Sometimes, I don't know whether to laugh or cry when it comes to going green. It's awesome, truly awesome, that there are so many eco-savvy choices available to folks who are trying to live a little lighter on the planet ... especially for those that are also trying to raise little ones. But there are also times that all of these choices create more problems than they solve. Is it better to buy produce that's fair trade or organic? Should you buy regular toilet paper locally, or get a bulk box of the recycled content stuff shipped to your door? Free-range? Wild? Nontoxic Dolphin-safe?
These are the types of questions that plague me every day. And as I said, I often don't know whether to laugh or cry about it. More often than not, I choose to laugh. And fortunately for me, so does Robyn Harding. Her latest book, Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man-Boobs? is her real-life tale of navigating the ins and outs of going green while raising a family. It's less of a "how-to" and more of a "why me?" look at going green from the perspective of a mom who really wants to go green but doesn't often know what that means from day-to-day. And it's 100 percent hysterical from start to finish.
As Harding describes it, she has a 10 year old who fake barfs whenever a meal is not strictly organic and an 8 year old who can't sleep for worrying about polar bears. And she is raising her family in a neighborhood so green that she feels like a property developer in comparison. Here's an excerpt from Harding first foray down the organic food aisle:
"I imagined all of the things I could have bought with the money I spent on organic food! Like shoes ... for the entire family. New tires for the car. Laser eye surgery! ...The conventional produce taunted. There it sat at the sidewalk markets, all fresh and cheap and locally grown. But no ... my family could not ingest those horrible chemicals! Or could they?"
"I'm still confused about meat. And I still feel badly when we eat it. Despite this guilt, we still have a meat-based meal about four times a week. As so many of us have learned to do, I just push my concerns to the back of my mind. But on those nights when we have a meatless meal, I always feel quite healthy, humane and good to the planet. Of course, with all the beans we're eating, our family does contribute a certain amount of methane gas to the atmosphere. But still, we're nowhere near as bad as a whole heard of farting cattle."