32 Responses to “Problem-Solving: Helping Your Loved Ones Help You Crunch”


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  1. Thanks Leslie. Great input. Strangely, in my family, we haven’t had this problem at all, but then, I’m an ex-hippie married to another ex-hippie and we both suffer from the same ‘save the planet’ attitude. (despite this, we still look like totally ordinary people!) :) Discussions about how modern society’s everyday life has an impact on the environment and how we can change things without giving up our accustomed comfort level is actually standard fare in my home. Changing to soapnuts after years of laundry detergent was something that took a total of 30 seconds for us to agree on. (take a bow for that Leslie – thanks to Crunchy Betty we are now on a mission to educate the country of Denmark! After that, Europe! Muwhhaaaa!!!)
    But seriously, it’s being able to ‘keep the same comfort level’ that is important if you want to implement change with people that aren’t motivated. That, and appealing to their pocketbook – if it’s cheaper, then they’ll at least want to try it. :)

    • Crunchy Betty

      Y’know, I’m still amazed that the soap nuts phenomenon hasn’t gone mainstream yet. They’re SO freakin’ awesome. I was in a local natural eatery/food store yesterday – it’s brand new and about a block away from where I live – and I asked the girl if they’d consider carrying them. I’d love to just be able to walk down and get some whenever I want. She hadn’t heard of them at all. And then kinda looked at me like I was crazy. (Although that might have had to do with me handing her my business card … she might’ve thought I was trying to sell her something, but I just wanted her to read my posts about them so she’d convert, too!).

      Maybe our saving grace right now is that they’re NOT all that popular. I don’t know how many soapnut trees are out there in the world, but if demand got too high, they’d probably go way up in price.


      Anyway, you’re so right about it being “keeping the same comfort level.” People are worried about enough as it is these days. If you try to jolt them into a change they’re unsure of, they get really twitchy. All it takes is time … and a whole lotta patience.

  2. Well if you read my blog you will see that I wanted to be greener for some time. My DH is the typical looking hippie (tie-dye and long hair, Dead fan, etc.) and me the corporate gal (I was planning to go to law school since I was in 3rd grade). I work, he stays home. One would think he would be all aboard the Crunchy Train, but he has his hesitations. I started my journey when my family took a 30 day trip out west without me (hey someone had to work to pay the bills).
    We weren’t happy with our internet provider (we hadn’t had paid tv in many years already) so I cancelled it. I promised DH I would have something up and running by the time he got home. So for 30 days I had no internet at home (and I didn’t miss it). If it were just me and the girls I wouldn’t have internet at all. If the girls need it for homework (and GreenTween does on a regular basis) we would find a way around that.
    I unplugged the entertainment center, and the upstairs computer and most everything in the house (except the fridge).
    DH has been supportive, he bought an energy efficient computer with me in mind. But I learned that unplugging his entertainment center nightly means he has to reprogram it daily, and he wasn’t up for that, so I let it go.
    He pretty much accepts my low temperatures in the winter and wears a flannel, but dang it woman when he is cold let him turn the heat up a degree or two (63 isn’t going to kill me).
    I want to use family cloth, but DH has made it clear that such a thing bothers him so its a no go.
    The girls are half and half with me. The youngest doesn’t really care one way or the other, but the Tween (soon to be a teen) really hates that I won’t just let her go to the drug store and buy cheap makeup and wear a ton of nail polish (I would just like to note she is one of the few girls in her class that isn’t suffering from Acne right now…. but she doesn’t care she just wants to wear eye-shadow….)

    • Holly

      Everyday Minerals has some GREAT makeup that is budget friendly, but very green ingredient wise. Tons of eye shadows in all different colors, some are shimmery. I have been using their products for about 2 months now on a daily basis and love them. Consider trying that for your tweeny daughter. :)

  3. kimelah

    Right now, in my family, I’m embracing “free will”. I’ll do what I want to do, ie: make my own products, and my kids (teens) will do what they want to do, use whatever products they like. But I’m not buying it for them. If they want that Crest toothpaste/Suave shampoo/Sunlight laundry detergent/etc, they can buy it themselves. I have the ingredients to make those products, and they are more than welcome to use what I’ve made, or make some for themselves, but I will not enable their penchants for blind self-destruction.
    I guess it’s a benefit being the highest ranking member of this family, but at least it’s not an autocratic family.

