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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw this in a few other DDC's and it looked like fun!


Not a competition or anything. Just to get to know each other here...

Where I live we are considered a VERY crunchy family... actually I don't even know that anyone here knows what "crunchy" means but we are certainly the odd ones out.
However, I do think that here, on MDC, and other natural groups/areas we'd be considered moderately crunchy.

We have our babies at home (this next one will be a UC
), baby wear, cloth diaper (mostly), no vax, no circ, rarely do dr.s (except when it is medically necessary), eat mostly organic vegetarian diets, co sleep, breastfeed with child-led weaning, practice positive discipline, and plan to homeschool/ unschool. I guess things that we do that would be considered un-crunchy is tv watching and computer usage. We plan to allow both with our kids in moderation. Also I do wear makeup sometimes (when I actually get out of the house) though it is mostly organic/ mineral makeup. I use mostly green cleaners but some are the standard commercial ones which I cringe at but DH is attached... We do a lot of thrift store/ handmade shopping. I have great ambitions to make our own clothes but have not found talent in that area.
Also working on finding my green thumb...

So what about you? Where do you fall on the crunchy spectrum?

Dish it up.
 

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I don't think I'm nearly as crunchy as you! Around some of my friends, I am considered pretty extreme though (which totally surprises me - but it's because I live in the west - out east, I was surrounded more by like-minded people). My friends that I went to grad school with though, are pretty crunchy too (we all were in ecology/environmental biology)

Anyway, we live inner-city in an old wartime house, in an area undergoing revitalization. A lot of people shake their heads and wonder why we would live in this area - so many good reasons - it's cheap, we can walk to everything - our jobs, grocers, doctor, naturopath..etc. Sure, there are issues in the area but there is such a neat vibe too. Also, there is less wasted space (small house, small lot). Our neighbours tend to be more like-minded, which I love.
Half of our yard is a huge veggie garden that provides us with our veggies for the year. 90% of the rest of the yard is planted with native edible shrubs/trees and understory (since I'm an ecologist, this was very important to me!). We compost and accept organic waste from neighbours
. We grocery shop mainly at places that get their produce from local farms. We mostly eat vegetarian although occasionally we do eat wild fish and local poultry. We plan on baby wearing, cloth diapering, BFing, mainly using my naturopath (unless she recommends we go to the medical doctor). We don't believe in circumcision or physical punishment. I am not sure about vaccinations yet or child-led weaning since I have to go out to the bush again for work, when our LO will be a year old. We use only vinegar water/lemon/borax/baking soda to clean the house. We mainly do our clothes shopping at second hand stores or off kijiji. I have been making a lot of the baby clothes and accessories. We collect rain water from the roof. We don't have personal cell phones (but we both have work ones, that are turned off after work hours!!). I am having my baby in a MW clinic. I asked about a home birth but because the MW works outside of city limits, they prefer to not to do city HBs
. Since our bathroom is so tiny, and I want a water birth, it's probably for the best anyway.

I'm with you about the tv and computer. Neither of which will be allowed in bedrooms though!
 

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Ok at first I thought I was semi crunchy (see my siggy) but after reading your replies I think I'm more chewy lol though I am the odd one out in all my family and friends. I breastfeed (or try to, last time didn't work out so good), co sleep, do delayed & selective vax, I baby wear but not exclusivly...I do own a stroller
I would love to eat all organics and have a garden but as a single mama on a limited income and no yard it's not a possibility right now. I also practice AP, no circ, if I could I would drive a hybrid but just not an option right now, and try to clean with natural cleaners when possible.
 

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I need to print this out so I can show my in-laws who think we are beyond nuts.

We co-sleep, do delayed selective vax, cloth diaper, only do organic/no hormone or genetically-modified foods, babywear, and breastfeed for as long as my body allows it (I had serious supply issues and by month 7 was not producing enough to even night nurse).

