Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to Have a Green Baby

First, be green parents!

♫ I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know;
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world . . . ♫
—Louis Armstrong

These two Heroes have a baby on the way; they want him to grow up in a wonderful world. Honoring Mother Earth is intentional for Pete and Anna. Her post called Voluntary Simplicity sums up their way of life.

Before they even had a yard, they were part of a neighborhood garden, and during the summer they commit to buying fruits and vegetables grown locally. They are anxious to eat real food. Pete soaks his beans and cooks delicious Mexican dishes, and Anna makes homemade graham crackers and wheat thins (among other specialties) to cut down on the chemicals in processed foods. She calls herself a flexitarian: not a fanatic, but opting for the healthier option whenever possible.

To lighten their ecological footprint they ride the bus, walk, bike and carpool. Errands are thoughtfully planned—they don't run around town willy-nilly mucking up the air unnecessarily. And little PJ will not be contributing diapers to the dump.

A Bumkins Diaper

When Pete announced their decision to use cloth diapers I had memories of rusted duckie safety pins, endless origami-type folding, and stiff, crackling plastic pants. I'm a little behind.

(No droopy drawers nowadays.)

Modern Bun Warmers

While working full-time as the director of a kid's summer camp, Anna has found time to make dozens of Little Bunz; they coordinate with the onesies and rompers she has created using remnant materials. (One of baby PJ's outfits was made from the shirt paramedics cut off when Pete had his bike accident.)

It's not easy being green, but for Anna and Pete it's worth the extra effort. They are great customers at yard sales, looking for wooden toys, and gently-used baby furniture. Anna is committed (read her pledge) to "re-using the resources that are already floating around in the world."

Even for her baby showers, Anna has requested pre-loved, or homemade items rather than expensive baby clothes, or plastic toys that contain harmful chemicals, like PVC. Green parents love to receive books, which will be treasured and remembered. New or used, they can be passed on to another home, even though the stories remain in a child's heart forever—the ultimate in recycling.

It's not always greener on the other side of the fence. I've left a lot of plastic water bottles, and paper plates littering my little plot of Mother Earth. I'm impressed with the new owners who are cleaning up after me, and improving the view for everybody.

♫ I see skies of blue, clouds of white,
Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights.
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. ♫

Loving the natural world

"the upward lift of rock to heaven
like hands held up in prayer."


kenju said...

I admire their dedication to it!!

The Grandmother Here said...

In our days of poverty and cloth diapers I found that it was essential to buy the best quality plastic pants (what my mother called rubber pants). How interesting that the waterproof layer is inside of these new diapers. What will they think of next?!

nimmy and girlies said...

Anna is so awesome! I learn so much from her and Pete. I can't wait to see little PJ in cute bumpkins.

marta said...

seriously, i just told dan i think i am going to the thrift store more often! i ran over there yesterday for a gift for PJ and there are TONS of cute used goods, toys, tubs, sheets, clothes; it took a bit of rifling through for the cutest stuff, but i was definitely thrilled.

there was a used bookstore right next door to which i guess is the biggest in this town; i'd never even seen it before. all children's books half off their already low prices. and the way my benj loves books, i know i'll be going back again and again.

these two have opened my eyes.


diane said...

I have solar panels that heat my pool but that is about the extent of my green genes. Oh and I have a bunch of fruit trees.

Do you remember Mr Green Jeans from Captain Kangaroo?

I had to change my siblings cloth diapers and rinse them in the toilet. Still makes me gag just thinking about it. I wish them luck with that.

Travelin'Oma said...

I just got a comment which I accidently deleted somehow. It was from someone named Jean and it said something like, "I've realized my attitude of "How does this environmental philosophy matter? The world is going to end anyway?" sounds just as dumb as leaving garbage in my home and yard and saying, "What does it matter? I'll eventually move anyway."

Anyway, I think that's what she said.

Janet said...

i'm so impressed! we are trying to make small changes here and there, but it's not always convenient. these two are inspiring.

we have been using bum genius diapers, one of the many new cloth options available. you can slip in a diaper liner that is biodegradeable and allows you to lift and flush the solids rather than swish in the toilet. what will they think of next?

thanks for the fun post!

gab said...

Disposable diapers are SOOO last century!

polly said...

Anna and Pete are an impressive pair. I am trying hard to keep up with our recycling since Nick left. He was so good at it and I feel guilty everytime I throw something away now. It does make you think that we should take better care of the beautiful earth Heavenly Father gave us. Thanks for the reminder.