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I know we're all AP mamas here (or mamas that come here for AP discussions and advice), but who here is a natural/crunchy/green mama? What "natural" things are most important to you? Do you feel any of these things help with your parenting or help your child, and if so, what are the benefits?
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I'd like to think I'm crunchy... but really I'm still much more mainstream than not.
It's been a slow conversion process, but the things that are important to me include using non toxic products, reducing trash, reducing the impact on the environment, becoming more self sufficient, eating more natural, healthy and whole foods (I probably struggle with this the most).
Of course I plan on leading Bebe by example, and I'm sure that over time he'll adopt some of the same values. I don't see how it can hurt to raise a child with more respect for nature or the environment.
I think for me the benefits is knowing that I'm not using nasty chemicals in the products that my child interacts with, for the most part... not that I think 'everything causes cancer' but why risk it, when you know whatever product isn't good. Supporting local business and truly natural companies is important to me.
Also I hope my child develops a love of the outdoors. We live rurally, and have quite the playground right out our back door! Acres of forest and field!
I'm not sure how AP fits into 'crunchy living' but I think that crunchy living definitely has a place in AP.
I think I am quite crunchy from the perspective of America as a whole, but mainstream for my local hippie California surf town The main things besides AP, are: cloth diapering and otherwise trying to minimize our consumption and waste (throwaway things and packaging and general random junk), I am going for a natural childbirth again but this time with a much more supportive hospital/care team and taking Hypnobabies classes, we buy organic and local foods and humanely raised animal products almost all the time, we are a one-car family and the car is a Prius, I generally try to avoid harsh cleaning products and overly sanitizing everything, we try to minimize our intake of any non-food substances, drugs, intoxicants etc.
I would say I'm not terribly crunchy in that I am fine with mainstream medicine and try to follow the latest evidence-based guidelines and avoid alternative medicine unless it has good scientific evidence behind it. We are a fully vaccinating family, which in our undervaccinated community (under 85% of kindergardeners are up to date in this county and we often have outbreaks, pertussis, measles, etc) I feel is very important. Despite my career in environmental science and lifelong passion for protecting the environment, I am almost afraid to call myself an environmentalist these days, because I feel that some of the movement's most public pet positions are anti-science (misleading the public to fear consuming GMO and nonorganic foods as toxic, rather than focusing on the REAL but less selfish problems of sustainability and ecosystem protection; being against nuclear power despite the fact that it is one of our best alternatives to fossil fuels that cause climate change; I could go on with more local issues too). So in a way I would say I am skeptical/pro-science more than crunchy. Unfortunately the two don't completely overlap as much as one might hope!!
Overall I don't do things because they are crunchy or green but because they make sense for my values and my family. Though I think my underlying values are strongly geared towards creating a more sustainable world and supporting the health of ecosystems, so in that sense I am very green.
I'm on the road to crunchy.. we don't use chemical cleaning products in our house, and once we move we will have a garden, will start composting, and line drying. I plan on cloth diapering Future Baby. I have a pretty bad soda habit that I'm going to try hard to break this summer, in preparation for TTC, and once my IUD is out I want to start using natural family planning instead. We're also hoping to get chickens when we move!
I'm hoping once my fiance is promoted, I start work, and we can get our garden going, we can stop using processed food completely. We almost never go out for fast food now, and when we do, it does awful things to my body. I can't wait to see the difference cutting out processed junk does! We also want to stop shopping at Wal-Mart completely, which we rarely do but I want to stop altogether. I learned so much about what Wal-Mart does to local economy in Sociology.. I feel awful when I shop there now.
Ry, happily engaged to Zach.
Mom to Bodhi, Brigham, and Elliott.
I'm not too crunchy, but would like to be! At the moment, the only thing we really do that leans towards NL is cloth diaper. When we get our new house over the summer, I plan to start a small garden. I do plan on having a natural childbirth (VBAC) this time around, as we tried and didn't succeed the first time! I'm not a fan of vaccines, we did a delayed schedule with Connor, and will plan the same for this baby. We try to eat healthy as much as we can.
DH calls me a hippie quite often lol, just based on some things I propose to him. But he's most definitely mainstream! I was quite surprised with him when he was so on board for CD'ing (if it saves him money, he's all for it) but for some of the other things it's a struggle, especially if it costs more money (like always buying organic). I try to educate him as much as I can, he's been much more on board with the AP aspect of parenting, so I can't argue too much!!
I don't really consider myself to be very crunchy. Most decisions I make that could fall into the crunchy category are either parenting decisions (AP, babywearing, extended nursing, etc) or financial decisions (cloth diapering, using green (cheap!) cleaning products, not driving more than I have to, etc). I guess the one thing we do that is just plain crunchy is trying buy local produce and meats.
Sara is my hero I wish I were half as eloquent in my responses as she is! I 100% am on the same page as her.
We make parenting choices that make sense to us, not necessarily choices that are crunchy. I could absolutely be MORE crunchy. But locally, I am quite crunchy. We reduce-reuse-recycle as much as possible. We try to conserve our natural environment. We try to support all local economy as much as possible. But we also have our non-crunchy vices (I drive an expedition...nuff said! Lol). I am far from an environmentist or scientist. But I am very pro-science and I also tend to disagree with some of the agendas that have become very big in the "crunchy" world. So we mostly do what we believe will best support our beliefs about leaving the world a better place. And sometimes that is more than other times.