  4. Oh, Leslie! *huggles you* I know others have probably mentioned problems with their families too, but I feel as if you made this post especially for me (I did make a big stink about it the other day). *huggles you again*

    Either way, THANK YOU! It’s nice to know that there are OTHER people who support me, even if the grand’rents won’t.

    “Sneak It In, and THEN Have a Conversation”

    I tried this. It ended in tears, and shouts, and a lot of “WHY DON’T YOU EVER LISTEN TO ME?!” on both parts.

    My grandfather is strictly against all of it. He finds it “dirty.” And I believe I said this in a previous comment, but I firmly believe that his attitude is a result of the fact that he was part of the generation that was first introduced to the “modern” cleaning products, and so he thinks it’s “better and cleaner.” Of course, this is confusing in its own right, because he’s one of those people who believe that the woman’s job should be the home, cooking, cleaning, and children. He brushes me off whenever I tell him that I’m writing a book. Women don’t do that. -_-

    My grandmother is a strange one. She’s okay with some of the homemade household “products,” (don’t mention Soap Nuts to her because “that crap doesn’t work”), but she’s really against homemade personal care products, because it’s not “clean enough.”

    Even when presented with the facts, or even the “I’m an adult, and I can clean my self and my environment the way I want to,” they reply with the all-too-overused-line: “Our house, our rules.”

    I DID make some of the “fabric softener” to use, and I wasn’t argued with (too much). Maybe that’s a sign… *crosses fingers*

    *pulls on armor and marches forward into the vast, dark, and unforgivable world of independence*


  5. Brooke

    I haven’t really met a lot of resistance. My husband just rolls his eyes and said himself, “I just don’t ask anymore.” People that don’t know are totally shocked when I say I make my own products because surprisingly enough I don’t look different than when I didn’t make my own products. Well, except my hair with some shiny gray hairs because I still need to find some natural way to cover those up. =) My children are young enough to do what I say, so they use what I make because that is there option. I do buy my husband his shave gel, and shampoo, and deo. I know tho he has tried some of the homemade stuff more than once. He doesn’t hate it, but struggles because it isn’t what we are used too. I think there is a transition period. I am a go full steam ahead kinda person too, so I have to choose just one thing to do at a time because I would go wild and burn out as well. I have a made a ton of changes, and I plan to continue to make changes. I am so glad there are like minded people!

    • Manda

      ” Well, except my hair with some shiny gray hairs because I still need to find some natural way to cover those up. =)”

      Henna. If you don’t want to be fire red, henna and indigo. Just make sure you’re buying what is called “body art quality” not box henna “for hair”. It can contain nasty things because there is no regulation in the areas its made. Just google “henna for hair” and its a great resource. I started going gray at 20…trust me :)

  6. I concur with the “comfort zone” that everyone has brought up – I’m lucky enough that my husband is okay with most of the stuff I try (shower spray, baking soda replacing most of our cleaning products) and usually just laughs at the new experiments, butI know there are some things he would mutiny over. Such as his precious Gain. Should I even mention replacing it, there would be a coup, as long we were talking about his laundry. If it was for the dog stuff, no problem. That could be a method, if there’s just the one opponent – ease them into it by trying it on your clothes, then kids’ or pet stuff, and then theirs. If they never notice, you may never have to bring it up.

  7. Jen

    No one notices around here when I change the cleaning products because I’m the only one use uses them for the most part. My biggest problem especially with the personal care things are the smells. He’s not rude about it, but the other day he asked what I was using to clean my face because he didn’t care the the smell. It was jut OCM with lavender eo. I tried tee tree oil the other day, and I’m not going to lie, I that hate smell too. I also made some of the acne toner with ACV and my daughter asked why I smelled like salad. =/ I don’t think that they are going to be too crazy when I start doing the laundry different after I use up the products that I have.

  8. jill

    Such a good topic. I didn’t realize how many others struggle with their families. Some of the changes are easy. My husband doesn’t like change, so he uses his store bought deodorant, shave cream and other type things. This morning he says he accidentally knocked my basket of “toilet cloth” into the trash can. He yelled when I accidentally left a washcloth on the sink claiming he had no idea where I might have used it. It’s only because he shuts it all out. Very common for people in our age group, I get better reception from younger people. I’m 54 my husband almost 58. If I mention grass-fed or free range, or cod liver oil, or elderberry, or anything, the blank looks I get like I just said I was from Mars. The great thing, I am learning to not worry what others think, I have a grandbaby living here, and he is reaping all these benefits for the good. He loves his organic foods, and even though others give him things I would never give him at least I have him for most of the time. If he wants teddy grahams I can offer him carrot muffins and he’s just as happy. He loves when “mama” cooks and can’t wait to sample my foods. For those with the teens, yep, it’s difficult, just set the example and they will figure it out eventually and start coming to you for advice for whatever ails them. My young adults act like they are shutting down, but they do show up for advice and I tell them different options, side effects etc. and leave the decisions up to them. As a pp said, let them spend their own money on their own things if they don’t like what’s offered.

