We didn’t set out to be “these” people. Three years ago my husband and I were living a blissful urban lifestyle. Shopping was our favorite pastime. We loved driving around in our brand new SUV with a V8 Hemi engine, which is auto-jargon for “This is really excessive unless you plan on hauling livestock or U-Hauls every day.” Yeah, yeah, we’d heard about living simply and going green. We swore we would try it eventually, but our apartment complex didn’t offer recycling pick up, so we’d have to put it off until we moved.
Two and a half years ago we learned I was pregnant with our first child. Two and a half years ago our paradigm shifted. Our world grew beyond just the two of us. My body became an incubator that I was solely responsible for maintaining and keeping in the best working order possible. As trite and cliché as it sounds, it wasn’t about “us” anymore. Everything from the food I ate to the chemicals I was exposed to became increasingly important to us, and continue to be now that our son has entered the world.
Throughout the last two and a half years we’ve slowly morphed into the people we are today- the recycling, reducing, reusing, cloth diapering, local and organic food eating, baby and toddler food making parents we never imagined we would be three years ago. Our journey is not over, and I’m sure we are not the people today who we will be tomorrow. We are not the “perfect” eco-friendly family. We still drive that SUV. On the outside, I don’t think our appearance or demeanor shouts “HIPPY!” as some may think of us once they find out how much we strive to do to live a healthy, eco-conscious lifestyle.
But, see, that’s where people trip themselves up when it comes to living more natural and healthy lives. They think to themselves, “But I’m not that TYPE of person. I’m not the person who uses disgusting cloth diapers! I don’t have the time to care about where my family’s food comes from. I am busy, and I am not a hippy.” I know this because this very thought probably passed through my own mind three years ago.
It’s not about the “type” of person you picture yourself to be. It’s not about your political or religious views, even. It’s about taking a few minutes to educate yourself, to really THINK about the decisions you are making daily and then making a small effort (yes, many times the effort can be small) to change a few at a time. It’s not an all or nothing situation. You don’t have to magically transform into a yogurt making, composting…hippy. Heck, I don’t even care if you call yourself “green” or not. Just pick a few small changes you can make (or one big one), toss aside your preconceived notions, and then call yourself smarter and healthier.