What Change are you Most Proud of?
Change is hard. We can all imagine one time or another when change felt difficult and we may have felt resistant to moving forward. But that's just it, we live as a work in progress, fine tuning what we've learned, and making changes where need be. And often, change brings new rewards we weren't able to imagine. Here at MightyNest we've had the pleasure of talking with so many people navigating changes in their lives and have experienced the frustrations, excitement, sacrifices and sense of accomplishment that go with those changes. We thought, wouldn't it be awesome to share some of these stories? It definitely helps me to know I'm not alone and I think a lot of people probably feel the same.
So, I emailed some friends and received several responses to PERSONAL CHANGES written below:
Tracy (me), MightyNest: making all of my daughter's food. Yes, sometimes its a pain in the butt - I definitely don't love being up at 10pm on a Sunday evening steaming and mushing fruits and veggies for the week. But, knowing exactly what's in my daughter's food makes it worthwhile for me. And now that she's an eating machine, a positive side-effect is that my husband and I are eating healthier, too! Making all my daughter's food has resulted in me getting excited again about meal planning and cooking (that passion went out the door with my extreme nausea during pregnancy and never returned). This may not seem like a big deal to many people but if I hadn't joined MightyNest two years ago, I likely would never have even thought about making her food. And coming from a family of non-cooks, this was a big change for me!
Nathalee, MommyBeta: Personally, the decision I'm most proud of: Educating myself about plastics and taking steps to limit their use. I knew I wanted less plastic in my life, but was overwhelmed by all of the information out there and the lack of labeling. I found a few reliable sources (MightyNest being one of them!), and picked out the information that was most relevant to my life. The end result is a fridge full of glass storage containers, mostly non-plastic sippy cups and a tendency to flip over anything plastic and look for the recycling number. I feel good about what these changes mean for my family and for the planet.
Kimberly, Secret Mommy: Though it might sound like a pretty big leap to go from diapers to organic produce and BPA-free plastics in my kitchen, the single most important change I've made for my family is cloth diapering my kids. For me, making the decision to keep toxic chemicals and plastics away from my little fellas' bums was just the first step in what became an entire lifestyle change. Once we were eschewing plastic diapers, we started looking very critically at all the other things in our kids' and family's life. We started buying local, organic produce. We started using fabric, reusable grocery AND produce bags when we go to the grocery store. We quit using plastic containers to store foods in the refrigerator or to carry in our lunches. One thing has led to another in this process of turning our family away from toxins. I made homemade baby food for each of the boys when they went through that stage. I bought us all reusable water bottles so we could quit drinking chemically-leaching drinks when we're on the go. We're more determined recyclers and composters. We have our own small home garden. We drive less. We buy less. We're more conscious about the things we *DO* buy. We seek out retailers who truly have our best interests in mind and offer the kinds of products that we want and need to make our house and lives more healthy. And it all started by putting some little rectangular bits of cotton on our kiddos rumps.
Dina, Momformation (BabyCenter): Buying organic milk. This is a pretty big deal for me – but not for the reasons you may think. It wasn’t the taste or the cost that was keeping me from buying organic milk. The kids like it and there are tons of coupons out there that make it comparable to “regular” milk. It was the stigma. That whole “Oooh - she’s buying organic milk. She must be one of those overprotective high and mighty moms who thinks her kids are too good to eat ‘normal’ food” thing that, however pathetic and unfounded, is out there. But when I dug into the facts while writing a blog post (http://blogs.babycenter.com/products_and_prizes/horizon-organic-milk-dha-omega-3-giveaway/) about regular v. organic dairy products, it just clicked for me and I got over it. It’s pretty simple - if cows ingest antibiotics, hormones and pesticides, and my kids drink their milk – well – it gets passed on. At that point, who cares what anyone thinks. They are what matters. Plus, I still can’t get over the fact that the expiration date is like 6 weeks from the original purchase date. How cool is that? Next up … fruits, veggies and meats. A little harder to pull off but I think I’m up for the challenge.
Roechelle, Hug a Tree with Me: The one decision I am most proud of is my choice to becoming a minimalist. No, I did not convince my husband to give up the house and car and move us into the woods. In my opinion being a minimalist does not mean giving up the things that brings you joy, it mean cutting back and letting go of the “wants” that no longer matter. Being a minimalist not only saves money and time it also helps to save the environment. My household now puts out two crates of recyclables every week while only throwing out one bag of conventional trash every other week. We buy local, shop second hand, donate, upcycle and flush the toilet less. Seeing changes in my husband and our daughter makes me beam with pride, I am not most Eco-friendly person in the world but I do feel like I am doing my part in leaving this world a little greener than how I found it.
Betsy, Eco-Novice: I have made many, many green changes in the last 4 years, some much more difficult than others, but I suppose looking back the change I am most proud of is the very first one I made: switching from disposables to cloth diapers. I hadn't yet started thinking about the ingredients of my cleaners or personal products, but when I opened my baby's diaper on a sweltering summer day, and felt a wave of heat come out of it, I reflected upon how uncomfortable it must be to have your bottom wrapped in impermeable plastic all day long. And then I remembered a study I'd read some years before that suggested that the scrotal temperature of boys who wore plastic diapers was higher than that of boys wearing cloth diapers, and that this could detrimentally affect fertility, among other things. And I started looking into what exactly disposable diapers are made of -- the components of the product I was putting against my baby's private parts all day, every day. And what I learned got me thinking about switching to cloth diapers. My sister told me I'd never make the switch. She remembered me as a childless aunt being grossed out by her kids' poopy diapers. But I wanted to make the change, so I researched the options (the hardest part, really), purchased some new and used cloth diapers, and gave it a go. I never looked back, and I never regretted it. After that switch, I realized that even as an overwhelmed new mom, I could handle making big changes if I knew they would benefit the health of my family and the planet.
Terra, The Cloth Diaper Addiction: We've made SO many changes in 4 years since our oldest son was born. Our biggest has been cloth. We've not only switch to cloth diaper and wipes, but also, mama cloth and cloth in the kitchen! We haven't used a single paper towel in almost 6 months! We have noticed all the change in our 'pockets' as well - we are saving so much money not purchasing these items every month (or week!) We feel so much better about the earth we are leaving for our children as we do our little part!
Suzanne, Mommy Footprint: While reducing the amount of plastic in my life 3 years ago I discovered a few places where it's use was rampant - food storage and birthday parties. Within my home I did the best I could to not purchase new plastic and I've slowly made the switch to glass, regular dishware, and stainless steel in my kitchen. I believe I've improved my family's health with these changes and would never go back to freezing, heating, or storing food in porous plastic. Within my professional life I launched a company dedicated to reducing the amount of disposable products at children's birthday parties. Promoting materials that can be reused or compost is important at Green Planet Parties, but also supporting handmade and locally manufactured items is what makes GPP unique and gets guests talking about what is different at the celebration they're attending. Educating while at a fun party is a wonderful way to get people talking about sustainability and different choices that are now available.
Wow - cloth diapers, organic milk, birthday parties, plastic and general minimizing- what's clear is that everyone has a unique story and a different catalyst for change. We feel committed here at MightyNest to continue looking for safer solutions and making changes where we can for a healthy home.
What are the most important changes you've made for a healthy lifestyle?