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My Breast Pump Runs on Biodiesel

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I was in a waiting room yesterday and picked up that horrible BabyTalk magazine.  You know the free one that seems to have radar on every new mama.  BabyTalk and formula companies find your address by magic (or by Babies R Us selling your information to them).  They didn’t find me this time!

Anyway, it was the “green” issue–all about saving the planet while raising your wee one.  Of course there was the token nod to cloth diapering but the article pointed out how difficult it is to deal with the waste.  In BabyTalk, one does not say POOP, I suppose.  It is waste.  Nevermind how troublesome it is for the planet to deal with the waste of disposable diapers. 

I digress.

At the end of the magazine, there was a funny article about the ultimate Green Mama who collects her children’s tears in rain barrels and whose breast pump runs on biodiesel. 

I am not the ultimate Green Mama.  But around here, we do a few things to reduce our footprint.  In honor of Earth Day, a few ways we help out:

  • We do not purchase baby food.  Not formula.  Not jars.  So much waste in packaging–huge cans and tiny jars.  Not to mention that it is easy-peezy to feed your baby real food.  Side-note:  Did you know there is chocolate-flavored formula for toddlers?  And strawberry, too?  Marketed as “healthier than real milk.”  Could someone call Jamie Oliver?
  • We use cloth diapers and wipes.  And it isn’t terribly difficult.  Cedar has never used a disposable.  While there are heated arguments about water usage and energy consumption, cloth diapers ultimately win out.  You can learn more about the impact of disposables here.   
  • I use the Diva.  Although thankfully, I haven’t had to break it out yet since I became preggers with Cedar.  Hoorah!
  • We clean most things (including my hair) with baking soda and vinegar. 
  • We try to avoid plastic.  Admittedly it is difficult sometimes.  But we try.  And Scott has been making lots of lovely wooden things for the girls.
  • I buy most of our clothes second-hand.

Do I sound like I’m patting myself on the back?  Well it does feel good.  BUT here are just a few of the ways we do not tread lightly:

  • Fuel.  We live in ruralville.  To keep my sanity, I must drive the distance to hang with mama friends. 
  • Baths.  To keep my sanity, I must take a long, hot bath.  With the door closed.  Without children.  Preferably with a book.
  • Garden.  Not doing one this year.  Although if you need oregano, mint, lemon balm, catnip, rosemary, horehound, yarrow, or parsley, just ask.  My herb garden survived the winter without help from me and is spreading daily.
  • Food.  We live in ruralville so in the spring/summer there are lots of farmstands for produce but it isn’t usually organic.  And we do still eat of the box sometimes for convenience.

There are many other ways I could do better.  Sustainable living usually begins with one change at a time.  What have been changes that you’ve made to treat our earth more gently?

8 responses »

  1. Oooo…so also in that BabyTalk issue, there was a retraction (pun intended) about their circumcision article. Apparently last month, they did an article on circumcision and they instructed moms of intact boys to “tug the foreskin” back to clean it!! After receiving letters of concern, they clarified that they did not mean to “retract” the foreskin; they meant tug gently. Oh.

  2. that is so disturbing that they have chocolate and strawberry flavored formula.

  3. Oh that is still SO wrong! Tug gently. I have not, nor will I ever, tug on my child’s foreskin in any way, shape or form! GAH.

  4. i recycled baby food jars for my wedding – we put green jelly bellies in them for favors.

  5. Rachel–you didn’t puree the jelly bellies first? 🙂

  6. The city of Greer picks up newspaper and soda/beer cans, but we take all of our other glass, metal, and plastic to the recycling center, although, I find it hard to let go of a good glass jar. It’s probably the easiest change people can make – in one bin instead of another. John also “composts” by throwing fruit and veggie waste in the backyard and running over it with the lawnmower. 🙂 I’ve started buying organic everything I can, but I need to start doing more local stuff. Reusable grocery bags. Pretty much all the low hanging fruit… 🙂

  7. Well, you know I have a problem with plastic – especially plastic toys. But I don’t buy them new – only pre-owned. I think 90% of my clothing and shoes, and for the boys, is also 2nd hand. I use Swaptree rather than buying new cds/dvds/books. I try to combine trips in the car whenever I can to save on gas, only run the washer on the cold energy cycle and bring my own bags to the grocery store. I reuse glass jars that I buy (I love ’em and they saved me for storing milk during the nursing strike). I make sure that my plastic containers are at least BPA-free. And I’ve greatly reduced my bath-taking because that tub is so huge. I’ve been hopping in the tub with Erik anyway.

    But I’ve got a LONG way to go. I use too much power, don’t recycle nearly enough and, like I said, I gotta wean myself off plastic.



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