  9. No crunchophobes here, though I can’t get Ken to try the homemade deo. I will admit I had to go to a store bought skin care system. It’s temperary. I was in bad shape and nothing was working.

    I think my main reason is sustainability, being able to create it myself without a huge amount of waste.

  10. Beth

    ok… not the place to put this but where is the crunchy community?!… I have a crunchy, off topic question and need a spot to put it! HELP!!

    • Crunchy Betty

      That, my dear, is a VERY good question. I had to pull the community, because my current host is stinky and couldn’t handle all the requests, so the site just kept going down for hours at a time. I don’t know what to do at this point, because I REALLY want it back, but that means switching hosts and getting a bigger, more expensive plan. And, unfortunately, we just can’t afford that right now, and I’m too shy to try to make much money off the blog. Sob story, I know. But I was thinking about putting up a little donation button so everyone could pitch in – if they wanted the community back (and for CrunchyBetty not to be down so stinking much). I dunno … any other ideas?

  11. I guess I’m pretty lucky that my dh is fairly open minded and used to me doing all kinds of “experiments”, lol. He LOVES the homemade deodorant, which we’ve both been using for about a year now. Seriously, he has commented to me several times how much better it works for him than the store bought stuff.

    I decided to go out on a limb and make my dad some homemade cleaning products as part of his Christmas gift this past year, thinking I was probably pushing it and that he might not be too impressed (he’s not exactly into “green” or “natural” stuff). I ended up being very pleasantly surprised – he really loved it, and was so impressed that I had made them myself. He even commented on how wonderful they smelled :) So, you just never know who might be receptive to making some changes – don’t assume you’re going to meet with resistance and you might end up being as surprised as I was!

  12. I absolutely love reading everything you write! You are funny and your recipes and ideas are fantastic! I only use essential oil scented baking soda for deodorant…baking soda and water instead of shampoo…with a vinegar and honey rinse. Even my kids…20, 18 and 9 are starting to try this weird stuff that Mom is doing…and they like it! Keep doing what you are doing…you are amazing!

  13. Manda

    When informing my husband that I wanted to go to the art and farmers market, get a CSA, buy a divacup, and had made my own deodorant…the response was:

    “Whats with you going all ultra hippie lately…you’re more hippie than normal”

    “Well, I care about what I put on and in my body. I know you’re not concerned (in a non-condescending manner which is super important with him if he thinks you’re being passive agressive he’ll tune you out) about that sort of stuff. For you, I’m also trying to be more frugal (to call him scrooge is an understatement)…Why do you not like it?”

    “Doesn’t bother me….just curious”

    I’m convinced one of these days enough will be enough and he’ll snap. LOL Poor guy. He grew up with a relatively crunchy mom, so while some things seem normal…the rest make him feel like he married a “dirty hippie” (a loving and truly joking nickname for me). He doesn’t like the smell of tea tree oil though. He can always tell when I’ve used it, and his face is funny when he gets a whiff.

    My parents…well they love it, but don’t have time to make it themselves.

  14. i have a problem like this, just my job is to convince my parents, for i am still under 18. my parents are letting me do stuff like no ‘poo as long as i don’t do the same thing to my sister’s hair. They have been buying more organic stuff, but there’s a difference to buying commercial organic to making it. Buy the way, This is a bit of a random, but I think i figured out a way to make homemade sunscreen. Black tea, Sesame Oil,Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, raspberry seed oil, and Aloe Vera are good for protection from the sun, so why not mix it all togather? Like the deo recipe, you can add a bit of bee’s wax to solidify it and it might work as a sunscreen stick. Some one please try it out and tell me what happens!