Non-baby stuff: we drive two alternative-fuel vehicles (a hybrid and a clean diesel which we stock with bio-diesel), ONLY use "green" household products, recycle with a vengeance, and are about to start a compost
and carry our own bags with us wherever we go.

I do want to say that in terms of food, I don't consider being a vegetarian the only "crunchy" option although I am one. You can be an omnivore who is a good steward of the earth by being selective about what types of meat you eat. Meaning, buying local meat from a family farm that is not a factory farms and does not inject their livestock with hormones. This is VERY difficult to do and we struggle with it as DH does eat meat but tries very hard to be vigilant about what I've mentioned.

Also, we use a book called "The Better World Shopping Guide" to make decisions about what companies we choose to support. They grade companies based on several ethical factors, including how well they treat the earth and how well they treat their employees. It's an amazing insight into fighting capitalism that's gotten out of hand and I highly recommend it.
 

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I consider myself a wanna-be in many ways. With the kids, we BF, co sleep (usually), baby wear, try to go organic at least with the fruits/veggies/milk. We are not in a living environment to have a garden right now (sad), but hope to find a small piece of land in the next couple of years so we can garden, raise our own meat, and once again have our chickens for fresh eggs. TV is the bane of my existence - the kids love it, as does DP. I will not allow a computer or TV in the bedroom. We don't do makeup, dress simply, and prefer camping as our vacation times. So, I guess we're chewy as a family (as PP said), but I truly am crunchy in my heart.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Starfish11 View Post
I do want to say that in terms of food, I don't consider being a vegetarian the only "crunchy" option although I am one. You can be an omnivore who is a good steward of the earth by being selective about what types of meat you eat. Meaning, buying local meat from a family farm that is not a factory farms and does not inject their livestock with hormones. This is VERY difficult to do and we struggle with it as DH does eat meat but tries very hard to be vigilant about what I've mentioned.


Just wanted to second this. We eat a lot of meat, but we know the source, we know it's sustainably and humanely raised, and we know where it was slaughtered/packed. And I mean we *know*, we've not only visited the farm (old family friends) but the packing slaugherhouse as well (more old family friends). We do not eat factory farmed meat, not only for the health issues but for the sustainability issues...we avoid supporting corn subsidies as much as possible.
That said, instead of focusing on organic veggies, we focus on LOCAL veggies. Organic is all well and good, but if you're paying to have organic strawberries shipped from Chile or Mexico, those food miles are canceling out any sort of environmental benefit the lack of pesticides might have. Plus, "organic" has vague meanings once you get outside of the US (and sometimes even inside the US). The label is ambiguous at best.

For us, it's more about knowing your food source whenever possible, and eating seasonally. I'd kill for a big red pepper and a juicy heirloom tomato right now, but if it had to be on a truck to get here from Mexico, or a hydroponic source in CA, I'll pass (plus anything that travels that far tastes like garbage and has had it's nutritional value depleted anyway). I'll buy Florida strawberries and fair trade bananas here and there, but generally speaking, if it's produce from outside the US, I'm not buying it. Luckily the area we live in makes it easier to do this - we have winter CSAs and farmer's markets with cold framed greens and veggies, so until we are doing it ourselves later this year, we have a source for salad.

Anyway. Don't mean to go on and on, food politics is a huge passion of mine.

And for the record, I don't consider myself "crunchy" (and actually really hate that term). I schedule my evenings around TV, counting down the days for season premieres, I'm a clothes hound (albeit second hand, I'm a big believer in reduce, reUSE, and recycle),I don't leave the house at all unless my hair is presentable & I have makeup on, my 4 year old could recite most of the Star Wars trilogy and has every freaking Transformer known to mankind, and I would die without my iphone.
We "attachment parent", but it's how I was raised and that's what feels natural for me. Circing is simply a human rights issue, and has little to do with "crunchiness", IMO, and vaxing...well, we don't vax but that's solely a benefit/risk analysis on our part and not a broader belief system. I child-led wean (with a small amount of coaxing towards age 3) and co-sleep and cloth diaper because that's what feels best and works best for us, not because I'm going down a checklist of things I "should" be doing.
 

