Next spring I’ll have a vegetable garden fueled by my own compost. This weekend I bought a sewing machine. Last month we installed a clothesline. Earlier this year, I learned to make my own sandwich bread. Who am I? I’m today’s “Green Mama.”
Whereas our mother’s generation pushed forwards searching out new styles of living, new standards of mothering, new products; today’s mothers are rediscovering grandma’s lifestyle. What’s green? So often, it’s the “old” way of doing things. From the slow-food movement to cultivating a simple life, we’re finding wisdom in the ways of the past.
- Traditional, labor-intensive agriculture – not pesticides.
- Organic cotton and wool bedding – not polyurethane foam and fire retardant chemicals.
- Food made at home, preferably purchased from local farm – not fast food or processed convenience foods that travel thousands of miles to reach our door.
- Line dried laundry – not routine machine drying.
- Cloth diapers – not disposables.
- Breastfeeding – not formula.
- Wooden and cloth toys – not plastic.
- Homemade cleaners of baking soda, vinegar and essential oils – not commercial products.
- Making our own and buying from artisans (such as on Etsy.com) – not relying completely on mass-produced merchandise
The list could go on, and it’s not to say that choosing a green lifestyle never involves using new technology. For example, dishwashers are reportedly more efficient than hand washing dishes. The point is that for the most part, today’s eco-aware, modern mamas are embracing lifestyles of days gone past. We’re finding that slowing down, simplifying, savoring the family and creating a handmade life offer more meaning and joy than other paths.
As I share these reflections with you, it occurs to me that critics describe the “green” movement as a fad, or worse as a marketing strategy. While some interpretations might stray, the truth is that this movement is a lifestyle. It’s as unique as the people living it. And, it’s alive – changing, growing and deepening everyday. I’m proud to be a part of it. I hope that this blog encourages you as you make your way down your own path. Thank-you for walking it with me.