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Natural Parenting Carnival – Green Living
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Natural Parenting Carnival – Green Living

by admin on March 9, 2010

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we’re writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Growing up, I was about the furthest thing from a “green” child as there could be.  I was raised eating processed food, loaded with artificial dyes, preservatives, and who knows what else.  I frequently ate fruit for breakfast, but sadly, it was in the form of strawberry pop tarts.

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I was sick a lot.  I realize now that my diet was to blame, but at the time I had no understanding of food in relation to how my body felt.  I just ate what we had, which was usually ramen noodles, or some frozen fried food.  I recall becoming more and more unhappy as I got older (and my out of control teenage hormones didn’t help).

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I do have a few distinct, happy memories, though, that I now would consider to be green related.  My brother and I used to pick these little purple flowers from the yard, and we would eat them, petals and all.  They were sour, which made them fun to eat (why do kids seem to like sour flavors so much?).  I craved those tiny flowers, which I’m sure was because they were nutritionally beneficial for my body.

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I have similar memories of picking figs from the neighbors yard, and plucking blackberries with friends along the railroad tracks.  I find it interesting that many of my fond memories have to due with fresh, raw food.  It’s as if my body felt so good after eating the flowers, berries, and figs, that my mind attached the experience with happiness.  The brain has a mind of it’s own, I guess.  :)

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With our son, things are much different, as we are trying to be more conscious of our environment.  However, we are not just raising Axel greener because it has become the “in” thing to do.  We are doing it because we believe that God created the earth, and entrusted it’s care to us.  The same goes for our bodies.  We have a responsibility to listen to our convictions, and for us that means living as naturally as possible and teaching Axel to do the same.

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When it comes to raising our son, the absolute most important green behavior that we practice is loving him unconditionally (most of the time, but we obviously aren’t perfect).  We can be as green as we want, but if we don’t love him, none of it really matters much.

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When we focus our attention on loving him, many other natural things fall gently into place.  Loving our sweet baby forces us to think about his feelings before making decisions about his life.

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Axel sleeps with my husband and I because we don’t like sleeping alone, so why would he?

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I breastfeed Axel on demand, because I know that my milk is nourishing and comforting to him.

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We practice elimination communication, because we know that we would want help using the bathroom if we couldn’t do it on our own, and we feel he deserves the same respect.

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My whole point is that being an environmentally friendly family isn’t just about loving the earth.  It’s about loving our son (and future children) enough to teach them that we should take care of our bodies, our land, and other people, because that’s what we were created by God to do.  We must respect life.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Code Name: Mama and Hobo MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants.

(This list will be updated March 9 with all the carnival links.)

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

admin March 13, 2010 at 4:30 pm

That’s so true – I’m just feel blessed that I also get to be loved by my son. :)

Michelle March 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Love for our environment begins with love and respect for all life and the most important place to begin is in your own home, with your family. Tending to your son’s primary needs and desires in a compassionate and natural way is essential and ultimately lends itself to broader acts and concerns. Wonderful sentiments.

the Grumbles March 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I like the idea that taking care of our environment is not only better for it, it’s also a way of taking care of ourselves. We feel better when we eat right, spend time outside, etc etc. Nice perspective.

admin March 10, 2010 at 7:07 pm

True! I leave the sleeping decision up to Axel. And go you for doing EC too!

admin March 10, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Eating healthy makes all the difference. I actually got stomach ulcers because I used to eat so poorly. So glad I know that now.

admin March 10, 2010 at 7:06 pm

No way! Someone else actually ate those, too! How funny!

admin March 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Ugh, half a worm, like the old joke. “What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? -Finding half a worm.” :)

admin March 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Mmm, fresh weeds! Makes me want to go find some in the yard!

admin March 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Ditto about the mashed potatoes! It wasn’t until I first met my husband (age 12) that I found out you could make them from actual potatoes! Haha.

NavelgazingBajan March 10, 2010 at 4:15 am

So very true – being green is about loving your kids too. Thank you for bringing that perspective to the carnival.

Paige March 10, 2010 at 1:36 am

I agree completely! “Green” flows so naturally from my other parenting choices which come from a place of grace given by God. You really can’t separate the empathetic and conscious way we make parenting choices from the way we feel about the planet.

Beautiful post, thanks!

Shana March 9, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I didn’t know you could make mac and cheese any other way than out of a box, or that mashed potatoes didn’t come from a box of dehydrated potato buds until I left home. We did typically have some fresh fruits and veggies in the house though. I don’t think I was too bad off health-wise as a kid. Hmm, food for thought.

Melodie March 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I used to eat weeds growing in my Grandma’s yard as a child. Not until I was an adult did I learn that the weeds I ate were actually good for you! Like chickweed, plantain and miner’s lettuce.

Joni Rae March 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I loved foraging in the yard for things to eat too! We would sugar violets and put dandelions in our salads. We had a mint patch growing in the lot behind ours and I loved eating the fuzzy bitter leaves. I loved picking raspberries in that lot- until the day I bit and swallowed half of one- and then found half a green worm in the second section of berry. Yuck!

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama March 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I remember those purple flowers! Yum. And you hit the nail on the head here: “We can be as green as we want, but if we don’t love him, none of it really matters much.” So true.

Claire March 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I was a really sickly child and I always ate junk. I had always attributed my new health to breastfeeding, but it makes perfect sense that it’s my diet (not to say that the breastfeeding doesn’t help). I eat organically now and back then I was lucky to get a real vegetable in my diet. Honestly, the last time I tried to eat at a fast food restaurant I got sick. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought if it before.

Darcel March 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm

So true! We must remember to take care of our families as we do the earth.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama March 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

This is beautiful. I love the thought of parenting green including a respect for your children. I love your reasoning behind doing elimination communication as well. I’ll have to remember that as a good way to explain why I thought it was so beneficial to do for my child, far beyond any potty-training goals or whatever.

I also totally agree with the sleeping alone thing — if he wants to, great; if not, that’s fine, too! I prefer to sleep with company myself.

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