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I'd say I'm a little crispy. LOL Definitely not a crunchy mama. Though I like the idea of it, I'm sort of middle of the road.

We:
breastfeed and let the baby/child wean whenever they want
co sleep
eat cleanly
practice gentle discipline
don't circumcise
selective vax
 

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you ladies are amazing!

well we plan to:
-CD
-BF
-cosleep
-delay/selectively vax
-babywear

and i do:
-make our household cleaners (vinegar, borax/BS, water, TTO)
-try to buy organic (dh is not into it, so it's mostly for me)
-just joined a coop to hopefully get some local fruits/veggies
 

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I'm an environmental scientist, so you'd think I would be super-duper-extra granola. But to be honest, all of our environmentally-friendly decisions were made because they work for us and match our priorities, not necessarily because I feel compelled to "do the right thing", you know?

Yes, we DO:
Babywear: So cozy, not to mention convenient!
CD (super-basic prefolds and covers): work and smell way better than disposies
Breastfeed: I love it, plus I'm too cheap to get formula
Organics/eat clean: pretty much just organics for the dirty dozen, plus we're trying our darndest to eliminate BPA, MSG, HFCS, etc. This is sorta my hobby, so it's a constant work in progress.
Shop regularly at Goodwill: I'm cheap, and there are tons of good finds to be had!
Eat vegetarian most of the time: I find cooking meat really icky.
Use natural cleaners and pesticides: (mostly vinegar and lemon juice) I think I'm sensitive to chemicals. I haven't dry-cleaned anything since my wedding gown (8 years ago).
Rainbarrel, local plants, etc.: ok, I do have a thing against invasives, so this one is somewhat "cause"-based. But mostly I think it's stupid to get a huge water bill for plants that never should have grown here in the first place!
Had (and plan another) med-free natural birth, use cloth pads and Diva cup, S&D vax, conserve energy like crazy, reduce drive times (by moving close to work, combine trips, carpool), GD, buy in bulk to reduce packaging, use cloth napkins, etc.

However, we also...
Don't cosleep: for us, co-sleep meant no-sleep!
Eat meat 1-2 times a week. Honestly, I feel humans are natural omnivores.
Have a house that's too big: our MIL lived with us for a while, and now that she's moved out we have a house that's really too big for us.
Don't compost: *love* the idea of worm composting but can't commit to dealing with worms on a daily basis.

Have 2 normal cars: couldn't pop for the hybrid, plus we buy used.
Watch tv, use mostly "normal" health and beauty products (shampoo, deodorant, etc.), no family cloth (you'd think with cloth pads and cloth diapers this would be an easy thing to take on, but I can't go there!), use disposies when travelling, AND we both work (out of CHOICE) and take DD to daycare instead of SAH or homeschooling, etc.

So we have a ways to go, but I think we do more than the average US family.
 

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I'm pretty crunchy I guess but not as much as some on here. We live in the suburbs of Houston so all of our neighbors think we're pretty extreme though. They are all neo-con republicans so everyone calls us their token liberal hippies. We have some pretty interesting conversation though.


We:
- cloth diaper
- breastfeed as long as possible (it was 2.5 years with my DD)
- cosleep
- don't vax or wouldn't circ
- limited dr visits unless medically necessary
- try to babywear (my DD hated it so I was bummed)
- this one will be a homebirth
- make our own cleaners
- try to buy organic when we can afford it (we do buy organic in milk and meats and sensitive fruits)
- practice gentle discpline
- very rarely wear makeup (but this is just because I'm just not that girly and on the tomboy side)

We do watch TV, computer usage is pretty high considering I'm a freelance graphic designer, play video games, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, it's inspiring reading all of the things you mamas are doing! Thanks for sharing


I certainly don't think of crunchy as a checklist I am going down, meaning I didn't read about AP and then go down the list trying to *become* that. It was more of realising, "wow, a lot of those thigs are naturally how we do things!"

