Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tag, I'm blue...

Argh, I've been tagged by Shek to confess how green I am, basically. This is a fiendish tag because, you see, I am not the greenest Mum in the world. Or the greenest person, for that matter. Sometimes the two seem unconnected.

You see, I have always tried to be very green. When I was a child, we lived on an acreage and had dinners where the only thing we hadn’t grown ourselves was the sugar, salt and flour. My Mum hates waste and always got us to buy stuff with no packaging. She won’t even use plastic garbage bags, only paper. So I’ve done my best for most of my life, composting, recycling, buying locally, making things myself rather than buying them. I still try to do all these things, although London life like any big-city life tends to be a bit anti- things like relaxing, composting, buying locally etc.

The spud is in cloth nappies and has been since his first week on the planet. When we use disposables we buy bio-degradable ones. We hand-wash where possible and line-dry in the sun, or air-dry in the winter for the most part. We even wash and re-use wipes – did you know, for example, that you can put a normal wipe in the washing machine and re-use it a dozen or more times before it starts to fall apart?? We both ride motorbikes in town and our spud-friendly family car has a small engine.

The thing is that my family are half English and half Canadian and I've married a Frenchman. This means that on top of our own flights home, there are those of family visiting us. The Spud is 10 months old and has been on 11 plane flights - he'll have to be in those nappies the rest of his life to make up for that - and that's not going to endear him to a future spouse...

No matter how many times we re-use those wipes, we probably have a larger carbon footprint than someone on our same street who buys take-aways in Styrofoam containers every day, smokes, drives an SUV and uses their dryer every day – so long as they don’t take more than one flight a year, they’re laughing.

I know – I know that if we didn’t take those flights, the planes would still go but it hangs heavy and I feel can’t lift my head up in the land of green.

I’m not going to pass this tag along, not because I don’t want to know what people are doing, but because there’s a lot of tagging going on at the moment and I’d hate to burden someone who’s been tagged a lot – however if anyone wants to take up Shek’s challenge in their own blog, let me know and I’ll read.

15 comments:

Shek said...

I thank you for doing the tag. I have been burdened with tags too, but this one probably has a more noble cause than writing eight weird things about myself.

I am not sure if I or anyone for that matter would be intruding in other's personal lives if they knew how green they were. For example, some mums may be prompted to look for bio-degradable nappies after reading your post.

As far as your flying goes, it is a heavy feeling. I agree. Al Gore buys clean energy certificates while he flies around the world propagating the noble cause. Now, us simple people do not carry that six figure cheque in our banks. That is a question-mark that I am yet to reason out because I intend to do a fair bit of flying myself in the next few years.

If any of you readers have an answer, please do enlighten.

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Lindystar said...

FUCK YOU YOU ANONYMOUS peice of non bio-degradelble waste spammer!!!!!

Sorry, I just hate those things, even if it IS a bot. I got it covered for ya.

Oh my Gosh you really ARE green. For freakin shit real!! Cloth nappies and re-using wipes (eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww, sorry not a mom yet I'm still laaame and can't comprehend washing poop, forgive me)

You do so much stuff that I would have never even thought of.

SHIT!! I thought I was being awesome when I moved in with Mexican and he made me start using real plates and cups and silverware.

(bachelorette life was so easy - NO dishes, I miss that)

SO yes, anyways you've got to be the greenest nappy changer beyond my wildest dreams (nightmares)and plus your other stuff? You should be proud of yourself not blue.

And damn it those planes WOULD take off anyways. Think of it as spreding the "green" message by traveling and having others exposed to your green ways and learning new stuff that they might do for their own homes.

AAAAAND now you've just posted about it and made like a hundred people feel like bastards and maybe a couple of us will do something better now. Consider yourself an evangelist.

Jennie said...

I have the same guilt as you about the flying. Choosing to live abroad has doomed me to a long life as an XXXL carbon footprint. I say we introduce sailing across the Atlantic again. Use solar and wind power...and steer clear of the icebergs of course.

But it's much worse with my travel freak of a husband. Our two year old has already been on a NYC-Dallas-LA-Hong Kong trip because of his (and my) wanderlust. I doubt his work would give him the year off needed for such a trip by ocean-liner. But we can ride to Central Asia on horseback, that should only take a few months...

And, do you really mean the wipes that you buy at the supermarket? I'm amazed and must give it a try! Besides that, I'd rather soak them in my own emulsion of water, oil and soap-free soap suds anyway.

Sparx said...

Shek - you're welcome, I quite enjoyed it.

Lindy - you made me laugh my ass off, I was deleting the bot comment when I read yours and so I've left it in. Who knows, maybe someone reading my blog was actually LOOKING for gay anal chicas??

Jennie yes, the wipes you buy at the supermarket. I've washed loads of different brands, some hold up longer than others... Not sure I'd take an international boat trip - although I do need to lose some weight (I get sea sick!)

DJ Kirkby said...

Hi,
Well you know how I feel about the importance of visiting family... I sure miss my mom and if I could afford it plus was brave enough to travel on my own with number 3 son and his 'delightful' social communication disorder, I'd be away without a moments hesitation. Which makes a mockery out of my own composting, recycling, etc...think that is just the Canadian in us Sparx...

Sparx said...

DJ - you may be right there, we're a nation of idealistic folks in some ways. Still, not only are you not flying, you're doing major work of your own with number 3 plus you're green as all get out. I think you win this one!

lady macleod said...

you bet, you and Kermit baby!

jjstringham said...

I just thought I'd mention that I think you're LOONY to wash cloth diapers (nappies. . . whatever, I'm american) by hand. I use cloth as well, but I would never dream of putting my hands in poopy/soapy water with those things. I can barely stand the few seconds it takes to transfer them from the bucket the washing machine. And as for the wipes, I do wash them as well, but I'm not so good as to actually reuse them. The only reason they get washed in the first place is because I'm too lazy to seperate them from dirty diapers beforehand.

Elsie Button said...

11 flights at 10 months old!!! my goodness me. you are hardcore sparx! i am very very very very impressed with your greenness though. washing wipes?! what, you mean those baby wipes that come in a purple packet from boots? you wash them? you would have a fit if you saw our wipe/nappy wasteage. we do recycle bottles etc. you handwash? what about all those baby clothes covered in sick/poo/pasta sauce? my god, we have our machine on about twice a day. shameful. i am not proud. but handwashing?

Sparx said...

Lady M - I guess he is a little froggy baby!

Hi JJ - welcome in! I only handwash the pee nappies, not the poopy ones! The nappies we use (Fuzzi Bunz) are really light-weight and quick drying without the inserts so it makes sense... we only have 9 of them as well.

Elsie - oh no, I love my washing machine. It's an 'A' level energy one but I confess that once in a while I wash the nappies on high temp and then use the dryer.

But the wipes - yes, the ones you get at Boots and everywhere else - those wash up softer than they started out. I just keep them dampened with water in tupperware, use vaseline on his bum and we never have nappy rash. About every 3 months or so I buy a new pack as that seems to be about when they start stretching out of shape and breaking down.

Chipper said...

Hey--

Lately I have been trying to be more green too but compared to what you do in your life, what I have been trying is almost silly.

I give you credit for having a baby and using cloth diapers and washing wipes. It is so much easier to use disposables.. so good job and keep it going. IF everyone took a step in your green direction, we would make a difference

Elsie Button said...

that is amazing - i am definitely going to try it! i often think about what a waste it is...

Flirty Something said...

is he clocking up air miles?

Before I go can I ask *cough cough* if you can update my link please. www.irishflirtysomething.com

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