Thursday, January 04, 2007

How Does Your BabyGROE?

I'm staring fatherhood in the face this month, so as good right-on-parents-to-be, we've been working on how to make this a Green baby.

The cost of buggies, cots etc is extraordinary, and I have an irrational hatred for Mothercare (plus our local one is in the Gateshead Metrocentre for which I have a completely rational hatred), so we've been getting most of our gear from friends as hand-me-downs, second hand shops and freecycle. We're also going to try to dissuade friends & family from buying the baby clothes as kids grow up so quickly - a couple we know gave away half their 0-3 months clothes unworn and racked up an impressive 51 bibs.

So far, so good - but we've got to address the nappy issue. There has been some controversy over nappies in the past due to a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) done by the Environment Agency (see results here) that said there was no real environmental difference between disposables and renewables. This result was refuted by the Women's Environmental Network.

I'm with the WEN ladies on this one - I can't believe washing nappies is the equivalent to chucking away 4 or more a day for a couple of years. Certainly our local real nappy lady (who is also a midwife so has plenty of experience) is recommending far fewer real nappies are required than that assumed by the LCA (24 rather than 47). The problem with LCAs is that they never give a clear answer due to their inner workings and they're always very dependent on factors which are hard to predict.

So we're going to keep it real... but we're not going to be anal about it (excuse the pun) - we'll use biodegradeable disposables if pushed.

And finally, a very good resource for parents of lil'uns is the BabyGROE (Green, Recycled, Organic and Ethical) who will send you a nice brochure with plenty of local contacts and helpful organisations.

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At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Olwen Jones said...

Hello Gareth,

I was just checking out your blog and wanted to thank you for your kind mention of BabyGROE. I'm the PR person, so I appreciate any coverage! Can I ask where you got hold of the magazine?

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Gareth Kane said...

Hi Olwen - thanks for your comment. My partner found the mag at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. We both thought it was excellent.


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