The day that I went to the screening of The Clean Bin Project, I had the opportunity to speak with Jen before the screening began. We talked about the blog, the movie and some of the things that we both did, and some that one or the other of us hadn't been doing, or had never even thought of. As I was explaining the possibility that I might start making my own deodorant, Jen looked at me and said, "You ARE a granola! But you don't look like one." This was a tremendous compliment, but to understand why, I should give you some background information on what it means (to me) to be a granola.
When I was in high school, I went through the first of my granola phases when I stopped doing anything with my hair, became vegetarian, stopped shaving and was frequently caught washing my hair with a bar of soap. Oh, I also spent much of my time acquiring second hand clothes, and not nice-fitting, remotely flattering ones. One day I was hanging around with a friend from California, who had another friend from his hometown visiting, and my friend asked his friend, "Doesn't she remind you of one of the dirty hippies from home?" I asked for clarification and he said, "Our hometown is full of granola-crunching hippies." So the expression was borne. I am not 100% sure that most people would refer to another person as a granola, but I do find that if I refer to someone as one, people tend to get what I mean.
The interesting thing about Jen's comment at the screening, is that I am now a secret granola. I never fully abandoned my granola roots, but I certainly started paying more attention to how I looked and dressed, got a professional job and generally went about living a fairly mainstream lifestyle. I think the difference between my first and second phases of being a granola was that when I was in high school I was a granola just for the sake of being a granola. I didn't have a reason for these outward manifestations other than pure disenchantment. Now, I am a granola in a different way: now it is because I care so much about the environment. I think that has allowed my granola-ness to remain fairly secret. People don't look at me and think, "That woman makes her own deodorant, bread, ice cream and butter." I love that. I would never want anyone to look at me and think that I smell. Unfortunately people are judgmental and we can't help but buy into stereotypes. The more people like me and you embrace their inner granola, the better chance we have of making a difference!