One of the things I am actually quite passionate about is being crunchy. I love the idea of reducing waste and conservation. It was about 15 years ago that I really started contemplating the majorly excessive waste everywhere. Wasting time, wasting energy, wasting resources. This is why I want to talk about being crunchy and the little steps you can make in your home and in your life. It’s not just about using less plastic or less water. It’s about using your time better. Your energy.

Don’t we all want to spend more time and energy doing the things we love, not the things we have to do just to survive? More time with family or hobbies or just being quiet in nature. Let’s break it down for a minute. If you consider working for “the man”. Day in and day out. You spend time physically at work. You spend time commuting. You spend time prepping – getting dressed appropriately, making your lunch, packing your bag. You spend time in the evening winding down. You spend time in the morning mentally preparing yourself. You spend the weekend dreading Monday. You spend the week wishing for the weekend. You stress your vacation worrying about what’s failing because you aren’t there to put out fires. You aren’t appreciated. You are barely making it financially. Your spouse and kids miss you. That’s a lot of energy going straight to your job.

This is why conservation is so, so important. If you spend more money on frivolous things, you need to work more to buy more. So, why not save in every way you can, and so then spend less money at the end of the month, to be able to work less for others and more for yourself. It’s overwhelming to think you can do it overnight. That’s why I recommend to everyone I rub elbows with to start small. Take little steps here and there. I absolutely LOVE and highly recommend the site Sustainable Baby Steps. It has helped me so much in the last few years to really inspire me to control my waste and continue making small changes.

So what do I mean, really, by saying I’m crunchy? Does it mean I use essential oils, natural remedies, recycle, babywear, breastfeed my toddler, subscribe to gentle parenting, compost, oil-pull, and use cloth toilet paper? Well….yes. But those are just the results of what being crunchy really means.

I love how Crunchy Betty describes it:

To me, “crunchy” means:

  • Choosing first to try to heal, beautify, and clean using natural sources.
  • Being conscious of purchases we do make, knowing that buying is inevitable, but making unhealthy choices is not.
  • Having the willingness to share our knowledge and experience with people who ask questions or seem curious.
  • Striving to choose what’s “real” over what’s synthetically produced – in our beauty routines, in our households, and in our food choices.
  • Taking each day as a new opportunity to be more conscious of our actions, relationships, and the world around us.

So, some of the ideas about being crunchy – or reducing waste and conserving, as I think of it – can seem really “out there” or bizarre or just weird. Do what works for you. You might be surprised how freeing it can be to make these little changes and before you know it, you might look back a few years from now and see how crunchy you too have become! It’s never too late to start making little changes to help improve your quality of life.

I would encourage you, if you haven’t already, to at least give some of the following ideas some thought, no matter how weird or strange they might initially sound. Perhaps try one of the ideas out in your own life. For a month or two. Then look back and see if that small change was worth it in your house. If it’s not working out for you, go back to what you’ve been doing. If it works for you, then try adding another idea. As always, I encourage you to contact me with questions, ideas, or what has or has not worked for you. Like I mentioned, being crunchy is a passion of mine and I love seeing others take those steps too.

Look for future posts where I will be exploring going crunchy in the kitchen and bathroom mostly, since they are the easiest, cheapest places to make small changes. I’m not necessarily talking about ditching the deodorant and shampoo (although you can, by all means), but more about making wise buying choices and learning what you can skip over and what you can reuse.

You might see topics like greywater recycling, water conservation, energy consumption, composting, switching to cloth, cost analysis and assessing where you can give/take best. Or anything else you might suggest for me. I’ll do my best to address it. I will also talk about the current ways I’m conserving or switching on. Hope to see you later!