Thoughts on Green(ish) Parenting

Being somewhat of a hippy one tries hard to reduce the impact one is having on that poor old chap the environment.

Well, I bloody would if it was a bit easier. In our house what we want to do to reduce that impact and what we actually do are two completely different things. For a start there's the recycling.

We collect all manner of plastics, paper, card, glass and food waste all to be taken away and turned into other things. Or at least it would be turned into other things if the local council took most of it. Yes they take plastic, paper and glass each week and they have even given out small boxes to put them in, although invariably those boxes will always be overflowing by the time they are due to be put out.

Except even that's not how it happens in our house. We don't have those boxes. I don't know why we don't have those boxes but I do know it's our own fault really as we could easily call the council and ask for new ones. It's just one of those things that we just never get round to, like cleaning out the study, it can wait till next week. In our house it all gets stored up until I can't take anymore and throw it all in the car and drive it to the local recycling center.

Straight away there goes a little bit of hippyness. I'm using a) fuel that doesn't need to be used as the council will drive round and collect the stuff and b) fuel I can barely afford. Factor in all the nasty chemicals that our car spews out and then the resources and carbon used to keep the recycling center running plus the time wasted and ... well, now I should be feeling so guilty that I start flogging myself on a daily basis. I would if I was a better person.

But that's all day to day stuff that even a non-parent would have to deal with, and we did deal with that kind of thing before becoming parents. Now that the munchkin is here we have other things to consider when it comes to environmentalism and general 'being a hippy'.

So, what do we do for the environment as parents?

Reuseable nappies? No thanks, the water and electric bill after cleaning nappies until baby is out of them would be astronomical, not to mention the environmental impact of all that extra washing. We use disposable nappies but don't like the idea that much as, like radiation, they have a half life of a few thousand years. So instead we had a look around and chose to use the Nature Babycare ones as they are 100% biodegradable. They are made from, among other things, maize (the entire sweetcorn plant, if you didn't know what it was).

We also use the same breed of nappy sacks which are also biodegradable and then there's all the shampoo and baby hot wax (or whatever some of that stuff is) that the wife bought. All of their products are good for the environment so that makes them about the best brand a hippy parent could buy. Or any parent for that matter. After all, what is the point in having a child if you are just helping to destroy the world it has to live in?

Another thing that makes them good is that they're cheaper than other brands. No really, they are. Go check your local shops.

(I should point out that I have no affiliation with the company and they're not paying me to write good stuff about them. Which is a shame.)

Another way of helping the environment and being green is looking at what food you eat and where it is sourced. If I had my way everyone would grow their own veg and learn to forage in the hedgerows and fields, but that is a rant for another day.

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