Monday, August 31, 2009

Negative Peer Pressure and Green Moms

Do you ever find yourself feeling like you need to hide exactly how green you are?

I certainly do, especially when we have houseguests. I put away the homemade cleansers so no one sees that I don't use the commercial antibacterial stuff. I make 'normal' meals, like meat tacos. I buy packaged foods for my cupboards. If asked, I describe my blog as a 'family' blog.

None of the words for people who embrace an ecofriendly lifestyle have positive connotations: hippy, crunchy. My personal favorite comes from a Chemistry classmate: "You are so granola." From there, it's all downhill. Activist, dirty, extremist, nutcase.

My houseguests are without exception wonderful people who would accept any weirdness I threw their way, but I feel the need to put on a show of how conventional I am. People have been trained by the media to think that our disposable lifestyles are cleaner and safer than the alternative. I don't want to have to sound like a perpetual Sierra Club ad and I don't want anyone to think they are going to be attacked by germs if they use my toilet. So I buy individually packaged granola bars instead of making my own and put the homemade laundry soap in an old Tide box.

People should feel guilty for not hanging things out, for not reusing, for pouring anti-bacterial crap into our waterways. Instead, I blush when the kids ask for falafel or when freecycling comes into the convo. I feel a little shame at cleaning with vinegar and old rags. wtf?

From now on, it's no more Miss Nice Mommy. My house is green, but it is as clean and comfortable as any other. It's time for all of us green mommies to be proud of who we are and what we stand for!