The Life and Times of Ronin Quinn

A Dad's eye view on the world at large

Carbon Footprint September 24, 2009

Filed under: General — wompsett @ 7:06 pm

50 years ago most people probably would’ve thought of one of these.

But nowadays it has a different, or at least alternative meaning.

Raising a green baby (and no not like this)

is a difficult task (I’m sure a green skinned baby would have it’s moments as well, but maybe it would be easier). We did our best to do some research before Ronin came along, checking out everything from ass cream to zoo toys, but it’s still damn hard. Especially when you think of the lasting effect of it in the sense of choices he will make later on in life. Surely what we instill in his psyche now will have an equal and opposite reaction later down the line (or so I’ve heard). So that just makes every choice even harder. Is what we deem green now going to be green in 25 years, that sure wasn’t the case with my generation. I’m sure that none of our plastic toys or dolls or sippy cups or whatever were free of BPA’s. And I would wager that a decent ammount of the toys being shipped in from China during the 80’s and 90’s (and before, but I wasn’t born yet) we chalked full of lead. And I know for a fact that I didn’t recycle or reuse all of my toys (well I did reuse the ones that were passed on to me but that was the end of the line for most of them) and they are probably still in the same shape I left them in, sitting in a mound of trash, with some developer drawing plans to turn it into the next pop-up sub-division. Hopefully they put a park in, and maybe some curious child will decide to start digging, and maybe, just maybe he or she will find that Master’s Of The Universe collection I threw out years ago.

So what do we do?

The first category we wanted to hammer out was the diapers, we all know diapers are like the undead, sleeping underground waiting to make their massive presence known to the rest of the world (OK, I’ve been reading too much of the Sookie Stackhouse novel’s). Who knows, we already dreamed up Stay Puff why can’t s*#t puff exist? Our original intent was to use cloth, and let me just say that I see why people developed everlasting pampers. Cloth is great in theory. End of story in my book. Maybe it was just our experience, but the cloth “infant” diapers were more like infant reverse moomoo’s. They seriously went up past his little baby boy boobies (disclaimer: if you are a Walmart employee and reading this, this is not a pornographic reference. Do not report me to the authorities, read this if you haven’t heard ). We had registered for seventh generation diapers, for the sake of the shower’s mainly, and we really wanted to like them. We kind of do, but not entirely. It’s kind of like they were designed in the seventh generation. They’re just like big rectangles of non-form fitting recycled-ness. They work, and I feel better about using them than huggies or whatever, but they’re not great. So the search continued. (hum shh, hum shh, I know boring right?) Then we found gDiaper’s and lived happily ever after. I won’t waste your time or my space telling you about them. They’re earth friendly, cradle to cradle certified. If you’re really interested you can click here and read about their greeny goodness on your own time. So check diapers off the list of things to green.

That leaves about 400 other aspects of childhood to nail down. I was lucky enough, as I mentioned earlier, to have some hand me downs when I was young. And some of those hand me downs consisted of toys made from wood. Wooden toys seem like the best option, as long as they’re not painted with lead laden paint. And even more lucky there are more and more companies making toys of the afore mentioned criteria (as well as so many other renewable resources now it’s crazy). So that’s two major categories down.

What about food? And clothes? And whatever else I am forgetting. Food and clothes are probably the most accessible items to buy green, but also the most expensive. So that creates it’s own dilema. Where do you draw the line? I mean I’m fine with desecrating my own body and mind if it’s more economical, but should I force it upon my kid? There are some obvious choices to make in both categories. Dairy, meat and poultry will almost always be purchased hormone free, cage free, antibiotic free, free of living next to Interstate 5 (alright, that one I can’t guarantee). And clothes will NEVER be purchased from the worst of the worst (Walmart), and will certainly be free trade, renewable materials, child labor free (unless it’s my own child, then who cares) when possible. When possible being the key words. We do still shop at the terrible two (Target and Old Navy), and occasionally Baby’s ‘r’ Us (which I personally despise almost as much as Walmart), and Baby Gap (same as Old Navy). But we support the smaller guy’s when we can.

So it’s certainly a work in progress (and we haven’t progessed very far), but we’re trying our darndest to raise a concious and earth friendly baby and adult. If you can still breathe the air in 30 years, then we’ll happily take some credit.

If you know of any great idea’s or products to either use or avoid, we’d love to hear ’em.


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