Friday, December 19, 2008

Too Much Green to be Green

I have to admit, I'm somewhat of a tree hugger. Yes, I love the idea of being a part of something so big; something that I know will have an impact on my children and their children and so on. But lately I've become a little disgusted at the whole idea. It seems that no matter where you go, companies try to use the "green" label to get you to buy their product. And with that label follows the dollar signs.

I'm a Mommy on a mission. My main focus is my family. The household budget has always been a focus, but now more than ever, especially with the way the economy is going these days. While I strive to get to the checkout without reaching for a credit card, I'm also made to feel guilty when the products I load onto the conveyor belt are a less than healthy alternative.

When I had my first child in 2003, I looked up and down for biodegradable diapers. They could easily be found online for a not so reasonable price, but I noticed that I really couldn't find any stores around me that carried this item. A local (and by local I mean 15 miles away) Whole Foods catered to Environmental Moms, but after I figured in the gas I would be burning for the round trip, I concluded that my carbon footprint on the world may in fact be larger than it began before I got involved in this whole mess.

I have improved my habits in some ways over the last few years. When you visit my home you will find product names such as Seventh Generation, and Meyers Cleaning solutions. I try to stay away from colors and dyes in my laundry, and I now understand why the absence of phosphates is so important. I recycle and reuse when possible, although I noticed that my borough is still trying to catch up with current trends. The recycling man took my glass, cans and papers, but failed to remove the large stack of cardboard I so neatly tied up for them. Apparently, that's not in their contract.

I try my best to teach these habits to my children, although they are still of the belief that a mound of bubbles constitutes a cleaner child. My environmentally friendly soap made them both smell like peaches and barely left a lather on their bodies.

Trying to explain to your family that clean doesn't necessarily mean lemon fresh, but rather the absence of stink is a very hard lesson to teach. Especially when the world around you chooses to teach something else.

If the environment is so darn important, why is it so hard to pay a reasonable price for the products we need? How about trash bags for instance? They take forever to break down, yet there are no environmentally friendly trash bags at my local grocery store.

Despite the lack of cooperation I think at-home moms are getting with this trend, I still see things moving in the right direction. People have an awareness at least, if not a clear understanding that there is a problem. At least there is an awareness.

I have hope that there will be a day when actions take precedent over dollar signs. But until that day arrives, this Green Mom can't help but also being a little blue.

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