We are not exclusive on babywearing (we do have a stroller too!
--though I love Maggie Gyllenhaal's character on Away We Go, hilarious!
) If you haven't seen it you should! We are vegetarian for spiritual reasons more than anything else, I have no problem with people that eat meat and agree it can be equally sustainable. Also ds (28 months) sleeps in his bed half the night and if he actually slept all the way through the night in his own bed I would have no complaints.
He also completely weaned about a month ago.
But it was sort of a relief since nursing had become uncomfortable with this pregnancy. I guess we aren't die-hard with anything- just try to do what feels right for us. That's all we can do.
 

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I'd never considered myself as crunchy - or even in that realm, but I do think I am environmentally conscious.

We have a small fuel-efficient car that we share. We live in an annoyingly-sized city, so we rely on the car to get places (grocery, park, school) - particularly in the winter when the walking trails aren't plowed. We work from home 90% of the time which reduces our car use, but I still feel quite guilty about how much we use the car.

We own a small 60 year old house and have done some major upgrades. We converted from oil to natural gas, we put thousands of dollars into insulating the roof, attic and basement, and we just replaced the rest of the old windows. We one programmable thermostat for the entire house which is set on the cool side. I wash my clothes in cold water and I dry on the line (8 months of the year). We have a mossy-dandelion filled lawn that is cut with a push mower. We compost, and I started my first little garden last year. If I plant anything in the flower garden, it is native to our area. We use recycled paint. We recycle everything the town will pick up. My motto is "live with the raccoons/skunk/deer/squirrels, it is their land too."

I am bad bad bad when it comes to food. I love making and eating food. I love being creative with food and enjoying high quality ingredients and getting whatever I feel like eating. If I want to eat anything fresh in the winter, it comes from far far away. However, when there is the option, I choose local - always. In the summer and fall there is an amazing farmer's market once a week where I love to buy produce, meat and eggs. We eat meat, but from family-owned butchers. I always bring my own bags (we pay for plastic ones anyways).

I read the paper online, I conserve water (maybe TMI but if it is yellow, let it mellow), I make some of my own cleaning products. I feel guilty when I buy crap from China so I try not to do it. We don't do cell phones. I am pro-hunting for food provided hunted animal is not endangered/sensitive. Two of my biggest environmental concerns are the state of our fisheries, and the state of our freshwater systems.

I plan to BF, CD and babywear this babe and next. I think I will lead weaning. I'm ok with receiving second hand items as gifts (almost everything in my house is second hand). I believe in vaccinations, generally trust the advice offered by our health-case system, but do not do so blindly. I read peer-reviewed literature when making decisions, but will also visit websites advocating the other side.

I wear makeup and jewelery because it makes me feel good, I own ecological footprint-increasing pets, and I love to travel (but rarely do). I watch more TV (online) than I should and check my email about a million times a day.
 

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This is a very interesting read. I live in a small, rural town that my husband and I both grew up in. We moved back after a couple years of marriage and the people we went to school with/knew before all thought we were way WEIRD! People refer to me as "crunchy granola". It's funny. This is a largely agricultural area; it's no question that the produce at the local, tiny grocery is 75% local; everyone has some sort of animal in their yard (we raise chickens) and no one is more than a couple of degrees separated from where their meats come from. It's a pretty awesome set up, to be sure. However, the majority of folks here follow "mainstream" ideas. So, here, I'm a stand-out. BUT, I come onto MDC or hangout with the folks in my birth circle (I'm a doula), and I'm a moderate for sure!!! ;-)

Now, before I put my "creds", I want to second (third or fourth!) what some other mamas have said: we do the things that are best for US, not what is next on the crunchiness checklist. The things we do work in our situation, but I would never tell someone they have to do same... I see a lot of "crunchiness comparison" going on sometimes and I cringe.