  15. i have a problem like this, just my job is to convince my parents, for i am still under 18. my parents are letting me do stuff like no ‘poo as long as i don’t do the same thing to my sister’s hair. They have been buying more organic stuff, but there’s a difference to buying commercial organic to making it. Buy the way, This is a bit of a random, but I think i figured out a way to make homemade sunscreen. Black tea, Sesame Oil,Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, raspberry seed oil, and Aloe Vera are good for protection from the sun, so why not mix it all together? Like the deo recipe, you can add a bit of bee’s wax to solidify it and it might work as a sunscreen stick. Some one please try it out and tell me what happens! Warning: i haven’t tried this yet!

    • Kjoy1148

      Good idea about the sunscreen. Another fantastic tip I’ve heard of is cod-liver oil. I’ve got a friend who never uses sunscreen, she instead takes cod liver oil supplements. She used to burn really easily in the sun but then she started using the supplements and now she doesn’t! I was out in the garden with her all day and she wasn’t burned at all…and she’s got super fair skin just like me! I want to try it out, though there isn’t much point for me right now since I’m in grey, cloudy Seattle. :P

    • Caryl_T

      The thing with the black tea that might be hard, is the fact that if you have to steep it to get the benefits of it, well you are then just mixing water and oil…which do not mix at all.  The black tea steeped might mix better if you add an emulsifying wax…not beeswax.  Now if you are talking about just adding the dry tea to the oil, then my concern would be that you would not extract any of the valuable properties of the black tea. Just some thoughts.  I have not made this.  The rest of the ingredients should work well together.

  16. Minipink212

    You know what is really frustrating? The fact that I
    spent forever making our laundry soap, wet and dry, as well as fabric softener.
    My grandmother just nods like I’m psycho and goes out and buys her brand (that
    smells awful and works half as well as mine) that costs triple the amount of
    what I just made! She even stated how lovely her clothes feel and smell – and
    then just goes out and does the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do here.
    Any tips on how to instill the crunchyness into my stubborn grandmother?

    • melissa

      i’d say give her a gift of it. just a little bottle say “here this i just a little somthing i thought you might want to try

  17. Sar Belanger

    Oh my goodness. I love this blog and you should know that this is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. I have been switching the things in our home and my husband has been fighting me EVERY step of the way. It’s like he has a moral issue with “crunchiness”. I switched to almond milk, and he (who doesn’t even drink milk) makes sure to buy a jug to have in the fridge “just in case” and it inevitably goes bad. I am going CRAZY! He insists that I can do things my way but he doesn’t want it to affect him in any way possible. So I can’t get rid of the crazy chemical cleaning stuff /incase/ he decides he wants to clean something at some point.
    Did this turn into a mini rant? I think it did.
    WHAT DO I DO?!

  18. Ivarpatrizi

    I have to say that I am just beginning my journey to become a crunchy mama!! With absolutely no support from anyone. I just figure that I would set the example and start making changes (secret changes) and see what happens. Once I start to get the hang of things, then I will have a family discussion with the hubby…. My biggest hangup is our super tight budget!!

  19. Jamie

    I started making my own household cleaners (like laundry detergent and all-purpose cleaner and such) out of a desire to be more frugal. It has kind of morphed into being frugal and being natural (less chemicals). When I switched our daughter into cloth diapers, my DH told people that he couldn’t wait for someone to invent a diaper you could just throw away after using. Ha ha. He got laughs on it a few times, but people usually congratulated me on the move. My mom has been uber supportive of everything and helps me buy ingredients so I can make stuff for her all the time. He doesn’t complain much about anything, but is rather attached to his shampoo and other toiletries. He is adamantly opposed to family cloth, although he could care less if I use it for me and our daughter (who is now almost finished with potty learning – Yay!). So, a few months into all this experimenting and making and cleaning for the sake of testing (which he likes), I caught him bragging about my laundry detergent the other day and listing several reasons why he likes it better than the commercial stuff! And cost wasn’t mentioned! I had to pick my jaw up off the floor! But I just smiled at him and said nothing. He has even been receptive to me making some homemade cleaners/products for family Christmas this year, which I am already planning for. It will be way cheaper to make and ship rather than purchase unneeded items and ship. So he seems okay with it for now. **fingers crossed he stays that way**

  20. Pascy

    I suddenly switched to natural cleaning products and my husband was pretty neutral about it. Two weeks ago I decided to go the no-poo route and sorted through the hair-cleaning products. Because I didn’t want to force him to do anything he hadn’t signed up for, I asked him what he used on his head in order to keep it in the shower. To my surprise, he sheepishly replied: “Nothing… I just use water.” “Since when??” “Since forever.”
    I <3 my crunchy hubby.

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