Crunchy Chicken – Green Mom Extraordinaire

gmeforposts.png Fabulous green-minded mamas of the blogosphere are not hard to find, which is why it is so hard to choose just one Green Mom Extraordinaire each month. But this month, we think we’ve found someone who has more than earned it – Deanna from Crunchy Chicken. A mother of two, Deanna is so dedicated to green living that she has been known to use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper and challenge her large and dedicated blog audience to do the same. (Hey, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, people!) As you can imagine, Deanna’s blog is a fun place to visit. She’s hosts a book club, has regular challenges for her readers (like the Freeze Yer Buns Off Challenge going on now) and, well, she’s just one heckuva writer with a great sense of humor.

So whatcha waiting for? Go check out Crunchy Chicken. Prepare to laugh and be inspired to go greener than you ever thought you could.

Our interview with Deanna follows below!

  1. What got you interested in green living?

I’ve been living green for much of my adult life. I started getting interested in the environment when I was studying at the University of Washington in the early 90s. I even subscribed to the Earth First! Journal for a while, just to see what people were up to, not that I was in the least bit that radical. This was during the whole “ Save the Spotted Owl” ordeal that was going on in the NW, so saving the environment was on a lot of student’s minds.

It wasn’t until the late 90s that I really started focusing more on buying recycled goods as well as organic foods, composting and growing my own food. I’ve been a fervent recycler my whole life. My mom used to take us down to the local recycler to exchange our papers and aluminum for money so I’m always surprised when I still see people not recycling what I consider to be basics. Now, of course, I’m the recycling gestapo and won’t think twice about digging recyclables out of the garbage to put in the correct receptacle.

  1. What is one easy step that moms can take to lessen our impact on the Earth?

Replace your shower heads with low flow shower heads. They are inexpensive and easy to replace and they’ll save you a ton of water.

  1. How do you help your kids understand the importance of protecting the environment?

My kids are still really young (4 and 5), so they generally don’t understand all the intricacies of why I do certain things. But they learn by example and know what goes into the garbage vs. the recycling vs. the food waste bins. They also help out a lot with the gardening and I get to explain how growing organic foods differs from conventional products. So, really just by living with me, I set an example of how to protect the environment, even if they don’t fully understand why I’m doing it. Just as my mom instilled the habit of recycling in me, my kids will have all sorts of environmental habits as they grow up as well.

  1. If you could recommend one green product alternative to other moms, what would it be?

The DivaCup – it’s a reusable menstrual cup. I’ve become somewhat of a DivaCup missionary on my blog. I hosted a DivaCup Challenge last year mostly to inspire other women to try it out. For me and the many women who have used it, it has totally changed our lives.

  1. What are your green goals for the next year? Next decade?

To hopefully continue to inspire others to live a more green lifestyle. To show others that being green can be fun when you are part of a community all focusing on the same changes. Writing about my lifestyle changes also pushes me to try new things I may not otherwise do. For a list of green goals for my blog for 2008 you can check out this post.

Personally, my focus this year is on reduced consumption. So far, this hasn’t been much of a problem for me, but trying to convince others in the house is a lot more work! Last year I did a lot of canning, this year I want to do more canning and freezing to store food while it’s in season and not have to buy produce shipped in from miles away during the winter.

In the next decade, I would like to switch over to an electric car. We are already buying 100% of our energy as green energy, but we heat our home with BioHeat. So, I’d eventually like to switch over our heating to something that is not petroleum based. On a smaller scale, growing more of our own food and reducing the amount of processed foods we eat down to as little as possible is one of my goals. Of course, since I’m not the only one making the household decisions, there’s a bit of negotiation involved!