Janelle Sorensen is the Chief Communications Officer for Healthy Child Healthy World. Simultaneously, she takes care of her sweet little girls, cooks, cleans, gardens, reads, bikes, hikes, crafts, laughs, speaks using silly voices and accents, drafts environmental policies, works on a Master's Degree, and tries to keep up with social media. Well, typically not all at the same time.

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My Eco-Sins (Confessions from a “Green Mom”)

So, I’m sitting here thinking, “how do I get this new group of moms interested in what I have to say about green living?” And, I sit. And, I sit. And blurg! Am I really that boring?

It’s been a long day.

My six year-old daughter has the stomach flu. My eight year-old daughter is already bored on the first day of summer vacation because she misses her school friends. I’m just trying to get some work done. And keep the dust bunnies at bay. And keep some semblance of sanity. My kids are a lot like most kids. My house is a lot like most houses. My life is a lot like most mom’s lives.

Still, there is one factor separating me from many. I’m a loud preacher for eco-living. They call me a “green mom.”

But, I don’t know how well I fit the bill.

First of all, I don’t think I’d call myself “green” so much as “trying to be healthier.” It just so happens that the same practices that green people preach (reducing toxic chemicals, reducing pollution, etc) also happen to be practices that promote health. And, I want my kids to be healthy, so they need a healthy home and a healthy planet. This convergence is why you’ll find me on Twitter as @greenandhealthy and why I work for an organization named Healthy Child Healthy World. We are wholly connected to this planet we live on, so if we take care of it, we take care of ourselves – and vice versa.

Second of all, and this is where the confessions come, I don’t always practice what I preach. I am far from perfect. Here are some of my secret eco-sins.

I love shoes. Boots, flats, heels, sandals – I have a ton. And, I keep buying more. I see a beautiful shoe and it’s like a piece of art I can wear on my feet. I have no will power to embrace the ecological impact.

I’m a meat head. I’ve lived my whole life in the Heartland and I crave meat. I know it takes an enormous amount of energy and water to produce meat. I know meat harbors lipophilic (fat-magnet) chemicals (which are some of the worst). I’ve tried to be vegetarian (the last time I made it a couple years, but right when I became pregnant – all I dreamt about was meat).

I’m a pushover with my family. My family is well aware of my beliefs, but it’s not the golden standard by which we live. If my daughters want painted fingernails for a special event, I do it (though, I only use brands that are phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene-free, which is more common these days, so check the labels). What my daughters do with their allowance is their decision. We talk about plastics and chemicals and the planet and our health, but I’m not going to be a tyrant and I don’t want to instill neuroticism. I want them to think about things, but to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Life is life. We try to find balance.

Balance is the key. As moms, we have so many things we are trying to do each day. I’m a firm believer in doing your best and then letting go. You do what you can and you embrace, with joy, what is. No guilt. (Yeah, right!)

So, this is an introduction to me, since I’m going to be regularly writing here about green living. Just know that whatever I say, I’m struggling with the same juggling act that all moms are. We just do our best. And, I hope that I can toss you some tricks that’ll seamlessly glide into your home to protect your family’s health and the health of the planet.

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