Monday, 9 May 2011

Going green

It's not easy being green
One of my concerns when Marty arrived was how “green” we were going to be as parents. I just don’t like ‘disposable’ whether it’s razor blades or shopping bags; you use it a few times, throw it away, and it spends the next 1000 years in a land fill site. It might provide endless fascination for future archaeologists but it's astonishingly wasteful.
That said we now have a poo-machine in the family; a tiny creature cunningly designed by nature to defecate and urinate on an almost continuous basis. It is not unknown for me to change a nappy and have barely got the new one on before he’s farted for Britain and I’m fetching a replacement.

At the current rate Marty is going to need his own Landfill site before the year is out and sadly he is not alone; in the USA they go through 20 billion disposable diapers a year! Not only is that a very big number all by itself but it can take 500 years for a disposable nappy to degrade. 500 lots of 20 billion! That's almost as much as a bankers bonus! All in all, if we don't change our ways we're looking at our children growing up in a world of nappy mountains – the vast windswept 'Pampers' to the south, the rugged 'Huggies' range to the north.
But I do not want to spend the next 3 years – or how ever long this is going to last – knee deep in poo-plastered cotton towelling and living in a house that smells of week old urine.
So what do you do? Well, as Kermit said "It's not easy being green", whilst there are a number of ‘green’ nappies out there - most of which involve a washable outer covering and a disposable liner, some of which are even flushable or compostable - they are not cheap. Some just plainly cost a fortune, others aren't too bad but do involve a fairly large initial outlay and, when you’re as stony broke as we are, that’s a bit of a barrier.
Why is it that the leading manufacturers can’t produce a nappy that’s biodegradable and cheap? Surely making something out of a petroleum product is expensive and making it out of a recycled, degradable product is cheap?.... Obviously it isn’t but it certainly should be and I suspect it would be if the big manufacturers pulled their collective fingers out and actually took a proactive lead on these matters.
The other green area we’re going to be looking at over the coming months is food; do you buy baby food or do you make your own from organic foods? Fortunately we both like cooking so I think we’ll at least try the cook-your-own stuff.
On the organic front you only have to look at the amount of pesticides and heavy metals most of us now carry in our bodies to realise that it’s probably a good idea to buy organic when it comes to the little fella.
I dare say Jeremy Clarkson would disagree but then he’s become so mutated by petrol and pesticides that he now talks out of his arse, and apparently has done for some time!

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