So I guess things change a lot when you become a parent. Prior to the arrival of our first son Samson, I probably didn’t give too much thought to sustainability. I knew what it was, our family even practiced some basics at home like recycling, composting, growing some fruit and vegetables, but I never really felt that passionate about it. The transition into parenting leads you to think beyond yourself in a way you have never had to before; you are forced to re-assess so many things. And I think this for me is where it all began: wanting a better future for my boys.
Our family of four heralds from Hobart, Tasmania. You know that small island at the bottom of Australia?! We lived the good life there. Our home state is known for its wild untouched, pristine forests and coastlines. You can be the only person to crunch the sand at the beach. You can inhale sweet earthiness within 5 minutes of the city. And when you step off the plane in Hobart and walk across the tarmack to the terminal your lungs breathe in crisp, clean and wholly invigerating air. It is a very simple, yet extremely satisfying experience. It signifies your return to a place that is clean and pure (well, as much as a city can be with a population of 250,000).
It never really occured to me that we lived a pretty ‘green’ life in Hobart, but we did. In addition to the things I have already mentioned above, we took care of our family and the environment in other ways aswell. Before I go on though, I would like to be clear that the things we did suited our life, family and circumstances and are not going to suit everyone. My sole purpose for sharing our experiences is to inspire others to find what works for them. To enable the realisation that every little bit counts and if we do a little bit more caring then we can make a really big difference in our lives and the precious environment we live in.
So, Ninety Eight percent of the time we used modern cloth nappies. The major environmental benefit here is obvious: we significantly reduced our household waste. Do you know what the average amount of nappy changes a baby has in its first year of life is? Well, google tells me it’s over 1000. That is a massive amount of trash!!! Think of all those rancid disposable nappies that end up in landfill, not decomposing. Just gross.
Another way we reduced our environmental impact was actually mandated by the state. In 2013 retailers across the state were banned from using single use plastic bags. This is so simple. Why is this law not applied in every state?!!! Well, you’ll be pleased to know that the ACT, NT and SA are all bag free and Queensland is set to follow suit in 2018. Great news right?!
At this stage you might be asking “So what has changed for this chick and why is she only just banging on about it now?” Well, in June 2015 we had our second son Reuben. Three weeks after he was born we moved interstate to Sydney, New South Wales. This was a huge change for our little family. We went from living in a four bedroom house on the Eastern Shores of Hobart to living in a two bedroom apartment in the Inner West. At the time, I was entirely unaware how this would alter the way we lived, but nearly two years later, I have finally come up for air, reflected on all that has changed and realised that we have not changed for the better in terms of living a clean and sustainable life. This feeling has been rumbling under the surface for a while and now I feel ready to give it a voice. I/we could be doing sooooo much more.
Part two soon to follow – stay tuned ; )