Sunday, June 13, 2010


For years now I have been green inside my heart, have been fighting for a greener approach and have desperately watched the world go downhill. I still fight and I try everything I can to live a sustainable live.
With the new addition to our family this is not always easy. But here is some easy facts how to live a green life with a child.

1. Reusable nappies.
The discussions on that are wide and never ending. We have not long thought about it and when we heard that the City of Vienna is supporting the use of Reusable Nappies with a 100Euro Voucher we were all up for it. And here are our experiences after almost 3 months:
- More washing? I don't think so. The little one does not have the biggest clothes and not too many of them either so we have to wash quite often but can't really make a whole load of it most of the time. Here the nappies come in handy - they fill up the washing machine so it's "worth" switching" it on. (nappies don't have to be washed at 90degrees as often thought, 60degrees is enough)
This also applies to the prejudice that more washing leads to more water use and this is not sustainable. As I said we don't wash more often therefore there is not much more water use than in another household with a baby.
- Takes longer to change? Well with the approach to take your time and undivided attention for the diaper change it is actually not much of work but fun. You just spend more time with your child and he enjoys it.
We have also realised when using disposable nappies (when on a trip for a couple of days and no chance to wash) that they let much more go through and we have to change everything more often. This in the end is much more work and again more washing so here we close the circle to the washing point.
- Expensive? Yes they might seem expensive when you first buy the whole load. But we paid 350Euros for the first batch, then we bought some more later on and spent 70Euros. Makes a total of 420Euros. How much do you spend on disposable diapers a month???
- Babies are less flexible in movement? Well I thought so too when I first used them. But now at the age of 2,5months our son is already able to move around in his crib that everytime he wakes up I find him lying crossways in it. He also moves onto one side which looks like he'd be able to turn around onto his belly very soon. And even if he doesn't - it is not a competition and so far the diapers don't seem to bother him (unless it is very hot but I guess "plstic" diapers won't be much more comfortable then either)
Summarising I can say that I love those reusable nappies and I like the fact that I am not throwing out bags and bags of plastic that take hundreds of years to degrade.

2. used clothes
We hardly buy clothes for our son. When he was born we got lots of clothes from family and friends and I believe a lot of new parents experience that. We also have friends with children that borrowed us their clothes. Children grow so fast and hardly use them enough so it's just handy to give them back and forth. I got clothes from a friend who has 3 children and the stuff is perfectly fine. The children obviously don't mind and it's not just good for your wallet. Another advantage is that after more and more washings there are hardly any chemicals left in the clothes so it's much healthier for the children to wear them.
The same applies for shoes. IT doesn't matter if a child had a bad foot movement and you use the shoes for your child afterwards. They don't wear shoes long enough that this would have a bad affect on your child's foot.
And by the way - our pram is used as well. It has cost us 50Euros, looks a bit worn but is perfectly fine. The best thing about it is that you can leave it unlocked everywhere. Nobody will steal an old pram. And even if somebody does - it had just cost us 50Euros...

3. glass bottles
I still breastfeed but every now and then I have an appointment and my husband has to feed the child. Therefore we have been looking out for glass bottles. They do exist but are hidden well behind the amounts of plastic bottles in the stores. I do agree that it is more practical to use plastic especially when the child is older and can hold the bottle himself. But the glass bottles are quite strong and if you don't let your child run around with the bottle in his hand all the time it doesn't have to be such a big problem. I have been fed with glass bottles too and me and the bottles all survived.It will also help your child realise that the bottle with tea or juice isn't a toy. You drink from it and when you had enough you put it down. Sounds easy I know and I haven't been there yet but I like to believe that it works that way.

4. the thumb
We are (well our son is) not using a pacifier. He has already discovered his thumb and is able to calm himself with it when he needs to. Right now it is rather a sign that he is hungry though which a pacifier can't help him with either. Therefore we don't have to use this bit of plastic which in most cases is full of BPA. His thumb is as natural as can be and won't fall on the floor and has to be desinfected afterwards. To name just the "green" plus points that speak for the thumb. The discussion of thumb vs. pacifier is another one and can be read here or in the world wide web everywhere...

5. Olive oil
When I was pregnant I got all sorts of sets for the newborn filled with samples of moistures, lotions and teas etc... I was confused on how to know what bathing lotion to use, what body lotion, what moisturiser??? Our midwife told us to use Olive oil instead, it's natural and good for the still very sensitive baby skin. We also use olive oil for the baby massage and our son looks well and healthy. It's a lot of chemicals we save him from taking in.

These are just 5 "green points" I can think of right now. But it has only been 2,5months now and I am sure this list can be extended. In the meantime - what are you doing to still live as green as possible in your family ? Looking forward to your comments.


  1. Have you ever thought of totally disclaiming diapers by practicing "elimination communication"? I know that Emmi Pikler didn´t mention this in any way but as far as I am familiar with her approach this would perfectly fit to this kind of living with babys.

  2. Glass bottles sound good to avoid BPA, but I thought I remember that it was not good to put breast milk in them. Something about nutrients "sticking to the sides. You may want to check on that.