If you're a mom, chances are you've heard of "crunchy moms". You know who they are. They're the ones that don't vaccinate or wear deodorant. They clean with vinegar, they're obsessed with essential oils, only shop at farmers markets, cloth diaper, wear their babies and breastfeed toddlers. Oh my!
Of course, not all crunchy moms do all of those things - the scale of "crunchiness" definitely varies - and while I'm not really into labels, I do think there is something to said about being even just a little crunchy. According to crunchymoms.com "crunchy" means being "environmentally, health and socially conscious". It seems to me that we could all stand to be a little crunchier!
I mean, why wouldn't we want to be conscious of these things?
There are a variety of ways we could do this and, again, there are varying degrees of "crunchy". I wouldn't consider myself to be extremely crunchy (though, I have been called a hippie a time or two!) but I have found little ways to be a little more environmentally, health and socially conscious.
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Buy natural products as much as possible.
Natural products really aren't that hard to come by anymore and they are better for both your health and the environment. Consider switching out things like your detergent, dish soap and cleaning products with a natural brand. Some of my favorites are 7th Generation, Honest Company, BabyGanics and Dapple. Yes, natural brands can be expensive, this is why I like to have a few favorite brands that I can switch between based on sales!
Make your own products as much as possible.
This kind of stems from the "but it's so expensive excuse". Making your own products can save you a significant amount of money. When I was pregnant I made several baby products for my son and myself. I spent less than $33 on baby wash for my son's entire first year of life. That is a major savings. Plus, I used it on myself, too! (You can get the recipe here.) I also made diaper cream for my son when I was pregnant, for less than $5, and we just ran out. Full disclosure: my son helped speed that process along by taking a big chunk out of it. (Get the diaper cream recipe here.) I have since made my own cleaning products, face cleanser, anti-aging moisturizer, eczema cream for my son and hand sanitizer.
Use reusable bags.
So simple yet so many of us just don't do it. Even in places, like here in California, that charge you for plastic bags at the store! Leave several in your care, even if you forget to take them in you can just bag your stuff at your car. Something else I do is when I'm going to the store I use a reusable bag as my "purse". I just throw my wallet, some diapers, wipes and maybe a couple other bags and head out the door.
Shop at farmer's markets
I'm not even going to discuss the obvious reason to shop at a farmer's market (like buying foods without pesticides). We all know that. And, yes, most grocery stores have a pretty decent organic food section. But one benefit that I know I hadn't thought of until I read an article that pointed it out is shipping. The food we buy in grocery stores is shipped from places far and wide. Which takes... fuel. Shopping at your local farmer's market is a great way not just to buy organic or even to stimulate your local economy (both great reasons, by the way) but it can also help the environment. Also, farmer's markets usually have a really fun environment and can be a great family experience!
Find little ways to conserve water and electricity.
I have often joked that my lack of daily showering isn't because I'm a tired mom but because I am doing my part to conserve water (which, until recently, has been a big issue in California)! Joking aside, cutting back on showers whether by shortening your shower by a few minutes or taking one less shower a week all together is certainly not a bad idea. Did you know the average American shower uses 17.2 gallons of water?
Also, an easy way to save electricity is by unplugging unused appliances. Not only will this conserve energy but it can save you money, too!
Always have vinegar and coconut oil on hand. Always.
I never cease to be amazed by how much you can do with vinegar and coconut oil. I use vinegar in the wash, to wipe down counters, unclog drains (just add baking soda)... and I keep seeing more uses for it! And coconut oil? I'm pretty sure you can use coconut oil for anything. I currently use it as face wash but if that's just too crunchy for you, it's also a great eye makeup remover! There really are a ton of home remedies you can do with these items.
Invest in essential oils.
Chances are, if you haven't already heard of essential oils, you've heard about them. A lot You've likely even wondered if they're legit. I am here to tell you, yes, they are! My progression to being a full-fledged crazy oil lady was a slow one. Mostly because of the expense. I had dabbled in them here and there. I purchased a few oils, I was gifted a few and I knew that eventually I wanted to go all in. There are so many uses for oils from cleaning to medicinal to mood changing. It really is amazing how much you can do with essential oils and how many of the other expenses you make that they will replace. Take a look around my website!
When I lived on Oahu in Hawaii, I did not have a car. That was not initially the plan but I quickly realized that I didn't really need one and I actually liked not driving - no car insurance, or repairs or gas meant more money in my pocket! Plus, I felt like one less car on that tiny rock was definitely a good thing. Oh and I felt so much healthier (and less stressed!) because of all the walking I did!
I realize there are places that being without a car would be difficult but there are definitely still ways to cut back on driving (unless you are in a really rural area). But, if there are nearby places that you could walk to instead of driving... do it!
These are just a few of the things I have found that help me be a little crunchy. What crunchy habits do you have?