeful to still do cloths eventually. I amostly thinking about what kind of mom will I be and what will my twins think of me? Will they be proud of me? Will I be overprotective (yes I'm sure!); will I be consistent?; will I be fair to both of them? Will I be a good example and raise them with manners and values and traditions? Right now I'm on survival/existance mode with not much time to think about things. I hope that by the time they are walking I will have a better sense about the things that will matter and that I'll teach them right in those things. Like you I want to be more eart concious and instill that responsibilty into my boys. But it is expensive to be all organic (I do try though). Again thank you for posting. I love your blog and am so happy that Liam is home now. You're a great mom!!

Vanessa Washburn January 20, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

WE do cloth diapers, except for at night when we use the disposables we've been given as gifts. I would like to more toward cloth wipes too. I try to BYOB when I go shopping but my mind leaves me at time, so I leave the bags sitting in the place I placed them so I wouldn't forget to put them in the car.
I would love to go organic but we are also on a very tight budget, maybe one day we will be able to afford the finer (and healthier) foods.
I also read an article about having a paperless kitchen, and love the idea. I think I will ask for some everyday cloth napkins for the next gift giving occasion. I have already cut back on paper towels and clorox wipes for cleaning. I only really use them now when I'm dealing with raw meat.

Toni January 21, 2010 at 5:18 AM  

This is HUGE to me at the moment! I think you're doing exactly what you can and should do. What is CSA? And, does our local farmers market downtown sell organically?

There are certain items I do buy organically and I know there is a list of about 12 foods that should ONLY be bought organically because of the pestdicide levels, especially for our children.

Also, I enjoy the taste of organic. I never knew bananas could be so sweet until I removed that bitter chemical taste. I worry about what I'll do when Maddie is able to get on the food program at school, which is def. not organic.

Again, I think you're doing a great job with all your resources. I've, too, decide to start shopping thrift stores/good will when I can, especially since the kids outgrow everything so quickly.

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