How to be a sustainable parent
Global warming -
With global warming wreaking havoc across the planet, sustainability is a hot topic and at the forefront of many people’s minds.
Good intentions -
Many of us try to live as sustainably as possible, for example by limiting our energy consumption and buying as responsibly as we can.
Time-poor parents -
And there is perhaps no demographic that is more time and energy poor than parents, particularly those who are working and who have young children.
Diaper materials -
Most diapers are made of two non-biodegradable materials: a polyethylene waterproof back layer, and a polypropylene inner layer.
Bound for landfill -
This means that when they ultimately end up in the landfill, they will remain there for a whopping 500 years or more.
How to fix the problem -
But what exactly can be done about this? Kids need diapers; short of having fewer children, we cannot reduce demand for the product.
The caveat -
Parents should remember, however, that reusable diapers must be washed at 60°C in order to kill bacteria, and machines should not be overfilled.
Proven problem -
Indeed, research has shown that having to wash reusable diapers in a certain way can actually negate their positive environmental impact entirely.
Partly biodegradable -
None of the biodegradable diapers on the market are completely biodegradable (nor do they claim to be).
Difficulties with decomposition -
And the ones with the higher percentages of biodegradable materials need very specific conditions in order to biodegrade.
Ending up in landfill -
As a result, the majority of these eco-nappies end up in landfill, where they are unable to decompose due to conditions created to prevent decomposition.
Cooking at home -
Ditching the ready-to-eat meals and taking to the stove is a good way to reduce plastic consumption, as well as save yourself a few bucks!
Buy secondhand -
Resisting the temptation and the pressure to buy everything shiny and new, however, is one of the best sustainable choices we can make.
Travel sustainably -
Then there’s sustainable travel. If your kids are a little older, this is a great way to teach them about the environment, while having a lot of fun.
Do green laundry -
And finally there’s washing in a green way. Of course, laundry is unavoidable, and when you have kids it comes in bucket loads thick and fast.