Have You Discovered Your Elimination Communication Confidence?

How Green Is Your Nappy?

How Green Is Your Nappy?

Can You Help Slow Global Warming With Your Diaper Choices?

YES YOU CAN. (and it is much easier than you may think)

You can reduce the carbon impact of your baby’s first years with some simple ‘green’ choices. Go on a ‘carbon diet’ regularly, and take a ‘carbon fast’ now and then. The environment, your baby, and your budget will thank you.

Babies, the newest members of the human race, are huge producers of waste in our society; requiring some 5000 nappy changes from birth until ‘potty training’, they generate some 1750 kilos of waste if only in disposable nappies during that time. There is a large carbon impact from all this waste, and these diapers can then take reputedly up to 500 years to decompose – potentially contaminating groundwater and the environment with harmful chemicals – ICK.

BUT… there is a role for us as parents to play in reducing the ‘ecological footprint’ of our babies. As we collectively strive to reduce our household ‘carbon impact’ in many areas of our lives, we can also achieve this with our baby. These changes will add up.

We may feel our personal choices can make little difference, but they do – collectively, they make a REAL difference, with each of us going on a diaper use ‘carbon diet’ now and then. Keep in mind what Margaret Mead said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

That group of committed citizens in this case is parents protecting the environment for the future. Together, our individual choices add up to help the future of our world, even in the mundane area of nappy options…

Join the “Green Nappy” Challenge.

There are everyday, simple strategies that we can adopt which don’t actually make much difference to our lifestyles, things we can do now and then, on weekends or when at home with our baby. All you need is a flexible approach to diapering – taking the ‘greener’ options whenever it suits your situation.

Engage in some mitigation to reduce the carbon emissions generated in your home:

“The first line of attack in battling global warming, mitigation is the business of preventing excess carbon dioxide from being released.” TIME Magazine, April 9, 2007 ‘The Global Warming Survival Guide’

So, what ‘reduced carbon’ choices can YOU make? How can you prevent some carbon dioxide from being released, or reduce the levels produced in your own home?

I have a dozen suggestions for you. The options range from ideas that represent a ‘carbon diet’- (reduced carbon emissions compared to full disposable nappies 24/7), to a complete ‘carbon fast’ – NO emissions at all for stretches of the day.

Mull them over and consider putting a few into practice now and then.

Now and then will make a difference. You can do now and then easily…

You don’t need to do them all today – experiment with a few ideas; keep them in mind over time. As these ideas become normal to you, you will start to naturally do them; they will become part of your lifestyle. You’ll be doing your bit for the Earth. Consider embracing any of these options as a gift you are making to the future.

7 Green Diaper Suggestions:

  1. Investigate ‘ECO’ disposables – biodegradable paper diapers – their environmental impact is lower – buy a pack now and then. Up to 80% of their materials are compostible – provided they are not thrown out in plastic bags, of course. Also, do try out generic brand nappies – less overall environmental impact from expensive packaging and advertising, and more economical, too.
  2. Use cloth covers with disposable inserts, such as the G Diaper System or the Eenee Weenee System. Better still, combine with washable inserts.
  3. Use cloth diapers some times, perhaps on weekends or when at home with baby. Cloth uses up to 2.5 times less resources than disposables. Buying a few Modern Cloth Nappies made by a local work at home mum supports local businesses, reduces carbon emissions used in the creation and transport of products, plus they can be used over several children then re-sold, being even more ‘green’.
  4. Use traditional ‘flat’ or ‘prefold’ nappies under training pants or a nappy cover now and then. Learn more about types of cloth nappies here.
  5. Have your pre-crawling baby diaper-free on a towel now and then – it is an item you already have at home, it is easily washable, and costs nothing – an easy ‘carbon diet’ strategy. Baby can flap around on their belly while you give them a calming massage or kick their legs freely with no nappy on.
  6. A toddler can wear washable training pants at certain times at home as they don’t pee so often, and the waterproof pants, available for a few dollars, prevent puddles as you save money, and the Earth.
  7. In warm weather have your toddler roam the backyard diaper-free, like our grannies used to do – they get to understand their bodies faster, too.

The most environmentally friendly and economical nappy is the one you never use.

So, which one can you do from today? Each small effort is something. I’m sure the Earth, our babies, our budgets and our consciences will thank us all for our small efforts.

My Story:

Something I want to do for the environment of the future, the world my son will live in, is to minimize the amount of carbon waste I produce in his earliest days. I did a lot of thinking about my own choices, explored options and considered where I could make a difference.

So, I learnt about and practiced EC, “Elimination Communication”. We used nappies only part time from our son’s birth, gradually reducing them over time, then replacing them totally with washable training pants until he began using regular pants in his second year, and became toilet independent after turning two years old.

We used a cloth diaper service at first (saving our time as we learnt his non verbal signs for needing to go), disposable diapers when we went out, on weekends and for breaks, then using generic nappies as soon as they would fit.

By the time he was six months old we were using home made, partly recycled, puddle-proof training pants – kind of like padded knickers – until he / we didn’t need them anymore. This isn’t to brag – it’s to show that if I can do it, so can you.

The process was great fun, we learnt a lot, we saved a fortune, I felt fabulous that we have created such a small “ecological footprint” from his first years on earth. We have a wonderfully close connection with our son thanks in part to practicing EC with him, experienced many daily rewards as he slowly and naturally attained toilet independence at his own, unique pace.

Have Fun Connecting,

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