But with the arrival of the littlest Greene, I'll confess that our household has become less green. Here's a quick rundown of our challenges - and triumphs!
- Diapers: We agreed to use BumGenius sized diapers starting with size one, meaning that we'd need to rely on disposables for the few first weeks. I bought Seventh Generation size newborn diapers to start us off. They were a huge disappointment - Fiona kicked them off! The shape is less contoured than many conventional diapers, and it's tough to fold them to avoid the belly button and cover the bum. On the upside, they do wonders for diaper rash - all of the conventional diapers we tried left her red and rashy. She's finally filling out her size one BumGenius collection, though, so we're feeling a little less trashtastic.
- Breastfeeding: Triumph! I bought one book and one pack of gel pads for those first few (painful) days, plus a tube of lanolin and we're in business. It's amazing how much easier it is to leave the house and handle midnight feedings when all of the equipment is, er, attached.
- Driving: I knew we'd drive more with baby on board, but I hadn't accounted for the following: my daughter hates the stroller. Hates it. She loves her sling and her Baby Bjorn, but if I'm carrying her, I can't carry a bag of groceries, much less all of the gear required to take a baby out for a few hours. (And, of course, if I'm on foot, I'm more likely to be out for more than an hour - it's a twenty minute walk to the store.) I've yet to track our travel, and I'm hoping we'll adjust back to our 25 miles/week pattern within the next month.
- Clothing: We've been showered with little pink togs! That's great for our bank account, but not so nice for Mother Earth - especially since they all came wrapped in pretty pink paper. Still, about half of her wardrobe is hand-me-downs or thrift/consignment shop finds. It's so easy to do with newborns that it's just crazy that more people don't trade clothing or at least buy it second hand.
- Laundry: We're back to using the dryer. Franklin is doing more of the wash, and he's not about to fuss with the drying rack. In any case, our eight pounds of baby girl generates a lot of wash - even I'll admit that it would be a strain to rely on the rack for everything, especially with the grey, overcast fall we've been having. But I must say, I'm really uncertain about the impact of all that water used washing cloth diapers!
And we're working on replacing more of our cleaning products with the basics. We cleared a clogged drain with baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. Cheap, clean and guess what? More effective than Drano.
So it hasn't all been two steps backwards. But it does make me very aware that if you're not thinking green, baby's ecofootprint is far, far bigger than those little bitsy feet could ever suggest.