Guest bloggers make me happy, and Brittany is no exception. When I posted a need for someone to write about being "crunchy," she quickly responded. You see, even though I'd heard the term over and over, quite honestly, I didn't really know what it meant. I mean, I knew it had to do with a greener and healthier lifestyle, but I wasn't sure of all the details.
In today's post, Brittany tells you of her own journey into crunchiness. By the time you're done reading, you can determine for yourself whether or not you can claim the "crunchy" badge.
What a Crunchy Mom is and Why I Choose to be One
If you haven’t heard of the term “crunchy” before, you aren’t alone. It’s a somewhat new term and there are many people who look at me funny when I tell them I’m crunchy. For the most part, crunchy gets used a lot like the terms: “granola,” “hippie,” and even “green.” While these terms are definitely similar and there are some who would argue there is no difference whatsoever, I think there’s more to being crunchy then the images most people would bring to mind if they heard “hippie” instead.
What Crunchy Is
Crunchy is generally used in reference to a parenting style, although I think it’s important to remember that anyone can be crunchy. Granted many of the crunchy topics refer to parenting choices, but saying crunchy is exclusive to anyone but a parent would be incorrect.
Those who are crunchy generally do not just go with mainstream ideas and practices simply because everyone else is doing so. I’m not saying all mainstream ideas are off limits to the crunchy crowd, but it does mean that crunchy people research. They choose to make educated decisions and therefore, they usually research things most people wouldn’t bother to investigate.
Of course, there are plenty of people who research their hearts out as well. Research doesn’t make one crunchy. Being crunchy comes with the decision you finally make. The long and short of it is that being crunchy usually puts you in the “natural” category. For instance, someone who is crunchy may eat organic, cloth diaper, avoid plastics, compost, use alternative medicine, use chemical free/natural products, co-sleep, chose to not, or selectively, vaccinate.
There is one thing I like to mention when I talk about what crunchy looks like however. Being crunchy doesn’t mean you are 100% crunchy. No one can be 100% of anything and that includes crunchiness. There will always be things you could be crunchier on and there may always be things you decide to never go crunchy with. Doing things that are not necessarily crunchy or even anti-crunchy, does not remove you from the crunchy crowd. Nor does it mean that if you see someone who is not crunchy in a particular area you can then look down your nose at him or her. Crunchies should realize that being crunchy is a journey and therefore there should be no “crunchier than thou”s.
Why I am Crunchy
I never intended to be crunchy. I was as mainstream as they get when I got married and had my first child. I’d hear a friend say they cloth diapered or delayed vaccinations and I’d think they were extreme. However, I then had my second child and he dealt with eczema. Nothing major, but it was enough to move me towards my journey of being crunchy. Due to my son having eczema, I suddenly needed to buy unscented/un-dyed laundry detergent. I switched our cleaning products and my children’s personal products. I even began researching alternatives to steroid cream. Some people get to choose if they want to be crunchy, others practically are forced into it. I was one of those who was pushed into being crunchy. After that initial push, I found I had a hunger to learn more ways to keep my kids and my family safe and healthy.
Being crunchy might mean a bit more work. I have to research our options, I have to spend time comparing products to see which are safer, I have to wash my diapers, I even make many of our own personal products. However, I know that being crunchy is making a difference for my family. We are healthier since we became crunchy, we save money (well, at least in most areas), and my kids will know that life doesn’t necessarily come off a shelf and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Yes, it’s more work, but I am glad to do it; I’m happy to be crunchy.
Brittany lives in Seattle with her husband and three children. She enjoys researching everything that involves living naturally and writes about her increasingly crunchy life at The Pistachio Project. Please check out her blog for more insight into crunchiness!
Are you crunchy?