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Environmental Impact
Category

  • The Hypocrisy of Being Green and Making Babies

    If you had one lice on your head, would you think it was a problem? How about two? Would you hunt them down and murder them, or just let them be? What about 10? Or 20? Or 200? What is the number of lice on your skull that you would tolerate before you dunked your head in toxic poison to kill them all? Sometimes I think that is how the earth feels about us. Even though I know over population is a serious threat to the environment, it is hard to come up with a solution without some sad stuff happening. I mean, I am not a mathematician or anything, but either more people have to die or less people have to be born.

    About a year ago, when I was pregnant, I saw
    this video

    I had to laugh at the irony of the moment, especially when I thought of my hybrid SUV in which I was planning to drive my baby home from the hospital. Life is such a quantum mass of contradictions. As much as I want to consider myself an environmentalist with my recycling system that would put Al Gore to shame, an organic farm that would make Michael Pollen kale-colored with envy, and guaranteeing I let every yellow mellow in the toilette, does my procreating negate all that? Is my producing another human to consume and create waste mean that I can no longer judge people for using Dawn or drinking from plastic water bottles?

    I now find myself second-guessing every environmental decision since I produced this little being of natural destruction. Take for instance diapers. Do you I use cloth diapers? But what about all the laundry? Think of all the children who die because they can’t get clean water… the same water I am washing my kids poo with. Okay, what about 7th generation diapers? They are okay, but if I use them while she sleeps, she wakes up covered in pee and I have to wash her outfit or ignore the comments at the grocery store that my baby smells like urine. So, what if I use Huggies just at night? Is that okay?

    Or toys. I don’t want her to have off-gassing toys made by babies in the developing world, so I should buy all new eco happy toys, right? But the price difference between a ruby ducky chew toy at Babies R Us, and a Sophie giraffe is $20. For a parent like me, I will get the deluxe French shi-shi option because of my belief that too many toys will condition you to be entitled. But what if you differ from my Marxist mommy style? What if you don’t have the money to afford $50 handmade letter blocks, painted with the nectar of butterfly tears collected from virgins in a local field?

    Now that I have a baby, I realize that every choice I make is a potential environmental catastrophe. How do I reconcile the fact that I am glad she is alive, but that every life is a budding threat to the health of the earth? I don’t want to live in denial, but feeling the guilt of creation rather than the beauty is exceedingly stressful. In order to sleep at night, I tell myself “it is not the number of people that is problematic, it is the way people are living…”

    April 27, 2011 • 9-12 months, Environmental Impact, Musings, Parenting, Political Banter • Views: 958

  • The Evolution of Humans (Crystal Children)

    Do you ever wander about the evolution of humans? Are we still evolving? And what does that mean? Will there be physical changes, like growing an extra set of thumbs for power texting? Or mental advancements like being able to read minds, or communicate with computers through our cerebral cortex? Will the evolution be instantaneous, like whoops… one day all babies will be born with a blue tooth implant?

    Well, according the thinkers like Doreen Virtue (and with a name like that, how can we doubt her) the Crystal Children are the new generation of evolved human beings. Crystal Children supposedly have a universal consciousness rather than an individual sense of self. They have a crystal-colored aura, a theoretical field of radiation around the body and are the physical manifestation of pure love. They are next level humans that are born from the Indigo Children, who are a little less evolved then the crystals, and have an Indigo colored aura.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but I am definitely an Indigo Child. I look great in blue. And that Munch has got to be a Crystal Child, because when I was preggers I said to my belly “you better be a Crystal Child or I am sending you back to the baby factory.”

    Before having a baby, I would often feel an intense despair about the helplessness I felt about the state of the planet. I would spend hours watching documentaries that convinced me that the world was coming to an end either from an asteroid, food contamination on a massive scale, or the New World Order’s evil plot. But then I heard of these magical Crystal Children and decided to believe in them. Much like unicorns, or the tooth fairy, I just felt a great comfort trusting they were out there.

    If you take a moment to really consider it, maybe this isn’t so crazy after all. Lets take for instance the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Can man ever undue the damage? Even though we don’t hear about, the Juan Valdez spill, it is still destroying the environment. Is it seriously possible that we humans can clean up the mess that we have made? But maybe these Crystal Children with their magical ways will be able to meditate healing energy into the planet, purifying all the damage? Maybe they will come together with their advanced state of conscionsness and envision the world back into a state of health? Or, maybe The Munch will resent the hell out of me when I try and get her to practice her Crystal Child meditation skills on cleaning up the kitchen for me?

    April 3, 2011 • 9-12 months, Baby Brain, Environmental Impact, Musings • Views: 1149

  • Japan

    It is hard to think of anything but Japan. As I stare out my window, I am mixed with feelings of intense gratitude for my safety, and guilt for being able to just continue living my life. I asked around to find out about sending aid, and this was the one organized effort my friend suggested.

    http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief/

    If any of you hear of other good organizations, please post them!

    Much love and positive energy to all the humans, plants, and animals in Japan.

