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I’ve always thought of myself as a little crunchy. We’re mostly meatless around here, I teach yoga, we go on nature walks … you know my type.
Since I had my child, it was so important to identify myself as a crunchy momma. I did the natural birth thing, breastfed for forever, and strapped my baby to me every chance I got. But wow. As that baby grows into a little boy, I am finding it harder and harder to live up to this crunchy ideal that I aspired to at the beginning of this journey. I’m always scrounging for time. There are never enough hours in the day. I’m always feeling pulled in 9,000 different directions. All of those things that I used to do just seem to be out of reach. My desperation to be this crunchy ideal was driving me … well, crazy. I was agitated, exhausted, and just a little unpleasant.
So, when my little buddy turned 3 and I turned 35, I made a promise to myself :: I’m just going to do the best I can. A lovely teacher of mine said that we’re all in different seasons of our life, and sometimes that season allows for different levels of effort. My best will be a something. And if everyone did something, that would add up to some big things!
Here are 12 little ways to be a little more crunchy without driving yourself crazy.
Get reusable straws.
500 million straws are used and discarded every day! That’s huge! So, even if you recycle that paper cup, the straw will end up in a landfill. They will pile up and quite frankly, we’re running out of room. Find some great ones here! I stay away from the hard plastic straws, because they tend to get those toddler teeth marks and then you worry about being BPA free … who needs that kind of stress!
Most people have curbside recycling, and if you do, for goodness sake, use it! If you’re like me, curbside is not an option and you have to go drop it off at the center itself. I must say that when I first started dropping off recycling, I had to bring it to a place that looked like somewhere you would also dump a dead body. Now, the center is right by multiple fields with horses and cows in it-the toddler and I make an adventure out it! Find a recycling center near you here!
Have a meatless Monday.
Now, before you skip this section, just hear me out. Adding a meatless day to your week only expands your recipe options. Your kids may surprise you with what they end up liking! Here are some meatless options!
Ditch the plastic bags.
I still get weird looks from the checkout person when I throw my reusable grocery bags up by the checkout. But most grocery stores give you a little money off your bill if you bring your own bags and momma loves a coupon. My bestie gifted me with one of these and I think they’re so cool.
Go makeup free.
Let that skin breathe! I ran out of my makeup the other day and had to go without. And, guess what? No one noticed. So what am I so worried about? A few days makeup free and I couldn’t believe how nice my skin was starting to look. Try it!
If you’re going to wear makeup, try brands that don’t test on animals and are paraben free.
Take a nature walk.
My little boy and I take a little walk every day before I bring him into school. It puts him in a good state of mind before starting the day and it teaches me to love the little things. It may put me 15 minutes behind, but it is so worth it. We pick up interesting leaves, sticks, and rocks and talk about what a wonderful gift the earth is! (Sorry, I had to put a little tree hugger in this!)
Get a rain barrel.
Every so often, cities actually gives these out for free or a reduced price! It’s usually done through a grant received by your local government, so be on the lookout. It works just like the water out the hose. It’s a great way to get your plants watered without wasting one of our most precious resources!
Switch out your antiperspirant for an aluminum free deodorant.
Now listen. I’m a sweaty beast. The detox from a heavy duty antiperspirant for me was real. And by that, I mean real real stinky. And it took a while. But I can honestly say that I no longer sweat as much and the odor is not nearly as bad. There are a ton of options out there – I love the locally made deodorant from Olive and Ani.
Get rid of your paper towels.
My husband HATES this, but I refuse to buy paper towels and napkins. Why? It’s an unnecessary waste of paper. We have old towels, kitchen towels, and random fabric coming out of our ears. It works exactly the same as a paper towel, except I throw it in the laundry when I’m done. You’re already doing the laundry and these guys don’t take up much extra space!
Take a yoga class.
There is just something about yoga. No matter the class, I always come out feeling like a better version of myself. A more centered version. And, since we’re all friends here, I become a version of myself who is better able to tolerate stress and cusses just a little bit less. If you download the Mindbody app on your phone, you will be able to search for almost all the yoga classes near you!
Hit the Farmer’s Market.
Not only are you supporting local businesses, but you find some of the most interesting things there. We picked up pistachio humus and fresh black cherry popsicles on our last run! Find your local market here!
As busy parents, it’s hard to commit to doing anything extra. But, by making these small crunchy changes at home, we can help our own and our family’s health. We are also sending a message of love and commitment to the Earth and community at large. Even if you only adopt one of these changes, you’re doing something!