Eco Confessions

In all of my eco/sustainability/etc. goals I have tried very hard not to strive to be too pure. Not only is that a recipe for failure, I believe, it is also the fastest way to alienate oneself from one's friends and family. What I've always been seeking is balance. Living my life in a way that is mindful and in line with my values, but without completely absenting myself from the culture that surrounds me. I've had to make a conscious effort to "let go" of some things and to accept the fact that I am an imperfect person who lives in an imperfect world. Sometimes I buy convenience food. And sometimes I turn up the thermostat. This has especially been the case in the last five weeks as we've been adjusting to having a new little person in our home. Trying to live sustainably is hard and trying to live sustainably with a baby is even harder. Not impossible; just a challenge.

My eco sins of the past month:

The raised thermostat from 62 to a balmy 67 (as I stumble out of bed every 2 hours to nurse the last thing my fragile sleep-deprived body could handle was the cold).

Too much food sent to the compost pile. Normally I eat our leftovers for lunch the next day, but I don't think that I've actually eaten a "lunch" in the past month. Most of my food comes in "handfuls." Cashews, raisins, granola, etc. So the worms, blue jays, and feral cats have been eating very well this month.

Single-errand car trips instead of weekly treks to town to do everything all at once. Silas is very good at napping in the sling for the first errand. If I try to do two or more he protests. Loudly.

Increased loads of laundry, consumption of prepackaged foods, production of so much trash, and the list goes on.

But on the upside, I've conserved a great amount of water as my weekly shower tally is down from seven to two. We have so far avoided purchasing great volumes of plastic baby crap. And in the grand scheme of things, I know that this is all temporary. As we get better at this whole parenting thing we can slowly shift our choices away from convenience and back to mindfulness.


  1. First off, I really enjoy reading your blog! I am a first time soon-to-be mama and I have found it so interesting to see someone else go through this exciting experience. This post in particular sounds like it came right out of my mouth. I strive for balance too and while my husband and I are not quite where we want to be in regards to be self sufficient(and I know we will revert some when the baby gets here) I agree you can only do what you can do, when you can do it! Anyway, I really enjoy what you have to say and I look forward to more posts to come! Congrats on welcoming Silas!

  2. I am with you.... Phoebe has had some belly-button issues (not healing as fast as it should) and we have had to use disposables on her. Also, the take-out and convenience food. I know it is just temporary, but it does feel like an eco-sin. Thanks for bringing this up. Glad to know I am not alone!!

  3. You're not the only one! It is definitely a challenge to live sustainably with little ones. I cringe every time I open a frozen pizza or (double cringe) cruise through the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant. I've had to eat my words and do so many things I'd pretty much sworn off doing before I had kids -- like using paper plates & paper towels, eating fast foods, using the dryer. What frustrates me most is that these things are merely poor substitutes for the things that family and friends could provide if we didn't live in a society where the nuclear family was so isolated. But like you said, we strive for balance, and as they grow things do get easier again.