Saturday, January 14, 2012

Circle of Friends

When I first began my eco-journey, I was certain I was alone.  After all, I had grown up in a home with cloth napkins, homemade bread, line-dried laundry and almost no processed foods with no friends like me.  I had heard my mother complain how difficult it is to be different.  I knew first hand how many conversations can go awry when someone doesn't understand your need to eat locally produced foods.  Since I knew that no one in my immediate circle of friends was going to want to spend time discussing pesticides in conventionally produced foods, I turned to the internet.

Through the internet and the wonderful world of blogging, I've made friends, learned new skills and am now actually becoming connected with other mothers who as I've started to talk and ask questions I've found are actually from the same town as I am!  Can I just say how refreshing it is to actually be able to sit down and have a cup of coffee with another mom who is on a mission to improve their family's life?  Finding these real life friends is akin to that first bunch of asparagus from the Spring farmer's market for me.  Thank goodness for Facebook, right?

In the meantime, if you're waiting for your new eco best friend to show up, here are a few places I like to frequent for reference, answers and support:

I call it "finding your tribe".  It may take a while to locate people that you can feel a kinship with while you are making changes in your life.  But once you make those connections, either online or in person, they can be life changing.  I'm on the fence about whether or not to make the switch to cloth for my bathroom needs. In the last month, I've found 3 women in town who use cloth either in place of toilet paper, menstrual pads or a combination.  Knowing them and being able to bounce logistical questions off their experiences may just be that last push I need to add more cloth to my home!


Nicole said...

I found your post interesting--because having grown up in a rural area, all the the "new" green ways of childrearing and living were just the way we did it. We had a compost heap, a huge garden and I help to preserve fruit and veggies from the time I was very young. My mom baked bread, we ate home raised meat and she sewed most of our clothes. My grandmothers knit sweaters and mittens for us, and I was an adult before I had a store bought pair of mitts. My kids wore the mitts that I did when I was a child!

I love the movement back to the earth and simpler living, but it's really not new to me. The thing that has changed is that so many mothers now work out of the home--through necessity or desire--and no longer have the time to do everything by hand. My own kids are some of the few of their friends who know what homemade pickles, jam and bread taste like.

Laura said...

This life you describe, Nicole, is want I want for my family. I do what I can because I still do live in the city, but I'm working towards that goal. However, I would be hard pressed to find anyone in this area who is actually living that way. I don't know if it's this area or I just haven't found the right people, but a green lifestyle is still somewhat of a trend, not an actual lifestyle. I find that the people who make the changes for financial reasons are often the ones who stick with it rather than those who were enamored by whatever the celebrity du jour was last seen doing.

That being said, I am excited each year when I find another mom who wants to can with me or trade yogurt techniques!

Green Bean said...

Great list, Laura. I remember the days when I first starting reading blogs and then writing my own. I was so excited to find a community of like minded people to connect with.


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