Like I said before, we raise our own chickens. In the summer months, we have a "small garden" (by my town's standards--it's about 1/2 acre!) and I can and freeze all summer long so we have delicious veggies and fruits all year. We enjoy being omnivores and we also enjoy travelling into the nearest town once or twice a week to eat out. We used to see midwives throughout pregnancy, but since I developed pre-e in my last pregnancy and am having BP-spike issues already, we are seeing an OB practice now. I have still managed to have low-intervention births. We see drs very rarely--if we are at the dr's office, he knows it is because I've tried everything I know to do and this is a last resort. On the other hand, 3 of my 4 (so far) were born with cataracts and need to see a ped ophthalmologist 4 times a year. We breastfeed on demand, do child-led weaning, and don't generally introduce solids till near the end of the first year. We co-sleep, usually till around age 3; that means there are times when there are 2 kids in our bed! When the kids leave our bed, they move to the floor in our room, then join their older siblings in the "kids" room. Our house is quite large--5 bedrooms, 3 baths--but the kids all share a room. We don't vaccinate. We do unschool. We walk when we can, but living in a rural area where everything is spread out, we drive a lot, too. I drive a minivan and my husband drives an SUV (both our cars seat 7, which becomes essential with my husband's rotating work schedule and me being at births--not like you can call someone and ask if they have 4 or 5 extra seats in their car to pick you up!!). We watch TV moderately, love movies, and use the computer daily. The kids have TV time and the older 2 have computer time, too. Our kids have chores they are expected to do each day (household things and they are in charge of collecting eggs each day), but they also have lots of free play time, indoors and out. We make a lot of our cleaning products (laundry detergent, spray cleaners), but we also buy commercial cleaners, too (mostly biokleen).

I still think I fall somewhere in the middle of the scale, no matter what my neighbors say!!
 

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I forgot about babywearing; it's one of my favorite things about APing... and always a great conversation starter!! I couldn't have survived my last 3 kids (meaning, couldn't have gotten much done) without a wrap-style carrier I made and a Babyhawk mei tai!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh yes, I wanted to add I forgot that some people don't particularly like the term crunchy... its name and meaning are funny to me and that's why i used it!
I am proud to be the mama I am (not that I think I am any better than anyone else but I know that what I am doing is right for me) and if that makes me crunchy then AWESOME!


Maybe its the label that people don't like? I am sure there are a million other words we could substitute... I just think crunchy has a nice laugh-at-yourself lightheartedness to it.
 

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Personally, we refer to ourselves as "filthy treehuggers."
 

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I used to be much crunchier, however, am still considered crazy crunchy by those around me. Although I am not terribly crunchy.

With DD1 (10yo) I part time CD, delayed/selective vaxed, ate clean/mostly local when possible foods, had a lovely clothes line to save energy bills, coslept, BF and child led weaned (4yrs), baby wore, gentle discipline, lived in a small home with minimal things, drove a small car.

10 yrs later: I failed at CD-ing DD2 and don't plan on CD-ing this upcoming babe, DD2 is slightly delayed on vaxing as will this next baby, we coslpet for 6 months or so until she decided she was not going to sleep with another human next to her, she BF-ed (or BM from bottle when I was working) on demand until I gently encouraged her to wean a couple months ago, I still wear her a decent amount and will babywear with next baby (as well as BF till baby decides otherwise), we have a large garden for produce, eat whole clean food, and while we do eat meat 2x or more daily, we do buy grass feed locally sourced meat 90% of the time (we do full buffalos, etc and put in deep freeze). I use mostly natural cleaning supplies.

I'd love to have a clothes line but they are against our yuppy nieghborhood covenants. We undo any crunchy we have because DH drives an SUV (has to regularly tote 6+ people at a time, I drive a minivan and we have a small truck as well. Yeah, it is bad.

