Keeping it green this season?

I am a pretty green person. I might even fall into the category of being a “crunchy” mom.

On top of the hill behind our house

I make hand soap and laundry soap, I hang our laundry to dry, we buy organic, I keep a garden that gives us much of our veggies, I keep backyard hens, and I drive a Prius. Yes it all takes more time than just buying products in the store, but there’s a connection between our actions and our impacts. And it seems like too many people don’t see that connection anymore because of the convenience of grocery stores and shopping malls. When is the last time you thought about the quality of life of the chickens whose eggs you just put into your shopping cart?

Where those cheap eggs are produced
Versus how those expensive free run eggs are produced

I’ve tried my best to live “intentionally,” making choices that are important to me. So that means trying to reduce energy consumption by hanging my laundry to dry, riding my bike to work half of the time, and when I do drive I have a 2001 Prius that has amazing mileage. I also care about animal welfare as well as reducing my daughter’s exposure to pesticides and unnecessary hormone disruptors. So we keep our own hens for eggs, and when they stop producing we buy free run eggs. We don’t buy personal hygiene products that contain the dirty dozen or that have been tested on animals. I’m pretty happy with our level of green, and that we’ve been able to sustain it.

But then there’s Christmas.

Suddenly everything is about more. More presents, more consumption (food, energy, & products), more stress. I try to make home made presents, or just limit it to just one or two per person, but on Dec 23 everyone panics and rushes out to buy lots more gifts for everyone else. I have to have the drier and dishwasher running non-stop from hosting so many people. I’m running around trying to send packages, wrap presents, shop for groceries, prepare meals, and wash up the kitchen.

Each day ends up running past in a blur of tension, and sadly not much connection to the people we’re sharing this time with. By the time it’s all over I wonder what the heck just happened, and when do I get to have a vacation to recover.

So as I sit here looking at the glittering lights on our christmas tree, I’m trying to take stock on how I am doing at trying to keep it green this year. Much like a gratitude journal, but to remind myself of what I’m doing “right”;

  • Christmas tree from local tree farm – okay at least I’m keeping the carbon footprint down
  • ornaments and lights on tree – being reused since the dawn of time, I mean 13 years
  • lawn and house decorations – being reused since the dawn of time as well, with only 3 replacement strands this year
  • homemade baking – an assortment of squares and chocolates made of organic and free trade ingredients
  • at least one homemade gift for each person – because I love them

So I feel pretty good about that. I have to keep that in mind though when I watch the hydro bill skyrocket with our Super Colossal Lights and Display Contest.

Because even though I’m a crunchy momma the rest of the year, I’m still like the Griswold’s when it comes to Christmas decorating.


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