Jenna is a case in point that cloth diapering can prompt a landslide of other eco-oriented changes. Before becoming a mum to her hand-me-down wearing, vegetarian toddler, Jenna didn’t have the passion for protecting the environment she has today. After swapping to a smaller garbage can, becoming more mindful about gift giving, reconsidering her transport options and converting to thrifting as a way of life, amongst many other things, Jenna now regularly shows up on Instagram to bring awareness to our ingrained habits and the importance of changing them. “As consumers we have the power of voting with our dollars, reading the labels, and asking the difficult questions. The more that consumers care about sustainability, the more that large companies will have to change their practices to retain their customers. Together our small actions make a very big difference.”
Today on the blog, we interview Amy, a list maker, gardener, mother of one and partner to a diaper launderer extraordinaire. Amy shares the lessons she’s learnt from the Earth and why living a bit slower is good for the soul. Her interview is filled with heartfelt insights for appreciating the world and surviving parenthood with your sanity intact.
Take it one step at a time. Don’t pressure yourself. You can do it. Your dedication and intention are key. These are just some of the wise words Mariz shares in her interview today. A mother of two living in the Philippines, Mariz urges all mothers to be gentle with themselves, for a happy mother makes for happy kids. Her pragmatic approach to cloth nappies – “One cloth is one disposable out from landfill and that’s something to be proud of always” – is one worth admiring in this world where the need to be first or best often reigns.
It’s not a story you read too often, but in this household, it was Steph’s husband, Dave, who chose cloth. Steph says she was “scarred from the lingering smell of flats in the 1980s”, but Dave was to be stay-at-home Dad and set to become the cloth nappy advocate he is today, known to convert parents in the nappy aisle in the supermarket. Steph and Dave have four children, including three in cloth – two-year-old twin girls and a wee man born in August. Then there’s also their 16-year-old son but, back in 2004, cloth nappies weren’t on this couple’s radar. Today, Steph and Dave choose to reuse in the hope their children will have a world to inherit. “It might feel a bit overwhelming but, hey, so is bringing home a tiny human.”
This week, we interview a New Zealand mother who, after realising her family couldn’t keep living the disposable lifestyle they had been, created a community to share simple eco tips that are easy, fun, can save you money and, most importantly, help you to live more sustainably. The Great Eco Journey was born, with the motto ‘progress, not perfection’. Juliet shares with us the simple eco solutions she has found for around the home, how she is faring on her ‘buy nothing new for a year’ challenge, and how she threw a children’s birthday party with only one item going to landfill. She also sums up her children’s time in cloth nappies with the prudent advice that reusables aren’t a lot of work, but they are a bit of work – work that is completely justified with the financial and environmental benefits you will reap in return.
Courtney is a passionate mama who chooses to contribute to a greener world in a myriad of ways, not the least of which is with reusable nappies. It means a lot to her, she says, and she hopes it will mean a lot to her kids. While Courtney has faced many disgusted and defensive reactions from others about her cloth nappy use, she shares a story of the time a nurse noticed her son wearing cloth and she knew she had found her people. As a nurse herself, Courtney is less than phased by poo, and she shares here many witty morsels about life with a baby in cloth nappies.
Caring for the environment and raising her children to be independent and critical thinkers go hand in hand for Canberra mum, Ana. Cooking, gardening, constructing and sewing, for example, she says, are all life skills that can be learnt by making eco-friendly choices. Combine those skills with the fact that children who are creative in their younger years tend to develop into adults who have a greater capacity for problem solving, and Ana has her motivation for making sustainable choices. Using cloth nappies is just one of a range of choices Ana hopes will teach her children the world is a precious place full of resources we can help thrive if we are considerate. Read on for Ana’s experiences with reusable nappies and to find out why she extols the power of nature and open-ended play in educating her children.
Tegan is mum to identical twin boys, Jude and Leo. She is loving life as a full-time mum before she returns to work next year, and that includes the lack of nappy rash that comes with her cloth nappy use. Tegan admits she was hesitant to choose cloth nappies because of the extra washing that comes with two babies; her parents were not. She describes her parents as hippies and says they didn’t even ask if she was using disposables; they just started buying her cloth nappy items as soon as she was pregnant. Tegan shares how she has overcome some of the challenges that come with reusable nappies and her hack for easy nappy changes.
I’m not going to lie, today’s interview is long. But Christabel – who describes her house of two adults and two children as ‘loud and messy and fun and vibrant’ – tells so many relatable tales of motherhood with so much wit and charm, I know you are going to love reading her words as much as I did. Christabel lives in Greater Manchester, UK, and describes herself as a fun/ loving/ lazy/ working/ creative/ tired/ ‘anything for an easy life’/ funny/ ‘trying my best but not always getting it right’ mum who is still learning to be kind to herself.