Thursday, January 20, 2011

sustainababy

I like the earth.
I like that it is green and blue.

It seems like people mess up this green and blue balance a bit. We over use, under recycle and waste like there is no tomorrow. I am not innocent of any of these things.
I'm going to have a baby soon. Babies use up a lot of stuff.
Here are some ways I am going to try and reduce my little ones teeny tiny carbon footprint.

1. Cloth Nappies.

What a fantastic invention is the modern cloth nappy. Gone are the days of terry towell and safety pins, hello velcro/snap fastners and groovy prints and colours.
Sure they do need to be washed which uses water but when you think about the water that goes into making and disposing of the other kind of nappy it works out much better in the end.

They also end up being much cheaper in the long run not to mention absolutely adorable. You can also go cloth on things like baby wipes, breast pads and the like.

I could even go totally green and practice Elimination Communication or start my potty training really early.



2. Go Handmade

I'm a bit of a crafter. Have made a few things for the little one already. Here, here and here. I'm going to be making a whole lot more. You can make things for your baby out of old adult clothes by recycling the fabric. T-shirts into onesies or trackpants. Not only is this cheap and good for the environment but it is also ethical as many cheaper clothing brands are only cheap because they don't pay their workers well.

If you can't manage to sew then go second hand. Most babies don't wear clothes long enough to wear them out. You can also go second hand on cots (as long as they still fit safety regulation) and other baby furniture.

3. Make use of the Library.

Books are great and wonderful and I love them so much. But they are made out of trees and those trees come from somewhere.

While I intend to have a good collection of literature for the babe there is no reason why some or most of those books can't come from the library. We are lucky enough to have a library five minutes walk from our door which is stacked with great children's books, games and toys.

Myl and I already loan books and dvd's from there for us. I'll definately be paying them many a visit.

4. Chemical free baby products.

It is a little scary to realise just how many chemicals are in the products we use every day. Soap, shampoo, moisturiser and cleaning products are full of weird ingredients. Just what is cocamidipropyl?

It's amazing how much cleaning you can do with vinegar or bi-carb soda and where there isn't a cleaner/product that you can find in your pantry there are many organic, chemical free baby soaps out there on the market. Much better for the environment and baby's sweet skin.

5. Organic baby food.

I am so looking forward to starting the little one on solids.

Yes I know this is at least 9 months away but I think it will be so exciting to create beautiful meals then puree them for her tasting pleasure. I've always been a bit confused by the multitude of pre tinned baby food. I'm sure there is some reason for it but how easy can a bit of pumpkin mash in a sealable container be? Make 10, freeze them and use as needed??

And how could I forget the best organic food of all? Breastmilk. Save money on all that formula and bottles and give little one all the nutrients she needs.


6. Less toys, better toys.
There are so many horrible plastic toys out there nowerdays. How many toys can a kid play with. I guess the answer is about a billion but how many do they need? I really love making my own softies and will be making some for the little one.
Wooden toys are also better for the environment than their plastic counterparts. They last longer and give children better imaginations. I can remember playing for hours in the plastics cupboard or with a drumkit made out of pots and pans.

7. Sling it.

There are loads of busses in my area. There are loads of places I can walk to. I drive the car far too much because it is so much easier. It's better for the planet (and my behind) if I get out and walk. I can pop the little on in a sling or pram and off we go.

Here is a really fantastic blog dedicated to keeping your baby home as good for the environment as it can be.

3 comments:

  1. Hm, yeah, Elimination Communication, good luck with that ;)

    I love your approach Rin. Even if we're never completely successful with finding a perfect balance between sustaining the world and sustaining ourselves, it makes such a difference to try and do our best.

    You know I <3 modern cloth nappies. You can be even greener by washing them with soap nuts (http://www.soapinanutshell.com.au/) which are better for the nappies anyway. Never had much success with cloth breast pads but cloth wipes are SOOO much more effective than disposable ones -we've gotten along easily for nearly 2 years with just 24 imse vimse cotton wipes!

    Second hand everything is the bomb. eBay is awesome for baby and toddler clothes, toys and books; you can often buy bulk lots of great stuff super cheap - we got one box of toys that didn't even cost as much for the whole box, as even one of they toys would have been new!

    But don't beat yourself up if you want to buy some sweet new things, either - they'll get plenty of use from your little girl, and then hopefully from any siblings to follow, and then when you're all finished with everything you can sell them or pass them on. It's all part of the use and re-use cycle, baby :)

    Don't even get me started on chemicals in cosmetic and body products. I can't believe what they get away with convincing us to put on our skin! Although we have had to compromise on a couple of things (eczema and nappy rash sometimes need serious chemistry) for the most part we've gotten away with nothing more than Gaia Baby wash, shampoo and moisturiser; and some paw paw ointment (don't buy the one in the red tub as it's full of petrochemicals - Simmons or phytocare are better).

    As for baby food I just have 3 little words for you to google: Baby Led Solids... a lazy mum's (i.e. my) best friend!

    Here endeth my lecture. Go forth my beauty, and procreate sustainably!! :)

    xx

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  2. It is a curious reality that a cupboard full of pots and pans is much more fun that the most expensive, educationally designed toy. A cupboard of plastic containers is pretty exciting too, but not as noisy.

    After half an hour of carrying a baby in a sling, a pram looks good. After an hour of walking around shops, a pram is even better - especially if you are trying to have a cup of tea.

    Don't make it too hard on yourself. There is a reason for labour saving devices.

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  3. I love all of these ideas! I really want to be better about our cleaning supplies, too! I finally ran out of the chemical ridden 409 a few weeks back and have been using Murchinson-Hume since (I got it on super sale at my store)! It's so much better!

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