Thursday, February 21, 2008

Crunchy Living

Okay, if you're like me--and some of you unfortunate folks probably are--you may have just glazed over the title of today's entry and read it all wrong.

Case in point, if you need an example: Jeremy recently sent me an email titled "greasiest brownies ever." Well, in my haste, I read it as "greatest brownies ever" and was kind of offended. What about my brownies dude? You're supposed to be my hubby and support me and love my brownies best. Hummpphhh. So, 3/4 through the email, I finally caught on as he wrote about oil-soaked paper towels and not being able to eat the darn thing. Long example, huh?

So go back and read it again. Go ahead. I'll wait.

That's right, I said crunchy living. Maybe some of you would refer to it as granola (as some of you have referred to me as being such!), or green, or tree-hugging, or any of those fun terms. Life is scary out there and in our constant search as humans for more convenience, less hassle, bigger, better, etc. etc. we seem to be steering farther and farther from natural and healthy options in so many areas of life. While I haven't collected all the facts on global warming and am not really sure where I stand on that issue, I do know that for me and my family, we are trying very much to lessen our personal impact on the environment around us and also lessen the potential impact of toxins on our own bodies.

Here's our recent "wishlist money" spending. We're total geeks, granola geeks at that, and we know it.

Do you know when this all started for us? Or when we really kicked it into high gear, if you will? When we got preggo. It started when we found out we were spawning a tiny human and I thought about all those diapers--oh my, how many diapers!--and how full and stinky our trash would be and I just couldn't stand the thought of throwing it all away. Then I started researching it and realized not only would it probably be better in an environmental sense to cloth diaper our little one (though if you do research it, there are claims that it is just as bad as disposables or that in certain conditions it can be worse, like say in drought conditions), but that from a health perspective it might be advantageous too. I could have natural fibers touching his skin instead of plastics, gels, and chemicals. And maybe even save some money, woohoo. ;)

This train of thought just kept spreading....what else am I using that is disposable that could be replaced with something re-useable? What else has a healthier alternative? How much can I recycle? And I don't just mean those plastic bottles or the junk mail. What other common household items might be exposing us to dangerous compounds with each exposure?

Overwhelming? Yup. There are brief moments of pure panic when life in general just seems too scary to carry on. In the end, I decided on baby steps and changing what we could--in terms of what was practical, what was affordable, and what fit into our lifestyle.

The picture above shows our new klean kantene drinking bottles, to replace our old #7 lexan (highly leaching) nalgene bottles. And our new compact shopping bags so we don't have to bring home a plethora of plastic bags when we go the stores. And J's new insulated lunch bag, to replace those plastic bags we hope to not be bringing home anymore. Grady also got some goodies with two new sippies; no chemicals leaching into his drinks. One is even just like Momma and Papa's, so we'll all match. Say it with me...ahhhh. Sharing the green/crunchy/tree-hugging/granola love with our little Bug. What could be better?! ;) (We ordered all this through, in case anyone is interested.)

You may be wondering what else we have done. Or you may be wishing I would shut my environmentally-conscious trap. Soon enough my pretties, soon enough.

We are working on getting rid of most, if not all, of our plastic food storage containers. We have replaced some with good old canning jars; we're planning on getting some more pyrex though too. To be fair, there is some food-safe plastics out there that are supposed to carry little risk (I believe they're #5s, but don't quote me).

I'm really trying to limit my paper towel use and just use more kitchen rags and towels, especially since we have a bigger kitchen now so I can have more towels and such in drawers and close at hand.

As we painted here at our new house we paid attention to VOC levels (volatile organic chemicals), because the higher the VOC, the more off-gassing which can be potentially dangerous to your health. We settled on Dutch Boy kids room paint, which has a VOC level of 5 g/L. Here's some more info if you're at all interested.

We're trying to reduce our consumption of highly processed foods. That one is hard. Really hard. Sometimes it is difficult to beat the convenience and, though more rarely, the yummy-ness of certain pre-packaged, processed foods out there.

There is undoubtably more we could be doing for our health and for the environment, so we're probably just getting started. I'm glad we're thinking about it though. Plus all the info out there just feeds my addiction (ahh, my sweet internet).

Okay, okay. Many of you most likely come here for one reason and one reason alone. And that reason is not to read me (haha, read me, instead of listen to me) babble on and on about our oh-so-exciting daily life and our quest for greater health and sustainability. No, you come here for Grady. I know it, you know it, it's okay. Really. It doesn't bother me. ;) Hehe.

Here the little man is sitting in the reusable bags box...we even reused the box. Look at us go!

Bugga recently finally outgrew his infant carrier and we moved on to this sweet convertible car seat. We're really liking it and we think Bug is more comfortable too. Here he and Dad are working on getting it set up together. =) It brought such a smile to my face because it was like peering into the future. I just know these two are going to have so much fun working on little projects together as Grady grows up. Father and son. I just love it!

We also recently got a little add-on toilet trainer seat for the potty to make Bug more comfortable and not risk falling in. I should probably add that if you didn't already think we're weird enough, ask me about EC (elimination communication). ;) Yes, we put Grady on the toilet. No, we're not "forcing" him or traumatizing him with early toilet exposure. He's been depositing at least some of his, ahem, eliminations in the toilet since he was a mere few weeks old. It sounds really nutso, I was once shaking my head just like you, but what I can say....well, really, I don't know what else to say.

Jeremy loves the above one, his first "reading on the pot" shot.

And here's another picture of Papa, Bugga, and Paisley cuddling on the lounger. I know, you've seen it before. I think each weekend we get a new picture of this same scenario. Happy cuddles.


G&M said...

you guys are well... granola... hahaha... ahhhh I will never live that down!

Lindsey said...

Grady looks like such a little man siting on the pot...I love it.

I entice ;] said...

I randomly stumbled upon your blog and... I'm granola too! :D lol I had to giggle since I could have easily written much of your post myself!