Author Archives: Darcy Cronin

About Darcy Cronin

I'm a Mother/Coach/Blogger/Business Adventurer from Portland OR. My family consists of my Hubby of 12 years, our 8yo Kieran, 5yo Makenna, and 1yo Teagan. I love dreaming about a better future, and making it happen.

Pop Culture

For better and worse, pop culture is part of American society. Culture unconsciously shapes what we value, and how we feel about the environment and each other. In part pop culture has created a demand for “bling” and a desire for materialism. Yes, I grew up when Madonna’s Material Girl was on the lips of every girl.


So, without getting too heavy on you, I want to share a fun little video of a Ben Lee song called I Love Pop Culture. The lyrics include references to global warming and consumption, and yet it is so upbeat that you can hardly help but smile. I couldn’t get a grin off my face the first time I heard it. I hope this makes your day. 🙂





Do you think pop culture can spur sustainability?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Blue Sky & Smart Energy

Each month we choose to put our money where our mouth is by opting in to our local power utilities’ renewal power option. The Blue Sky program helps purchase renewable power projects that would otherwise come from non-renewable sources, like coal. 


The program is tiered with support levels to chose from. It’s not going to bust your budget, my last bill added $4, but it does help support projects that wouldn’t be possible without such voluntary demand.


For us the grid doesn’t end with power, since our home is heating by natural gas. NW Natural has a newer Smart Energy program, where I you can offset all of your usage by sponsoring a new biogas plant to turn cow patties into . When you sign up they have an estimator tool to be able to see how much it would add to your bill, ours will add about $7. It will actually probably be less, since we just completed our Clean Energy Works insulation project.




The Oregonian’s PDX Green blog just wrote about why it’s an easy and important step toward reducing our collective carbon footprint. I love that she managed to sign up with a pleading child in the background; I can relate. I’m not condoning putting your “green” needs before your child’s, but your children will thank you.

Do you participate in voluntary programs?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Baby Biking

I took a baby step toward reducing our carbon footprint while enjoying some family time by finally mounting a baby seat to my bike for the Sunday Parkways event. When Girly began waving her hands as the wind blew her curls, I instantly wished that I would have broke down and got a seat years ago…here’s my saga.


For whatever reason, I always felt like I needed to get some expensive trailer to hit the bike lane with a child. Then when we were thinking of number two, I suddenly “needed” a double bike trailer. Then when our BigGuy got truly bigger, I thought to myself that we could only manage with a tag-along bike. Then a sales guy almost had me sold on buying a xtracycle, which is terrific for cargo commuting, but no necessary for green recreation.


Yet, I wasn’t quite ready to lay down a ton of cash just for a cruise with the kiddos. I also kept assuming that somehow I’d come across the perfect kid-bike gear at a yard sale, or Craigslist or as a hand-me-down. Yet, nothing seemed to give.


So, I finally checked out how much a simple new baby bike seat would cost me, turns out they are $28! I have no knowledge about the story of how it was created. Yes, it is plastic and made in China, but I hope it will have a long happy life as a baby bike seat! But I finally decided that I couldn’t stay stuck in my effort for a sustainable life.


Do you have a good family bicycle option?
Do you get stuck trying to “sustainable” purchases?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Sunday Parkways

Three summers ago, the City of Portland’s bureau of transportation went out on a limb and decided to throw a big party in the streets, but they didn’t invite any cars! Sunday Parkways are modeled from events in Columbia and Europe, where they close down the streets to bicyclists, jogging, skaters…just no cars allowed. The first year the route went right past our house, and we threw a barbeque for friends and co-workers to stop by en route. Plus, I volunteered and played in the park with our Big Guy. This is the definition of frugal family fun.


The idea has taken root, and this year there will be five Sunday Parkway events, and our family is planning to go to them all. It’s become a total community event, and I only wish we still lived on a route. Here’s a little video to hear the whole story and get a glimpse of the party: 





In case you’re feeling a little left out if you’re not from Portland, plant the seed in your community and soon you may be celebrating in the streets too!


Have you been to a Sunday Parkway?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Piles up quick

After two weekends away from the house, my focus this week is on simply refocusing. I don’t know about your house, but even though we are constantly tidying up, the piles still mound. 


I have to take some of the blame, because I’m a natural “piler,” while Hubby wants to have a clear deck. It’s part of our chaordic harmony. Just because I’ve come to terms with my stacking ways, doesn’t mean that I let them run my life.


So I’ve taken a little time each evening to work on updating my new family budget, which has already helped to reduce the piles…I still haven’t gotten away from those darn receipts yet! I do have to say that even as a self-proclaimed stacker, there is still a certain satisfaction in recycling an overdue stack.  


But I decided that I needed a bit some fresh ideas. Here is the best articles I found from the Creative Mama about creating small clip boards to stay organized. I’m going to give it a try, because even though I’ve used folders for years they can feel too out of site.



How do you maintain your piles?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.