Learning To Live My Life Kinda Crunchy

I told my husband that I was going to start a blog. His reaction was positive. I am not working at the moment due to medical reasons, so the thought that this is something constructive that I can do with my time. I told him what the name of my blog was. He just looked at me, “Kinda crunchy??? I don’t get it” , so I had to explain it to him. I googled crunchy for him so he could see it in text, he is that kind of person at times.

The top definition on Urbandictionary.com is : Adjective. Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc. ( credit http://www.urbandictionary.com)

As I can relate to most of that statement, I am not neo-anything. I live my life kinda in the middle. Where I do have very strong feelings on particular subjects, I am not one to push them on others. I love the earth and nature. I personally try to lower my carbon footprint as much as I can. I am somewhat of a tree hugger and a hippie at heart.

I do not know how I grew to be this person. Most scholars say that a person is a product of their environment. Of my sisters, I am the odd one out in this respect. I am the oldest of 3. I am the daughter of a city cop and working mom. My parents did not have the “hippie” mindset. They were a little more on the conservative side. I was the tomboy. The one that climbed trees, played in the mud, ran barefoot in the rain and always had scrapes and bruises on my knees. I think it drove my mom nuts. There was a tree in out back yard that I was climbing all the time. I loved playing in the yard, coming in covered in dirt and mud. Looking back now, I think that she was afraid that I was going to get hurt. Then, I didn’t care.

Of course, as I grew up, I was not playing in the mud, but I was still the tomboy. It was the 90’s so as a teenager, the new environmental focus was at the forefront in the community. I was playing sports all the way through high school. I had a very small group of friends. I still do. Those I surrounded myself with were like-minded. We were not litter-bugs. I still liked to wander sometimes to be alone in the woods, just to think. It was always so peaceful and relaxing.

Life happened. I always had my beliefs and ideals. I did not have time to run to the woods or play in the dirt. I was raising a child, living in apartments, working, you know, adulting. Sometimes being environmentally friendly takes thought. When you are in your early 20’s, you have a toddler, you are on the brink of depression, recycling is not the first thing you think of. It was a time in my life that I learned many things from. Maybe I will tell you about them another time.

Even during the times where I was not “actively” trying to be green, I was still doing little things. I did not litter and my car was a mess because of it, this drove my husband crazy. If i saw something on the sidewalk, that was not gross, I would throw it in the trash. I started using reusable grocery bags. To be honest, the bags were kind of a pain in the ass to start using. I kept forgeting them, then I would feel bad. However, when I did remember them, I really did feel good about using them. They were little things, but something.

Today, is a little different. I am probably not doing as much as I should environmentally, but I am doing a bit more. I still use my reusable grocery bags. I swear that Wal-Mart alone is the cause of the plastic bag pollution problem. There is an island of plastic in our oceans. Plastic is killing off marine life. This is an easy fix. ( Sorry, mini rant over.) . Since we got the kitten, I did so much research. One of the things that I researched was litters. We have started using a walnut based litter. It is bio-degradable, so it is better for the environment than the traditional clay litter.

I also started organic gardening once we moved to our current home. Since my family is eating the food that I grow, I am eliminating toxins from the pesticides that commercial growers use. There is nothing better than going outside and picking a salad out of your backyard! You do not have to worry about if the lettuce has salmonella, if the tomatoes are going to be sweet or how expensive the peas are. So my husband thinks I am crazy, but I will not eat a tomato unless it comes out of someone’s garden. I hated tomatoes until I started growing them. Now I plant at least 10 – 15 plants a year. One of the biggest environmental boosts about having a garden is that I am also helping the bee population. One day I would actually love to get a couple of hives, but one step at a time.

We have well water and a septic system in our home, so I try to be conscious of what we are putting down our drain. So I have been making the switch to more natural products. I am trying to eliminate toxins from the house. It has been a slow progress. I just started a few moths ago. I have started making some of my own stuff too. ( I will do another post about this later.) One of the first things I did was get rid of dryer sheets! I got dryer balls. Best thing ever!! They are reusable, toxin-free and you pay for them once! That is the frugal gal in me doing the happy dance!!

So, I am getting there. I try to do my part. I take my plastic bags to get recycled and hope that they actually are. Yet, I have never chained myself to a tree. I will help a frog get away from my dog because I know that he is instrumental to our ecosystem. I still drive a regular car, it is not a hybrid or an electric, but it is a standard 4 cylinder that gets good gas mileage. I still like to play in the dirt, walk in the woods when I can and pay it forward to the earth. I am a kinda crunchy gal.