Exhaustion and Green Backlash: Capitalizing on Crunchy
By dianawrote on March 19, 2011
Lately I've realized something. After I'm done reading the many articles on Facebook or the news about organics, new studies on genetically modified food, chemical laden everything, and how pregnant women are passing toxins onto their unborn children -- I feel worse about myself.
Some of the time, I'm using/eating/buying the products that these companies are talking about. I took a look at my Facebook wall one day and realized it was FILLED with warnings, new studies about something that causes cancer, and ominous questions like, "Is your sunscreen safe?" "Does your child have toxins sprayed on their clothing?" "Do you eat genetically modified food -- without even knowing?" "ARE YOU KILLING YOUR WHOLE FAMILY WITH SARAN WRAP?"
I'm not sure what to do about this. I'm all for learning about what we can do to leave less of an impact on the earth. To make sure our children grow up healthy and strong. To gain knowledge, and therefore power, over companies like Monsanto and McDonalds that want to sell us the, "It's all ok, just shut up and smile" package. To understand the choices I make for my family. It's important to me.
But part of me thinks that perhaps we've taken "natural parenting" to a level that is becoming unachievable to most regular people. People who make a middle class living and have a limited amount of time to study and buy food and products. Who hear the warnings and start to panic about the decisions they are making.
With the dire warnings usually follows the companies' new product. A way to help yourself and your children by spending an inordinate amount of money on something different, more earth friendly, less packaging -- just better. With a hefty price tag. But, you're saving your family. So isn't it worth it?
Isn't being eco-friendly and more conscientious about our choices also about cutting back? Making some sacrifices? How come all of the sudden, you have to be rich to *truly* be a natural, eco-friendly parent? Or, that's what it seems like anyway. My wall rarely mentions thrift stores. Coupons. Clothing exchanges. Everything that isn't filled with poison costs 5x more.
Maybe I haven't liked the right pages.
But maybe, just maybe, these do-good-for-the-earth companies are capitalizing and cashing in on our fear of "What if I feed my child the wrong kind of food? What if I don't know about what's in the next product I buy and it gets recalled? What if my parenting choice is wrong? What if this makes us sick?"
We can't protect our kids from everything, yet many businesses don't even consider this an option. If you're not making sure that every.single.thing in your home -- from paint to potatoes -- is toxin free, then you're not really doing your job as a parent.
How exhausting. How unrealistic.
I spend so much time trying to figure out if what I buy will evenutally cause us all to grow a third leg. I love being crunchy, but it's SO hard not to get caught up in the race to be the most crunchy. At what point do you just say, "Good enough," and hope for the best, while still staying responsible and informed of your choices? Or do you ever? Is it just some kind of "better do it all or do nothing" game we're playing?
I find it odd that while some eco conscious companies scream about the commercialization of "bad" products and the marketing practices that, indeed, are ludicrious, they then turn around and use the panic and uncertainty they've created to get us to buy their more natural version.
Oh. And to save the world. One $2,000, eco friendly crib at a time.
Diana is the author of the blog:
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