Wednesday, 3 April 2013

I am Earth Mother

Earth Mother is like Zen Mother: I get to brag about how I'm preserving the world for my son's son's sons (whilst being totally calm and "in the moment"). In truth, the reasons for doing many things that could pass as sustainable living are not as selfless as they appear. I have found that since O has come into our lives  there are a great many things that I now do that could be considered green living. Here a few things that I can claim, with  confession attached...

  1. Cloth nappies: Have you seen the cost of disposables? Pfft. That's money I could be spending on shoes! Sure, the outlay for fluffies is high, but you can use them til toilet training, and for subsequent kidlets who may come along. You can even sell them on, if your husband hasn't washed the covers with something grey, turning the lovely white piping  gross, left-the-water-in-the-sink-too-long colour.
  2. Soap nuts: They're nature's clothes wash, but I like them because I get to make jokes about nuts. Seriously. Nuts. In the wash. Soap nuts. Come on, surely you can think of a few gags yourself? 
  3. Short showers: A cliche, I know, but it's true: once you become a parent, the days of luxuriating in a hot shower are over. These days it's an every other day, no frills brush with running water.
  4. Re-purposed goods: Someone gave us a Diaper Genie, which had been given to them, which had been given to those who has given it to them, and so on for all eternity until you can trace it back to the poor sucker who bought it in the first place (likely some well-meaning relative). These things are like heirlooms, except no-one uses them. And no-one wants to throw them away, because there's enough plastic in there to make a small Japanese car. So mine is going to be turned into a compost bin, not because I want to save the planet, but because why buy fertiliser when you can make it? And I am determined to use that damn Diaper Genie for something!
  5. Second hand baby clothes: Clothing is so abundant these days, you can virtually afford to throw it away when you tire of it (note: not advocating throwing away clothing). This bothers me, but piles of clothes in landfill isn't really the issue, although that does suck. The problem is that before your bubba has a chance to stain a onesie, he's grown out of it! So why buy new, when you can buy almost new for about 1/10 the cost. Leave the "squeal! Cute!" purchases to friends and family.
  6. Growing my own food: I've never been much of a green thumb, and my garden isn't anything brag about, but we have a few herbs and some spinach and mini capsicums. This little patch of land does more for my sanity than our grocery bill, but I'm okay with that. I'm not entirely sure what to use sage for anyway.
  7. Banning junk mail: Reading catologues online is way easier than paper ones when I'm nursing O at 3am. There's also this cool little "add to cart" button that's fun to click...
  8. Buying local: Avoiding massive chains and supporting the little guy is great, but to be honest, if it was a Coles rather than a little family-run fruit and veg that was within walking distance, I'd be shopping there. Sorry, mom and pop.
  9. Walking rather than driving: The car used to get my son to sleep, but the magical powers have worn off. Fortunately, the pram still works, so we go for little jaunts around the neighbourhood, usually stopping long enough for me to order a "nah, have-here should be okay" coffee before he wakes and wants out.
  10. Everyday items as toys: yesterday, O spent 10 minutes examining my foot. Cheap, easy, portable, non-gender specific, and BPA free. Lets see you do that, Fischer Price.

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