Remember that whole going green phase I went through? Well, it was just that. A phase. Here's what happened with my various endeavors:
Cloth diapers- turns out Calvin is allergic to them. Seriously. His stomach looks way better when I put him in disposable diapers. How sad that it took me 15 months to come to terms with that. And how messed up is it that when I figured it out, it was still hard for me to make the switch.
Junk mail- I paid my $41 to 41pounds.org and months later I'm still getting tons of mail. Let's put it this way. We're on very close terms with our mail carrier who has to hand deliver our mountain of junk mail that comes daily. I'm thinking we're getting more like 250 lbs per year, not 41. I filled out all the forms and have no idea why we're still getting the junk. C'est la vie.
Homemade, environmentally friendly fabric softener- Like this was going to go over well. I tried, I really did. My family revolted. A friend of mine gave my son some clothes recently and he kept inhaling them over and over. I finally asked him what the heck he was doing and he said, "Cole's clothes just smell so good!" My housekeeper also rebelled. I told her no fabric softener and the other day after she left I found a dryer sheet in the dryer. I can't believe she went to the store and bought dryer sheets for my laundry behind my back. Ok, so the baking soda and vinegar recipe didn't exactly smell like spring breeze, whatever that is. Now we're back to the chemical-laden Downy. And everyone is the happier for it.
Ditching paper towels- My husband put his foot down on this one. He said he could maybe put up with the house smelling like vinegar, but he had to have paper towels. I tried just buying one roll for him, but I was too tempted and ended up using his paper towels. Pretty soon I was buying the big econo-size package again.
Now, I realize these were all very small changes; paltry, really. It made me feel good to make healthy changes for our family and for the environment. Like I was contributing somehow to a greater good. But since reading Folks, This Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin, I realize that I had no idea what going green really looks like. And I have to admit, I don't want to go green on the big things. I don't want to live in a bunker built into the side of a hill with a hoophouse instead of a roof. I like having a roof. And while I think it's really neat in theory to heat your home with natural resources on your property, I kind of like having a gas line that comes right into our home and that little thermostat thingy that allows me to adjust the temperature just so. And while a part of me wouldn't mind being "off the grid", I'm just not willing to add a solarium onto the side of my house. (I'm sure the neighbors would just love that!)
What I've discovered about myself is that I'm not green at all. I don't know why this should come as a surprise to me. I drive a gas-guzzling 4wd SUV and I love it. (We were separated for a week once and I can attest that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.) My husband has a motorcycle, but rarely rides it. He also drives a 4wd SUV (though it's more fuel efficient than mine) and our other car is a motorhome. A few years ago my husband came up with a bumper sticker idea while on a road trip. "Prius, tastes like chicken." We like big vehicles. And I drive mine all over town multiple times a day. Swim practice has been a 40 minute round trip for the last few months and I make the drive twice on some days! I'm basically, single-handedly responsible for building big oil.
If you've known me very long, you may have noticed that I go through phases where I obsess about certain things. Right now it's food. You should hear my poor mom explain to me what we're eating and why on Sundays since my little obsession began. I used to just eat it and enjoy. Now I have to know where it came from. And remember my sewing phase? Then there was the soap making, the Insanity workout, and what else? I went through a running phase a few years ago. And my family will never forget my ebay phase. It got so bad that my kids had to start hiding their prized possessions from me. Really getting my doctorate was a phase and so was teaching. Frankly, considering my track record I'm a little surprised I'm still happily married after 14 years! It's probably because my husband is so laid back and lets me do my thing, even when my thing is a little crazy.
So there you have it. The ugly truth. I wanted to go green. I tried to go green, and failed.
I feel much better now.
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.