Last updated on April 27th, 2022 at 10:17 am
This was originally posted on Healthy Child Healthy World on November 10, 2008
The Making of a Green Mom
Becoming a “green” parent is not as easy as one day flipping a switch. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment or particular trigger that sparked my enthusiasm for leading a safer lifestyle.
For years, I turned a blind eye and loaded my shopping cart with chemically laden items at the store, and left the safety aspect up to the product manufacturers. In essence, I trusted them. I can tell you wholeheartedly that ignorance really is bliss.
When I was growing up, my mother would always tell me, “You don’t need to put all those chemicals all over your body!”, but I did exactly that.
I always felt slighted as a kid because my parents weren’t like everyone else’s. We only had the kind of peanut butter you ground yourself at the health food store. We ate hot dogs made of tofu (Tofu Pups… and they remain one of my favorite things to eat to this day). We had “natural” soda and ice cream made of rice. When my friends came over after school they’d take one look in our snack cabinet and say “Let’s go to my house, we have fruit rollups.”
At the time, I hated it. I wanted my house to be filled with fruit loops, soda, and gummy bears. I wanted “real” peanut butter, the kind with sugar and preservatives and the brightly colored lid.
We weren’t complete hippies. We still used regular dish soap and didn’t recycle and probably used more bottles of Salon Selectives shampoo than we care to admit. But my parents were conscious of eating healthy and of minding the chemical exposure in our home which included avoiding pesticides and fertilizers.
As an adult with a child, I now have a deep appreciation for the awareness my parents instilled in me. Once my son arrived in the world, it all came flooding back.
Only now, not only did I have the basics I learned from my parents, I had a hunger for achieving a grander sense of health and safety for my family. I wanted to eat more organically, use fewer chemicals around the house, make less waste, and stop putting chemicals all over my body. I started scouring websites and university studies to learn more about what I really needed to avoid. I emailed companies and asked questions. I collected links and documents.
Soon, I felt empowered!
I felt that I didn’t have to rely so heavily on consumer products to get what I needed to feel safer and healthier. I felt a change for the better and breathed a sigh of relief.
Being “green” is no easy feat, I’ve learned. It’s a process that can take months or even years to achieve and even then, it’s not a complete state of perfection. I still don’t have a completely non-toxic life, but the great thing is that there is always room for improvement and change. There is always another step you can take to be more aware of your impact on the world.
Every day I take another step forward into that lovely dark shade of green. Ignorance can be blissful, but being in control of your life and making choices to create a healthy family and a healthy planet, make for a much better night’s sleep.
Katherine Scoleri is the founder and editor of SafeMama.com, co-owner of a professional web design company Moxie Design Studios, mother of a 2 1/2-year-old son, and the author of The IT Girls’ Guide to Blogging with Moxie.
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