I do not consider myself a “green” mom in the full sense of the word. While I have a passion for the natural and natural methods, being 100% green is not reasonable objective for me. Let’s be honest here, you have to have moolah for it. So I weigh my options that are balanced by two limited resources…time and money. If I had to define myself, I would say that I’m “green” in the sense that I home birth, breast feed and try to eat healthy foods that don’t cost me an arm and a leg. I guess I’m green in the sense that I try to distinguish between lifestyle methods that are marketing strategies and the truth. I am frugally green, if you will.
And believe you, me, a lot of “lifestyle methods” are marketing strategies. I get that we live in a capitalistic society. Everything that is not tied down is for sale…and some things that are. If there is anything I deplore, it’s manipulation. Making people feel bad about not being green and telling them they need to buy some fancy-smancy, table-top cleaner for 50 bucks is not cool. Okay, I’m exaggerating about the cost, but if you add it all up, between the marketing strategies of the green life and how much it costs, its not so much of an exaggeration.
Let me say this, I am in no way attacking being green and I have all the respect in the world for moms who live and blog this way, to you guys, I tip my hat. All I’m saying is, it ain’t easy being green when you do not have the resources for it (time & $$) even more so, when you’re made to feel bad about it!
If you’re frugally green like me, the question becomes how green do you get without losing the ability to power your home for the month? That’s a question that only you can answer. For me, I rate the impact of whatever it is I’m considering. For example, I avoid unnecessary medications at all cost. Unless there is life-threatening reason for medication, I will not take it. Medication can be full of substances that can cause side effects in addition to questionable substances. I truly believe, and this is my opinion, that chemically-based, pharmaceutical products are the most anti-earth, anti-body you can get. There is shot for everything that discomforts you, physically and mentally.
Being frugally green, this can be avoided by a reasonable diet, fruits/ veggies exercise and a positive outlook. I also believe herbs are a cheap way to maintain good health. Certain herbs can be brewed and drunk. Some herbs are highly nutritious and full of antioxidants which can protect our cells. Herbs can be bought in bulk and brewed in large quantities! Mountain Rose Herbs sells herbs in bulk. I have purchased 8 oz. of herbs for as little as $4 - $6 and have more than I know what to do with.
Body care is apart of my non-negotiables, it must be natural or at least made with more naturals than chemicals. I maintain my family’s body care by buying wholesome ingredients. For example, Shea Butter. Instead of buying expensive products that have contain Shea butter and other natural ingredients, I purchase unrefined, Shea butter in bulk. Mountain Rose Herbs sells a pound for 11 dollars, very inexpensive compared to Whole Foods, one of my favorite stores. I use this for hair and body care. You can do this with oils as well. Grape seed oil can be purchased at any store and used for hair and body care. As well as olive oil. I buy my grape seed from Trader Joe’s. They sell 8 oz of it for approximately 4 dollars. You get the idea.
For dental care, I do several things. Baking soda is one and costs under a dollar. My children like to brush their teeth with it. I also use Sole, a combination of Himalayan Pink Salt and water. Sole, hands down cleans teeth better than any tooth product I know, organic or otherwise. Not only does it clean teeth, but helps with bleeding gums (Good for pregnant mommies). It disinfects as well. Eucalyptus essential oil is another. I purchased 2 oz of this at Whole Foods for 4 dollars. I use it as a rinse. I add a drop per 1/2 a cup of water and gargle with it for fresh breath and germicidal properties. If you have never used Eucalyptus, you will be surprised how familiar it smells. Its found in Vick’s Vapors as well, as cough drop products etc. It’s used in mouthwashes as well. How much more would you save just buying the oil itself and it’s probably just as effective if not more?
Essential oils are an inexpensive way to be green as well. Learn about ‘em and make your own, simple basic products. Example, Tea Tree oil with water and a bit of castile soap can be use for cleaning. Add it to your dish water. I will say this, I do NOT like the “green” products for dish detergents. I like my dishes clean, so I do use Dawn. If anyone has any home made ideas for a natural dish detergent that cleans just as good, I’d love to know!
As for everything else, I try to be as green as I can, but I don’t beat myself up over it. There’s only so much you can do in a society that is infiltrated with toxins. Quite honestly, I don’t think it’s possible to live completely toxin-free in this day and age, although I’m not going down without a fight. Be creative, be inventive and don’t guilt yourself into buy products you cannot afford.
Do you have any frugally green tips? I’d love to hear it!