When Green Becomes Envious

Before we found out I was pregnant with our first child, I had already decided I was going to cloth diaper.  It was a cheaper, healthier, and greener option.  My mind was made up.  I quickly found myself overwhelmed by a whole new world of AIO’s, Hybrids, Pockets, Hemp, Cotton, Prefolds, BumGenius, Happy Heinys and the list continues.  So many choices, so many options.  I made my choice, which didn’t work out exactly right for us, so I sold those diapers and started fresh with a system that suits us better.  Still I look at cloth diaper sites.  I want to try new covers, I want to try new styles, and new brands. Recently Thirsties, the brand of diaper cover we use, came out with a new color and a new print – both of which I LOVE.  And, you guessed it, I’m already trying to come up with reasons to get them. The thing is – we don’t really need them.  We need a few more small inserts, but aside form those, we have everything we need to get Samuel and any other children we have in the future through their diapering years. Why do I try to continually come up with reasons to try the cutest new designs or even new (to me) cloth diapering systems all together?

If I follow my rules of stewardship, most of the time the answer is clear – I shouldn’t buy whatever item I want. Not only that, but continually buying new diapers negates two of the three reasons I started using cloth.  The first is cost.  If I keep buying, there will come a point when the cost savings just aren’t there. Secondly, if I continue to buy diapers I don’t need I am contributing to unnecessary production, increasing the amount of space needed to live (and store my possessions), producing more waste, and ultimately decreasing the eco-friendliness of my choice.

So, how do I change this?  How do I become content with things that aren’t sparkly and new?  How do I even measure what I need vs. what I want, and when is it okay to get something new just for fun? Where do I focus my energies when I become envious and covet new things that will make my life “simpler” and “greener”, especially when I don’t really need them?

I don’t have all the answers. I wish I could just make up my mind to be content with what I have.  But I think there is more to it than that.  I recently saw a documentary in which a mother and daughter went to India to teach some children English.  The Indian children had so little, yet they were quite happy with what they had.  The mother asked one of the women why they were so happy, why they didn’t want more.  The woman’s answer was profound “Everything is there.  We have food. We have clothes. We have house.  What more could we ask for?”

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~Matthew 6:19-21

What do you think?  How can we learn to be content with little in a culture that tells us we need a lot?

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