Thursday, February 21, 2008

Reducing Consumption at the Risk of Being Un-American

--FEATURE: "Life w/Fyfe - Confessions of a Holistic Mom"--

Recently I read about a man who saved his garbage for one year in order to show the world exactly the amount of refuse a single person leaves behind in 365 days. It got me thinking about the kind of values I am teaching to my daughter, who understands the importance of recycling and would never litter, but am I teaching her to consume less? It almost seems un-American…

Then I got to thinking about where we purchase most of our food – from local farmers who sterilize and reuse the milk bottles we return each week. The egg cartons are also sent back to be recycled. We use milk crates to carry the food to and from the car, and return those each week, as well. Before we started eating this way – relying on local farms to provide us with the bulk of our food – I had lots and lots of plastic and paper bags building up under my sink. Not so much any more. Okay, I understand not everyone is as lucky as I am and may not have access to locally raised and grown food – but nowadays everyone can purchase a reusable shopping bag and keep it in the car. That way, you always have something to carry your groceries in if you happen to stop at the store.

Another easy way to reduce consumption (and save money in the process) is to make your own cleaning products. I buy plastic spray bottles from the dollar store and mix up vinegar, water, and lemon essential oil, and I have a really effective window and countertop cleaner. It’s also great for cleaning surfaces in the bathroom, and I make a larger batch of vinegar with a bit of non-toxic dish soap and water to clean my wood floors. It cleans really well, and smells wonderful. I keep a spray bottle with a few drops of lemon essential oil and 8 ounces water and spritz it around the house, on couches, rugs, the dog’s bed--pretty much everywhere-- everything smells great and it disinfects, as well.

I no longer purchase baby moisturizer or diaper cream, as I’ve found that unrefined coconut oil works wonderfully as a remedy for diaper rash, and is a wonderful moisturizer for sensitive young skin (and not-so-sensitive, older skin, as well!), and it works really well as a lip moisturizer.

Hmmmm… reading through this it occurs to me that one might get the idea that I’m really, really frugal, or really, really crunchy, and really, I’m neither. I do take a quiet pleasure in finding small ways to resist buying more “stuff” and helping our Earth in the progress, though.

Lisa Fyfe is a contributing columnist for The Lohasian. Her column, “Life with Fyfe” provides a perspective on the everyday life of a modern holistic mom, as well as provides an insider look into best strategies for natural health and healing for the whole family.

Lisa is a Reiki Master, and an expert in Essential Oil Healing, and has spent the last several years extensively researching traditional diet and nutrition, with a focus on “whole,” locally grown and raised natural foods. She is a married mother of two children, Sophie (4 1/2) and Max (6months). Lisa approaches mothering as her highest calling, and believes that all mothers are natural healers and enjoys helping mothers (and others) help their children through the use of a variety of natural modalities.

Lisa is a distributor of Young Living Essential Oils, and her website can be found at

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