I went to an expectant parent meeting a few weeks ago that was called “Convert Me Baby”. The focus was on green parenting and learning about earth friendly products and methods and why they are better for your child. I’ve always been a bit of a hippie at heart, so I wasn’t necessarily going the event to be converted. I think I inherited the green gene from my parents who at one point lived in a small cabin in the woods heated only by a wood burning stove. But I went thinking it would be a good way to meet other new parents. Also one of the things they were going to be talking about was cloth diapers. My current baby obsession.
I was surprised by how affected I was by the talk about cleaning products, body products and organic food.
A few years ago I did some reading (and then more reading) and decided to support farmers markets and independent grocers. We joined a CSA one summer, I starting volunteering with a farmers market, and Purple Asparagus. I learned the importance of knowing the source of our food, and I cared about it. But somewhere along the line I backslid, and our day to day food habits have became less and less about supporting sustainable food programs.
Part of the issue, honestly, was that Jason didn’t do the same reading and wasn’t really on the same page as me. He has a hard time justifying the increased cost for many of these items, and sometimes so do I. Even though I know that conventional agriculture and government subsidies have lead to artificially “cheap” groceries, and American’s spend a smaller portion of their income on food (for many more calories) than ever.
When I bought organic milk at stanley’s a few weeks ago Jason scoffed at the $5 price tag. I agreed that milk shouldn’t cost that much, but decided I’m no longer comfortable with the amount of hormones/antibiotics in it that might affect our unborn child. Fast forward to a Dominick’s grocery run where my eyes bugged out of my head when I saw that a gallon of milk was $7. I know we live in a city where thing may be more expensive that elsewhere around the country. But seriously. Seven Dollars!? I couldn’t justify it, but I didn’t let myself my buy conventional. So I made another stop on my way home and picked up another $5 gallon. Certainly not convenient, but ultimately, I think, worth it.
The convert me baby event had the added benefit of freaking me out about all the chemicals that are in everyday household products. From cleaning products and makeup to mattresses. So now in my second trimester glory, during fits of nesting mania I’m trying to “greenify” our home, and becoming more and more of an urban hippie.