When Living Green Isn’t What’s Best For Your Family

Wow, that sounds like an odd thing for our blog “When living green isn’t what’s best for your family.”  I think it’s important for people to realize that sometimes you have to make choices, and if certain things and certain situations aren’t the right things for your family, that’s OK.

For each person, lifestyle choices are personal and each person has to decide what they are able to do.  Sometimes doing what’s best for the environment is better for us too, like watching less TV and eating healthier foods.  Sometimes we make sacrifices for the environment, like going the extra step to recycle rather than just throwing everything in the trash or taking shorter showers.

It’s important to recognize what works for you and your family and what doesn’t and make an effort to not be judgmental about others do and don’t do.

Some examples:

We cloth diaper.


Baby in blue cloth diaper

It is important to us and we are willing to go the extra steps of washing diapers rather than throwing them away.  If we had to take our laundry to a laundromat, honestly, I probably wouldn’t be using cloth diapers. However, my toddler had a lot of trouble with diaper rashes and yeast this summer and fall.  After trying everything we could think of: stripping the diapers, bleach in the wash, changing detergents (twice), liners with creams, extra baths and naked time, nystatin, the only thing that would help the rashes go away was disposable diapers.   We finally had to give in and put him in disposable diapers for a full month to completely kick the rash.  Eventually the rash went away and with baited breath for fear the rash would come back, we went back to our cloth diapers. Fortunately, the rash has stayed gone for the most part, with just short, infrequent outbreaks.

We still have to use a small number of disposables though. We have found that the toddler overflows his diapers whether he is in cloth or disposables overnight.  We stuffed the cloth with hemp and regular inserts, as full as we could get them, and he still would wake up soaking. We finally found that if we put a disposable diaper with a cloth on top of it,  it would keep his clothes dry at least 4 or 5 nights a week.   Since he had so much trouble with diaper rashes and cloth diapers, we figure it’s probably better for him to have the variation of cloth and disposables at different times.  

The environmentalists in us are horrified that we still buy and use disposable diapers, but the reality is that we have to do what is best for our son (not to mention helps us sleep through the night). 

round compost buried in the snow

Can you find our 2nd compost bin?

Another example is composting.

  We are rabid composters.  We have two compost bins and we have made great how-to videos with our children.  However, we have a CRAZY amount of snow in our backyard.  To get to our compost bins right now you either have to climb over an 8 foot pile of snow and trudge through 5 feet of waste-deep snow, or you have to trudge through about 30 feet of waste-deep snow.  When we placed the bins, we were thinking about what worked in our yard.  We’ve lived here over 8 years and we’ve NEVER had any where close to this much snow for this long.  The result?  A moldy  compost bin on the kitchen counter and I’ve decided to put my compostable items in the trash until it’s a little easier to get to the outside bins.

While we are passionate about the environment and being green (just ask anyone that knows us), we also realize that sometimes you have to make choices.  If sometimes those choices result in actions that are less green, that is fine.  I believe that the most important thing is that you have thought over your options, you have considered the environment as well as your family and your capabilities, and then you have made an informed choice. 

An informed choice is the best choice, and we want to do our best to help you make informed choices.  Please tell us what topics you’d like to hear more about, and we’ll do our best to research and write about them.

Happy Greening,

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