I’m curious, does the threat of climate change put you off having children?
As you may know, I have two children, so obviously the threat of the climate change hasn’t personally put me off having kids, but I’m wondering if it has put you off?
As environmentalists ourselves, my partner and I do worry about what the future holds. We are keen to teach our kids about good environmental stewardship, such as the need for composting, recycling, reducing our plastic consumption, not using the car when we don’t need to, and other things that help the environment. We’re also keen to teach them key skills, such as learning to grow your own food.
Where our worry has led us down the teaching route, this worry about the future has led to some people abstaining from having kids all together. I came across this article from 2016 in Vice (there is some bad language there, in case you are offended), where Harriet Spark says her “reasoning for abstaining from having children is two-fold: She does not want to contribute to pre-existing resource depletion by adding another human to this planet, and she does not want to bring a child into a world she sees as doomed”.
“It sounds dramatic, but I’m just being realistic,” said Spark. “The way we live currently simply cannot sustain more people“.
I also came across this one from NPR (no bad language in there!) that asks if environmentalists should have kids, and provocatively says “maybe we should protect our kids by not having them“. The article also references an American non-profit called Conceivable Future, which is founded on the notion that “the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis“.
Some other people say one of the answers to climate change is to have fewer children. The article from Slate proposes to “cut the birth rate to one child per couple, for a few generations at least. The population would dwindle by about 5 billion people over the next century, he says, ensuring the habitability of the Earth for the 1.6 billion who remained“.
There’s obviously lots to think about here for a Thursday afternoon, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you are child free, or have decided on one kid only, is climate change your main reason?
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My littlest girl turned 18 months old at the start of this month. I was sat picnicking on a beach on the west coast of Scotland with my kids when I realised the littlest was 18 months to the day. My cheeky, rough and tumble, fearless girl that loves everyone and everything: but most of all her big sister.
It only feels like a few months ago that I wrote this post and then this post (and now after looking at that photo I’m trying hard to not feel broody, even though I definitely don’t want more than two kids!). Anyway, I am going somewhere with this post – it isn’t here for the purposes of me getting all sentimental! Believe it or not I wanted to talk about my favourite eco friendly baby products.
I wrote about my eco friendly baby essentials about half way through that pregnancy, so 18 months in of life with baby number two I thought it was high time to update my list. I’ve included some of my favourites from before; some products I’ve discovered over the last 18 months; and some I forgot to add first time around but now that we’re in the thick of baby and toddlerhood they are right at the front of my mind!
Here are my favourite eco friendly baby products:
We have been using this Boori convertible cot from around the four months mark, and I love it. Once my daughter is beyond the cot stage (I’m trying not to think too much about that to be honest!) the cot turns into an infant bed, and once she grows out of that it then turns into a two seater sofa AND can also be converted to a double bed. Say what?! I reviewed it in more detail last year, if you want to read more.
Self feeding is a fun but messy stage. My daughter will not entertain spoon feeding, even for the messiest of foods, like soup. I bought this bamboo suction bowl and spoon for her first birthday and it seems to help the situation a little. There is still mess but at least the bowl can’t be thrown off the table!
Natural Rubber Dummy – neither of my girls liked dummies. If your baby is a little more amenable to these things, then I have heard all good things about these natural rubber dummies.
I have only just discovered the Pura infant bottle. Unluckily for me, neither of my kids would take a bottle (and yes, I know what you’re thinking – no bottles and no dummies? My girls sure do keep me on my toes, that is for sure!), so it wouldn’t have been that handy to us in the early days, but if you plan on bottle feeding, or if you’re a lot luckier than me and your baby will take a bottle, then this might be something to consider. It starts off life as a baby bottle and you can convert it to a sippy cup, sports bottle or even snack pot as your child grows. Clever.
As I might have mentioned, oh, maybe a million times before, Bumgenius washable nappies are my favourite of the eco friendly baby products. I will extol the virtues of them to anyone who will listen. If you only make one eco friendly baby purchase then I would encourage you to give washable nappies a go. And by way of advice, I find that Tots Bots nappy liners fit Bumgenius nappies perfectly and flush right down your loo. I bulk buy these bad boys.
Cheeky Wipes – I didn’t know about these washable wipes first time around so I picked up a box when I was pregnant. I’ve enjoyed using them. Maybe I’m doing it wrong and keeping them too moist, but I find keeping a dry wipe to hand to dry baby’s bottom after wiping with a wet wipe is best at avoiding nappy rash. Otherwise they get two thumbs up from me!
Green People Sun Screen – I like to always have a tube of sun screen in in my bag. Always. You never know when the sun is going to come out in Scotland (some time this month would be nice, please). Green People’s Factor 30 lotion is suitable for the most sensitive of baby skins, and I often find myself pinching some for me!
Stainless steel snack pots – at the risk of sounding too virtuous I’m the first to admit I often fall down at the snacking front, and have to resort to a bag of crips, or prepackaged snacks. It happens. On the days I’m a little more prepared, when perhaps my mornings have been a little less of a frantic rush to leave the house on time, I’ll put together some snacks to eat on the go or to avoid public transport meltdowns. Chopped fresh fruit, bread sticks, popcorn, and dried fruit are all firm favourites. Because if there is one thing I know when it comes to kids is that snacks = sanity. Truth.
– this is the best refillable snack pouch I’ve found. It doesn’t squirt food out as soon as your child gives it a squeeze, unlike other pouches I’ve tried, and opens for easy cleaning. I can’t find it available in the UK other than on Amazon.
I like to keep a tube of Green People Soothing Baby Salve to hand for nappy rash, skin irritations, dry skin and any eczema patches. This stuff works great. A little goes a really long way.
Other top eco friendly baby products advice if you’re expecting – see what you can score secondhand. Most baby gear is barely used, so ask friends and family with older kids if they have anything they’re not using any more. I’d also always suggest trying Freecycle, Gumtree, eBay and charity shops for preloved bargains. So much of our baby gear has been secondhand, from our pram to clothes, to play equipment and it’s always the eco friendliest and cheapest way of sourcing the things you need.
Do you have any eco friendly baby products you would recommend? I am all ears!
I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, a green lifestyle blog. I believe that sustainable living should be hip, not hippie. Here you'll find all sorts of easy hints and tips here for living a greener life that won't compromise your sense of style. As well as the blog I've also written a book on natural cleaning - Fresh Clean Home is out now! Want to know more? Check out the about page for more information or explore the archives using the category tabs above. Say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org. Moral Fibres is always free to read. If you want to support the site's running costs you can buy me a coffee.
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