I do a decent amount of second hand shopping. I am, however, decently vain and hit the salon every 3 weeks for a cut and wax and am known to get a pedi once a month or so. We allow small amounts on TV and computer time.

We recycle everything we possibly can.

I found that when I was 20, I was crunchy because it was cool. As DH and I get older, we become more crunchy as our true internal belief systems shift and change. We aspire to expand our garden, compost, sell our home and move to the country to buy chickens and a cow, lol. There is nothing stopping us now (DH is in real estate so we regularly see cool country homes) but we are still a little too wrapped up in our cooporate yuppy lives to pull the trigger. We are getting there though.
 

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Like my sig says, I don't really consider myself to be totally crunchy...but we're definitely one of the more natural minded families in our circle of friends and family.

We:
breastfeed
co-sleep
use cloth diapers
eat unprocessed/organic foods/grass fed meats
homeschool (when we're not living with the inlaws)
don't vaccinate (but that's actually for "religious" reasons)
don't CIO
use mostly natural or home made cleaning products
use mostly natural or home made personal care products
avoid plastics-especially for food storage
will be homebirthing from this baby on

A year or two from now, I'm sure we'll be even further down the "crunchy" trail. We're still very much a family in transition, learning along the way. If it were up to me, we wouldn't have a TV, but my husband is a tough sell on that one. But he also comes from a family where "quality time" is sitting together staring at the TV.


My goal is to eventually have a garden and produce a large percentage of our own food, and possibly even raise some of our own livestock, but that's a little further down the road. MY dream is to live "off grid", and have our own source for electricity, and be self sustaining, but again that's quite a few years off from being a possibility.

Honestly, our transition to a more natural minded way of living is more from wanting to protect our children from all the toxic and hazardous substances and influences that are common place, more than trying to be environmentally responsible
-but the truth is, they end up going hand in hand, which I think is great.
 

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I'm Crispie, Crispie I tell you!
But on the inside I'm goo.


What I do is a tricky question because I feel so new to so much: All I have done forever is cloth diaper, recently knitting my own covers...BUT, this is our second homebirth, our last son is the first we chose not to circumcise, selective/delay vax him, and skip most doc "well baby" checks, we tried gardening last year and had soil issue so the weeds took over, giving that another shot this year-in containers this time, I'd love to have a fully sustaining garden-even just for the summertime, I BF-but my 21 mo old is the longest and my first time nursing while pregnant-it looks as though we will be tandem nursing as well although I honestly don't know if I can continue past age two-the kid is trying to rip my boobs off these days!, we are also just now-like should hear news today on acceptance or not-transferring our 1st grader to a homeschool/charter school! My soon to be high schooler wants the same and I've a feeling over the next couple years all my older boys will be homeschooled.

How I'm not crunchy...we do cook most 99% of our meals at home, but we also eat out here and there, we most certainly do not restrict our diets in anyway-meat, dairy, sugar or anything else, and we likely should...I'm awful about exercise-another very big health concern that I am slowly working up to full change, DH also has cholesterol concerns although nothing "diagnosed" yet, our oldest three are still in mainstream school for now, we drive totally non environment friendly vehicles and waste much more than I'd like, although I'm happy we are able to only put out one trash can a week for a family of six. I'd love to have a compost pile, but it's just not happening right now-I need DH to "pitch in" literally, and he's just slammed with work-not that I'm complaining mind you! We don't do herbal meds/remedies as much as I'd like to, things that require research and time, I've got to ease my way into.

I will say I am starting a "Midwife's assistant/Monitrice" program soon and am very very excited about that. My long term goal is home birth midwifery, but I am taking my time getting there...babies and family come 1st, and so much of the path is reading and information gathering so I am journeying along my journey (if that makes any sense at all
)

That's about all I can think of for now! Awesome thread!!!
 
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