Send all your eco-inquiries to Jennifer Grayson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may be edited for length and clarity.
Any time-saving tips for us eco-minded moms? I try my best to go green, but lately I feel so overwhelmed that I have a hard time even remembering to take out the recycling bin!
For the first several months after my daughter was born, I put on a good show. I learned how to fold cloth diapers into absorbent little angel wings and made my own baby wipes. I tucked the babe into a sling and lugged canvas bags of vegetables from the farmers market. I whipped up organic dinners every night from scratch. I soaked beans. I breastfed.
I also worked from home, conducting phone interviews as my daughter snoozed on my shoulder or writing while she bounced in her baby chair. It wasn't easy to "do it all" (especially since my husband had to go back to his long houred job a week after she was born), but it was manageable. Or maybe I was just hopped up on new-mom adrenaline.
Then my daughter turned six months old and began crawling.
And teething, which meant what little sleep I had had went out the window. And eating solid foods (making baby purees was time-consuming; cleaning the diapers was a nightmare). Every day felt like a giant hamster wheel. I couldn't remember a night when I wasn't slicing and steaming and scrubbing and feeding up until I collapsed in bed.
In the words of Chinua Achebe, things fell apart.
I don't remember my exact breaking point, but it was around the time our building's washing machine broke for the umpteenth time and I had to schlep soiled diapers to the laundromat three times a week. (My daughter was in the sling for that, too. Fun!)
Our lifestyle may have been green, but it certainly wasn't sustainable; something would have to give. Here this was only my first child, and I worked from home! How did moms with more kids, moms with full-time jobs go green without going crazy?
I have two words for you: Time management. (Plus a few clever shortcuts thrown in.) Here's what I -- with help from my most efficiently eco mommy friends -- have learned since those early days.