    Love Toni

    March 12, 2011 • Environmental Impact, Mommy Mind • Views: 805

  • Plastic vs Nature

    I will fully admit that I am kinda queer when it comes to what I expose the Munch to. I am not trying to be one of those mom’s that hands out raisins on Halloween… but the likely hood that she will be trying to trade her raw almonds for potato chips in a few years is pretty high. My anal retentive desire for her to be a woodland creature of the forest does not end with food. I want her to be a nymph of nature. Entertained by moss and butterflies. I want her to contemplate what bark is made of, while twirling together a daisy crown.

    So needless to say, she doesn’t have a lot of toys beyond a wooden spoon and a few stuffed animals.

    One day, I went to visit my cousin and a friend for a mommy play date. Oh. Right. We brought the babies too… Once at my cousin’s house, she had this baby fun house contraption that put my hanging dental floss in front of her face to shame.

    Imagine a mat that Bozo the Clown had diarrhead over, cascading it with color and texture. Then, there were these styrofoam poles which extended across the mat, flowered with different hanging toys that would make an apple sigh from feelings of inadequacy. The crescendo of this organized chaos was every time the baby would kick one of these poles, or pull one of these toys, music would play! In all my “earth mother” snobbery I had to admit that this Target toy was infused with so much potential excitement I almost shit my pants.

    So I positioned The Munch to play in this fantasy funhouse and needless to say she had the best damn time. It was like Pee Wee’s Playhouse on crack there was so much going on, and she was loving every minute of it. In all my effort to rationalize why she should be as equally entertained by the movement of clouds, her glee was undeniable.

    What do I do about this conundrum? I want her to be happy and have joy in her in life, but at the same time I want her to find stimulus in the beauty of nature. Maybe it is not an all or nothing thing? Maybe if I am too extreme, I will drive her to be a materialistic maniac! So what did I do? On my way home, I went into Target, and got her a similar toy. And then when I got home, I made her a mobile with my own hands from things I found outside… I made little shapes from twigs like a moon, a sun, and a star that I realized later could easily poke her eyes out, but looked cute. The point is that she had both toys to choose from… and you know what? After a week she was bored with both of them. Go figure.

    February 22, 2011 • 5-8 months, Baby Brain, Environmental Impact, Parenting • Views: 1197

  • The BEST Idea I EVER Had

    A couple of years ago I had an idea. An idea that I thought so brilliant… so profound… so worth of sharing that I had to make a video depicting my fantasy of it.

    What is this idea you must be asking yourself! What could possibly warrant an introduction of such self-gratifying language?

    And that idea my friends… is Human Cheese.

    I was traveling cross-country, making my way through Oregon when my friends and I decided to stop at the Tilamook Cheese Factory. Why did we do this? Not because we were high… (exclusively) but because it was there! And that is just what you do.

    At the cheese factory, which as you may be able to imagine was quite disturbing, I started thinking of why we eat cow cheese. Who was the first person that came up with that idea? “Yes, I am going to take this liquid from a cow’s tit, cook it, curdle it, make it nice and chunky, and turn it into hard mold. And then I am going to eat it!”

    And why cow cheese? We as humans have a history of sucking on human boobs, not cow boobs. Who was that guy who looked at a baby cow nursing his mom and said to himself “Now that’s a good idea!” How did this catch on? How did we start manufacturing cow dairy? Why not human dairy?

    Since I made this video, my friends and family have sent me an alarming number of articles on the subject. I guess I am not the only genius who came up with this thought. Sigh. (see example below)
    http://itp.nyu.edu/livingsystems/2010/10/human-cheese/

    But… I am the only smart ass who made an awesome video about it. Check it!

    January 22, 2011 • 3rd month, Breast Feeding, Environmental Impact, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 1106

  • Diaper Dilemma

    I consider myself to be a conscious consumer. Meaning, I try to consider the larger impact of purchases I make. How does this effect the environment? Where is this made? Who made this? Did some baby in the developing world make this for my baby?

    As such, the idea of diapers really stresses me out. All the crazy statistics about billions of diapers…. 27.4 BILLION diapers are used EACH YEAR in the US, resulting in 3.4 million TONS ending up in landfills EACH YEAR. That is a staggering statistic.

    So originally, I thought I would use cloth diapers. But I haven’t gotten my act together yet to make that happen. There is no excuse. I just haven’t.

    This is the problem. Huggies are amazing. They are the best diapers ever. They do not leak. They really contain poo.

    How do I reconcile this contradiction?

    So this is what I have done so far. I use 7th generation during the day, and Huggies at night. She no longer poos during the night, so if I put her in Huggies, I don’t have to change her, which helps us both sleep better. Yeah, she has about 3 pounds of pee in the morning, but she has yet to get any diaper rash or problem because of it.

    I am also looking into GDiapers, which you can get at diapers.com. They have 100% biodegradable refill backs and are really cute cloth diapers. Now that older, she is pooing less during the day too, so it seems a little more manageable to make this happen.

    My point is that you don’t have to be a purist to do your part. Just do the best you can, and try and make some effort.

    January 21, 2011 • 3rd month, Baby Body, Baby Gear, Baby Products, Environmental Impact • Views: 1414