Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Am I Crunchy?

I was just pondering this question the other day. I suppose the answer depends how you define that term. I wasn't really sure, but I thought that "Crunchy" was a term to describe people who are concerned about the environment and live accordingly, by doing various things to reduce their impact on the environment. If you define it this way, I suppose I'm pretty Crunchy. Obviously, I use cloth diapers. I try to conserve water. I use cloth napkins and real plates/cups/bowls. I make cleaning products out of natural ingredients like vinegar, tea tree oil, baking soda, washing soda, etc. I do still keep a mixture of bleach and water for some jobs and I have a few commercial products, mostly leftover from my days of living in the nasty rental house when I would have used a sandblaster to clean if I could have. But for the most part I use the natural stuff for cleaning. I recycle as much as I can. We joined a Community Supported Agriculture group, called Good Earth Farm, to get organically and locally grown produce all summer and much of the fall. We replaced beef in our diets with venison from the deer Ben shot bowhunting last year, even though it was a buck and is tougher and more gamey-tasting than a doe would have been (he has promised to shoot a doe this year, and I know many people will be horrified and think this is not really environmentally friendly, but look into it, it really is better for the environment than eating beef and we just aren't into being vegetarians). I don't drive a very environmentally friendly car, but I have yet to find one that is both highly fuel efficient and big enough for a baby and two dogs, plus potential future babies. There are some things that I'm just not willing to do, like using "family cloth" instead of toilet paper for example. Not going there. So needless to say, I'm not perfectly environmentally friendly by any stretch, but I try.

This morning I looked on a message board that I pop onto from time to time about cloth diapering, and there was a thread asking "What is Crunchy?" I was intrigued so I took a look. The answers on there included other things that I hadn't necessarily thought of as "Crunchy," but I think I was probably wrong about what the term means. If you think of the term "Crunchy Momma" in particular, then some other things come into the picture that don't necessarily have anything to do with being environmentally conscious but are more related to a style of parenting, such as breast feeding (check), babywearing (check), babyfood-making (check), co-sleeping (nope), not vaccinating (nope), homeschooling (nope), homebirthing (nope), momma-pad-wearing (nope), and so on. Check out this fun "test" of crunchiness that someone posted: How Crunchy Are You? I scored in the "Pretty Crispy!" range. About in the middle I guess. Which is really where I ought to be I suppose when I think about it. It's not that surprising when I think about the choices I have made, which are not really mainstream, but are not terribly far into the granola world either, compared to some*. So how crunchy are you??

*Note: This post is in no way meant to be a judgement of more mainstream or more crunchy mommas!

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