Eco Mama: The Philosophies & Views Behind My Eco Lifestyle Choices
I want to shed some light on the reasons and philosophies behind my choices and views on eco living. I was raised with a very “back to the land” kind of attitude by my parents, who had met on a biodynamic farm in PA in the 1970’s. Their opinions and choices throughout my childhood have greatly influenced me, and I find myself thinking similar things as they did, with a modern approach. I grew up in rural Maine with a garden, a compost bin, natural fibers such as wool, cotton and silk, and free range to run and play. Any comparison to other friends who claim they had a “hippy-ish” upbringing and I always have come out the victor on that topic. Hey what can I say, I loved being barefoot every summer!
When I discovered I was pregnant, I found myself wanting to pursue a more natural path. I want to support the earth’s natural resources without causing harm to something or somebody. If I wish to change the course of my existence from a major carbon footprint to a semi smallish one, I asked myself where I could truly start. What are the things I am passionate about, and what is easily incorporated into my life? I think those are the first, most important steps; along with education; reading literature supporting new ideas and inspirational ones too. I found that my ideas and philosophies are closely aligned with the ideas of Permaculture. The importance of using and being aware of what the earth’s natural ecosystem provides, and can offer, and the simplicity and awareness it brings to one’s life. “Permaculture blends the concepts of self-sufficiency and living a natural lifestyle. To practice permaculture is to live within the natural bounds of an ecosystem. It is the study of nature and using what is learned to design, build and maintain natural systems that provide life's necessities.” (source)
This is not a trend or phase in my life. It’s a lifestyle I live. I feel enriched and happy because of these choices, and the joy it brings me by sharing them with my fast growing daughter is amazing.
I decided the list is divided into my dreams and what I currently choose to do.
One of my dreams is to have a home built to incorporate the landscape and utilize the outside environment to cool and heat the house. I dream to have a garden to provide me with 75% of my veg/fruits…and flowers to make me happy.
I’ve made the choices to:
- use biodegradable diapers, (Nature Babycare, read the article I wrote
- Natural plant based (no synthetics/chemical components) body products for my daughter (Weleda,(read my Weleda article) and Avalon, Burt’s Bees, Dr. Hauschka and Weleda for myself.
- I use homeopathic remedies before resorting to conventional medicine.
- I use an amber necklace on Siena for teething. It helps release warming calming powers and also is handy for her to bite on.
- I shop at used clothing stores and do a lot of buy-sell-trade with both my clothing and Siena’s. Also by joining a local parent community forum where swapping baby items becomes a breeze…
- I buy 90% organic foods and 100% organic milk,
- I try not to keep packaged items in their excess packing. Translation: when they arrive in my home I immediately remove the packaging and properly recycle it and place the item in a Mason jar or ceramic container I use for storage of most everything. (all bulk foods, tea, coffee etc) But for the most part I re-use my own plastic bags and purchase foods from bulk bins. I recycle the box an item came in immediately. (Like the juicer, the Cuisinart, the blender, coffee maker...You will never use that box again!)
- If I do have to purchase a plastic item I make sure it is BPA free.
- I drop off all my #5 recycles to be turned into toothbrushes and razor handles.
- I say no to plastic bags at the grocery store. And all other stores in fact. Believe me I still get weird looks. Like I need to feel ok walking out of a store with a purchase in a logo bag…what’s the deal with that?!
(*The list doesn’t stop there.)
I do have to admit, I feel overwhelmed by products, packaging and errand-running! I have to make a really strong effort to avoid those things. I constantly ask myself, how am I being an eco person if I …x, y and z.
These are some of the things I follow, along with my opinion and standpoint on medicine (holistic, homeopathic) and child-raising (along the lines of attachment parenting), I find that I am following a very au natural path, one that is less about commodities and more about where I am; my mind and where my energy is flowing to/from, and what directs and/or inhibits it. Am I aware of my daughter’s needs? Movements? Am I attending to her in the cleanest, healthiest, most natural way that I can?
I thank my daughter for coming along and getting me to apply these ideas to life for real and to protect her and myself from synthetics, chemicals and other un-necessary pollutants.
See below for a link to my favorite newsletter.
As always, keep in touch, and do good work,
You NYC Eco mama
My favorite daily readings include:Mamabite Newsletter
In this photo I am wearing a Loomstate for Target organic Cotton T-shirt, and Siena is wearing a Hanna Andersson organic cotton sun hat and Hanna Andersson organic cotton wiggle pants. Certified organic by Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which Pottery Barn is now using for all their organic products.