Babies and Climate Change: Blog Action Day 2009

October 15 is Blog Action Day, and this year’s topic is climate change. I am certainly concerned about the environment, and I’d like to think I keep it in mind when I make at least some of my decisions, but I can’t quite call myself an activist. In fact, when it comes to specifics like climate change, I don’t really know all that many details. I know things aren’t looking good–we’ve got too much carbon dioxide going on, and our lifestyles are to blame. So when it came time to think about this year’s Blog Action Day post, I was at a bit of a loss at first.

We're trying to help the environment for you, kid!

We're trying to help the environment for you, kid!

I’d not thought too much about it, but babies have pretty large carbon footprints, when you look at it. Here is a list of things that we’re doing that, hopefully, mitigate some of Sadie’s impact. This list is NOT meant to be self-congratulatory; it is to call to light things that the average family might consider doing to positively affect climate change.

  • Okay, so using cloth diapers is not a win-win solution–BUT, we have borrowed a number of our diapers from a friend who already used them on her baby; we have loaned out certain diapers to other friends with a baby; we fully intend to reuse the cloth diapers we have bought for Sadie’s sibling; and we air-dry about half of each diaper load.
  • We are mindful about dish washing, including Sadie’s bottles and my breast pump parts–when they’re not being washed in a full dishwasher, I use a little tub we got from the hospital to wash them.
  • We have a high-efficiency washing machine, and we wash our clothes on either warm or cold. Sadie wears the same pajamas several nights in a row, and we use a bath towel on her several times before washing. We wait until she has a full load of clothes before we do a load of her laundry.
  • We don’t bathe Sadie too often. So she’s the smelly kid–we’re just doing our part! I need to find a way to use less bathwater when I do bathe her, without having her get cold from the water not being high enough.
  • We use eco-friendly cleaning products. This is not only because of our environmental concerns; we also want to keep chemicals away from Sadie. I want to explore homemade cleaning products to further this and to stretch our dollar.
  • Quite a few of Sadie’s clothes and toys are hand-me-downs. We have handed down most of the clothes and toys she has out grown. We will continue doing this, along with saving clothes, toys, and gear for her future sibling.
  • We have made and will continue to make an effort to keep battery-requiring toys out of the house.
  • Because I make Sadie’s baby food (except the oatmeal cereal) from scratch, we don’t have to worry about packing materials from her food going into the trash. I need to switch from disposable freezer bags to reusable containers for freezer storage.
  • The food that I make for Sadie comes from local farmers. I may have to buy carrots from the grocery store. When I cannot buy local, I plan to buy Organic.
  • Oh! And I breastfeed. I almost forgot this, and this is probably the easiest way I’m keeping Sadie’s carbon footprint down. In addition to not contributing to greenhouse gasses through the manufacture, packaging, and transportation of formula; Sadie has only been sick once, and that is likely at least in part because she is breastfed.

Family planning is another thing we do for the environment. I do not want to imply that, if you have several kids, you are not thinking about the environment. Nor do I want to imply that the environment is the only thing we’re taking into consideration in this decision. Sadie was a planned pregnancy. We were prepared for her. We intend to plan our next pregnancy, and we plan for him or her to be our last one. This is considered zero population growth. Trevor and I have always planned on only having two babies of our own. If we decide we want a larger family (though I truly cannot imagine being outnumbered by children–it’s hard enough being outnumbered by pets), we plan consider adoption. Here are a couple other links on this that are interesting, but that I do not have the energy to discuss: Less Babies is Best Climate Change Solution; Woman gets sterilized for the sake of the environment.


If you’re a Little Rocker this is for you:

Saturday, October 24th is the International Day of Climate Action, and Audubon Arkansas, 1 Sky, Sierra Club, and Village Commons will host the Little Rock 350 Climate Action Rally & Concert. Rally will feature local musicians, speakers and educational booths.

State Representative Kathy Webb will be our keynote speaker. She will give us an update on the Governor’s Commission on Global Warming. Glen Hooks, Regional Director, Sierra Club, will talk about coal and climate change. Thompson Murray, Senior Pastor, Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, will talk about creation care.

Millions of people across the world will be celebrating International Day of Climate Action. Let’s make the Little Rock event a BIG one!

2 thoughts on “Babies and Climate Change: Blog Action Day 2009

  1. Lindsey

    Trust me, you are doing WAY more than most people do. Most people (sadly) will choose convenience over what is best for the world :/
    My Ben is a big believer in “replacement numbers”, or “zero population growth” as you said so we will only be having two and if we ever wanted more we would try to adopt as well.

    I think you are doing great! Plus, you have given me some good ideas for the future 🙂


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