They will grow and use up more and more of the worlds resources, they may too have children and so the process will continue.
However, I do try to ensure that my children understand about the environment and how to look after it. From wildlife and nature to saving energy and water, recycling and reducing our carbon footprint, I try to help my children be aware of their links with the world around them.
Using products from my Wikaniko shop helps with this understanding – well at least for my 5 year old. We talk about why we use the products we do in our bathroom and why I’m not happy for her to use make-up (yes, some of her friends are allowed to play with their mum’s make-up!).
We used to chat about why I didn’t like the prescribed products for her eczema – instead preferring Aloe Vera Gel or Coconut Oil. The Aloe Vera providing a soothing coolness to help get rid of the itch as well as being healing for the skin and moisturising. The coconut oil being a good moisturiser, keeping her skin supple. We are lucky, it seems like she has grown out of this eczema – fingers crossed. These two products are still our mainstays! I’ve talked about the Aloe Vera before and the coconut oil helps with nappy rash, dry skin, mini-massages and when my daughter is swimming regularly again, we will use it as a monthly hair conditioner to see if it helps her tangly mane!
We also love using the coconut oil in cooking, though I think their favourite use is for my coconutty-chocolate sauce to go on ice-cream! (Equal amounts of coconut oil, cocoa and either honey or maple syrup, melt slowly until completely mixed in and pour on vanilla ice cream. The sauce goes solid almost immediately and it is quite delicious. You can also make chocolate cornflake cakes with it!).
I talk with her about why I use organic, fair trade cotton wool on her younger brother. It was all we used when he was tiny to clean his face, body and bottom. Just cotton wool and water. Why organic? Well growing cotton is one of the most pesticide-intense farming practices. Yes, some of those pesticides will be washed off or removed during processing, but not all. Also, what about the people who grow and harvest the cotton – should they and their families suffer so I can use something really soft on my tiny baby? I think not. This is also why I try to buy FairTrade when I can.
My youngest is still in nappies (reusable of course) and I find the paper liners invaluable in reducing the amount of poo that sticks to the nappy! He eats loads of fruit and his poos show it, especially if he then sits! Though the liners say they are flushable, I don’t flush them (though the odd one does escape) as though they will biodegrade completely, this does take longer than loo paper and so can lead to blockages in pipes. Instead we have a little bucket in the bathroom lined with one of the biodegradable pedal-bin bags to pop the soiled paper and any other bathroom rubbish in.
At home, I use flannels to clean faces, hands and bottoms, but when out and about, we do use wipes. It took me a while to find a wipe I was happy with when my eldest was young as I was petrified of using anything that might cause her eczema to flair up! Eventually I found Jackson-Reece wipes, made by a family for their children who had eczema. Now, I don’t use anything else. They are strong, can wipe a lot of grub off all parts of the body (during the holidays we went to the woods with some friends and my daughter decided to put on some ‘mud-sun-screen’! The wipes removed the worse of the mud before she got back into the car) and fully bio-degrade. Though again, I don’t flush them down the loo. The water companies say nothing down the loo but toilet paper and what comes out of your bits and bum! Anything else may result in blockages, especially in houses/flats with older plumbing!
Also when out and about, we use the biodegradable nappy bags to put the dirty nappies in. I have found it useful to have these bags on me a number of times for other reasons – particularly removing dog poop from an area we are playing in. Dog owners – please remove your own poop and put it in one of our biodegradable bags so you are not preserving it for generations to come!
Many people are put off reusable nappies because they need to wash them and they are concerned about getting them properly clean. After removing as much poop as possible from the nappies, I usually soak them for at least two hours prior to washing. If I remember I put some Bio-D Nappy Fresh in with the soaking water, but usually I forget and just pop some in the powder draw of the washing machine. I also add in a few drops of Tea Tree oil for extra anti-bacterial action and a gentle scent. I usually wash on 60, with a 90 C wash every 6 months or so. This keeps my nappies clean of bacteria, bugs and other things that may harm my son, but sometimes a stain will remain through a couple of washes. This does not fuss me – at least they are not being bleached and the bleaching chemicals are rubbing off onto my little boy’s bottom!
I really love the fact that my job and home lives are so intertwined. For me, that is how life has to be.