Another Saturday shopping trip. Grocery store, Target, lunch. We do it every week, and it's crazy when I started paying attention just how many times we face go-green-or-don't decisions.
My grocery bag collection.
A few years ago when grocery stores started selling reusable shopping bags on a widespread basis, we bought 6 or 7. They sat at home most of the time because we never thought to grab them. Within about the last year, though, I have gotten in the routine of actually using them, mainly because they hold more and are infinitely easier to carry and load in the car than plastic bags, with the added bonus that they don't pile up in our pantry like plastic bags do. The bags are so widely available now that they get barely a mention by some of the eco-friendly families I mingle with online. I, too, see them for sale, but don't often see people actually using them. So, for those who have overlooked the obvious, I'd recommend giving them a shot. Like so many other decisions I've made, I stick with this "green" choice not because of the benefits to the planet and all that nice stuff, but because they work within my routine and make life a little easier. When it comes down to it, that's what drives my choices more than anything. I have a full-time job, a kid, a house to take care of, two dogs and a cat. All that comes first. As for the all the other choices we have to make at the grocery store, well, I'd say that's another story, but that'd be oversimplifying things.
An odd title for a first blog entry, perhaps. I named the overall blog "Tangled up in Green," a spin on the classic Dylan tune, because it was only fitting. Green. We label lots of things with it these days -- from household cleaners to vehicles and diapers -- with the underlying assumption that if it's green then it's automatically better for us. Before my first and only (to date) pregnancy in 2009, I never paid much mind to the label, but suddenly responsible for a budding human being, I found myself totally tangled up in it.
Sometimes it just made sense: Cloth breast pads that I could wash and use over were way more practical than using disposable ones. Breastfeeding, in general, might be the original "green," choice. Organic baby food seemed well worth the few extra cents, and making my own from local produce when possible came naturally. Then, gradually, and better late than never, I made the switch to cloth diapers.
The more I become immersed in green living and parenting, I realize just how hard-core some people are. I can't call myself a hippie by any means. I will NOT be encapsulating my future babies' placentas or planting them under a tree. I won't be using "family cloth" for toilet purposes - we'll stick to Angel Soft for now. I'm branching out into becoming more green, but only when it's practical, and usually in small doses. Thus, the title of this, my first blog entry. If you didn't catch the play on words, I'm citing Dylan again and his "They'll stone ya" lyrics. Surely, more purist, crunchy mothers would stone me for some of the choices I make (even if this isn't exactly how Bob meant it!).I'm doing what I can, and hope you'll join me on the journey. I'll even understand if I ruffle your feathers from time to time. After all, everybody must get stoned.
Mother, wife, journalist and would-be writer of other things. I'm still getting used to being a mom - and let's face it, I'm not always sure I have being a grown-up down either. Navigating my way through both, I'm always bumping into "green" lifestyle choices. Sometimes they are things I've always done anyway. Sometimes they make sense to give a shot, and sometimes I have to roll my eyes, chuckle or even wince. Deciding what's best in my household, I don't always go green. Nonetheless, I find myself constantly tangled up in it.