Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How I became a hippy

First it was recycling.  We do try to recycle and we did this even before it was common in our area; I am pretty sure I did this when you had to take your paper to the distant paper bank. We do live in a very "green" town and we have a precursor to Freecycle which allows you to barter your unwanted goods - current rate is half a dozen cupcakes for 5 or 6 used washable nappies.

Then it was Ecover, which I actually discovered through a rather roundabout route via Greek powdered bleach (don't ask) - we now have our own Ecover bulk size hand wash and washing up liquid containers. We moved on to Ecoballs and I've had a ceiling drying rack for ages (which is not only less in the way than a floor rack but also dries things quicker, probably because it's higher up - though Mr Spouse loves his tumble dried towels). We worked out how much more energy we were using by running the dishwasher at its highest temperature to sterilise bottles (not much) but we have found we run out of bottles really quickly so we did end up buying an electric steriliser (but it also doesn't use much electricity).

So it was pretty much inevitable that we'd give reusable nappies a go.  Some of the reasons these might not be very eco friendly are that you use lots of washing powder and water (we use the eco balls, and this means you can skip most of the rinse cycle if you are paying attention), petrol if you use a nappy service (frankly we would use one but there are none here), and tumble drying (the kind of nappies we have can't be tumble dried).

And then there's slings.  I have 7 in the house at the moment. One is dangerous, one impossible to use, two are more or less identical (but the original Moby I bought has its uses) and one slips down every time I use it - but the remaining two now are invaluable, one for "I won't stop screaming unless you carry me Mummy and I know you have to make dinner/tidy up/do something else with two hands but I don't care", and the other for out and about without straining back/losing baby/not being able to climb steps.

I met up with some other parents who use slings recently, though, and I have to say it was a tiny bit scary. Though I think using a sling is eminently sensible (to me, it's just "the way most mothers I used to know carry their babies" as I knew a far larger group of mothers overseas before I ever had friends who were mothers here or in the US), I don't really regard it as a way of life. And of course everyone is breastfeeding and sharing the family bed (contraindicated for premature babies, those not breastfeeding, and those without a husband willing to sacrifice the entire bedroom to an 8ft bed).

So it is at this point that I gracefully step back and go to my spreadsheet of childcare costs and we decide that our sanity is worth having a cleaner.  

Who came today for the first time and of course looked at our Ecover products and asked "so, are you vegetarian too?".   


Claudia said...

You are so smart to get a cleaner. SO SMART. I have never done it, because I have too much social anxiety, but theoretically I think it is an AWESOME idea.

I know what you mean about slings. Good idea, sure, but the whole way-of-life thing is just boooooooring. Seriously, there's only so long a person can spend talking about the evils of not-slinging before one becomes rather bored. Carry your kid; don't carry your kid; spare me the drama, sling-mamas.

You sound like you are settling into a good (crunchy!) groove. Great to hear you sounding like such a happy hippy.

Bernardeena said...

Welcome to the hippy dark side. Sounds like you have quite a sling stash going there! Not all sling meets are so intense though, yes there is lots of boobs out and bed sharing people, but ours is mainly cake based. Lots of cake, and pretty slings and nappies.

I am very jealous of the cleaner though. It would have to be someone live in to cope with the mess here unfortunately.