Back in early 2008 I decided that I wanted to "go green". I bought the tee shirts (which weren't organic cotton or made from recycled materials) and started doing my research on how to green the home. At the time my family was living in South Korea and my options for greening were limited. I bought cloth napkins and started using those. I researched cloth diapers and bought some for my first child. I didn't educate myself enough on the cloth diapers and ended up changing to disposable diapers. I had bought one size cloth diapers and my son quickly out grew them. Shipping charges from small companies to Korea were expensive and many didn't even ship internationally. I tried to purchase biodegradable diapers when I could but more often than not we simply purchased what was the least expensive.
We returned to the states in late 2009 and once again I began looking at greener options. I had organic options at hand now and things were much easier to find. However, I didn't return to cloth diapering at that time nor did I take any major steps to green my home. I did begin planning a garden plot which I started in 2010 and I tried to make it as organic as possible. I bought the organic soil and even organic seeds and seedlings. I researched companion planting and mapped out my plot. I made raised beds and tended the garden daily. Until the squash bugs came and wiped out my squash crop in less than three days. I tried the natural remedies I read online. I used a mix of hot sauce and water. I used soaps. Nothing would remove these suckers from my garden. So I bought pesticide. I treated my garden weekly. Eventually the bugs were back and they took out my cucumber crop too. The the horn worms came and took out the tomatoes and the hot peppers.
In early 2011 we found out that we were expecting our second child who was due in December. Learning that we were going to be responsible for another life sealed the deal for me on finding a more natural path. I cut down on the chemicals we used in the house and started making my own cleaning solutions. Once again I began researching cloth diapering and I was amazed at how things had changed in just four years. I started ordering diapers. I purchased some second hand. I found low VOC paint for the baby's room. I made my own bedding for the nursery. I made my own burp rags. Along the way I realized that I could easily sell these things that I was making for my own child and I started a small online craft business. I didn't make much in 2011 from the crafts but I was able to get my husband and son Christmas presents with what I made.
I researched baby bottles all over again to refresh my memory since the BPA scare had just come about when I was pregnant with my son in 2007. I made sure to read all the labels of things I was getting and double checked that things were BPA free. I found green options for baby toys and utensils from a company called Green Sprouts.
I decided to breastfeed again which was the easiest decision to make. My son was breastfed and treating my daughter any different wasn't even an option.
I started going to tag sales to find second hand items for the baby. To me, going green isn't just about buying all natural or organic things. I try to focus on the reusing and recycling aspect more than doing everything organically. Why go and spend thirty dollars on a baby outfit that is made from organic cloth when I can buy many more outfits second hand? I have clothes for my daughter packed away in bins now - we have enough to last her until she turns a year old and I doubt I've spent more than one hundred dollars on second hand clothing. Of course I bought her a few new things, in my excitement at finding out I was having a girl how could I not?
Once again I'm back to reading about making my own baby foods. I was able to do this with my son for awhile and it was great. Sure, it is a little more work but it is easy to take a couple hours and make enough food to last a week or two. And I'd rather make my own baby food and know what is in it than buy something overly processed from the store. There are some great companies out there that make natural baby foods (big fan of Happy Baby right now) and I think those are going to be great options for me when traveling or when out on errands.
My goal for my blog is to document my experiences with this journey and the chronicle my daughters first year, my sons fourth year and beyond that. I want to share all of this with family and friends and hopefully other people can learn from my experiences and my mistakes. Maybe this whole "natural parenting" thing will rub off on some other people out there. It's so rewarding to put in a little effort to do things yourself. If my children can benefit from the things that I do then that is the best payment I can ever ask for.