Sunday, 31 July 2011

GOING GREEN, BEING HEALTHIER

Posts like this and this make me want to cry. Seriously. I mean, reading about things people do that I have been forever procrastinating about makes me want to cry.

They make it seem so easy! Years ago, when I became a mom, I promised myself I was going to be the best mom ever. I wanted my child to have the best life ever, and in that I don’t mean in having it all, but as in having a eco-friendly childhood.

I started by breastfeeding her which meant no artificial milk therefore no artificial packaging to dispose of later on. And girl! Did I receive lectures from left, right and centre about how foolish it was to breastfeed.

“You‘ll spoil your boobs, you‘re still young, they‘ll droop…..” (Well d’oh! What did you think they were created for?)

“Breast milk doesn’t really provide all the necessary nutrients a growing child needs” (are you kidding me? The composition of human breast milk changes with time, contents change to meet the growing need of the child, even the colour that is creamy in the first months takes on a pale blue-ish colour with time….and I should know I breastfed the rugrat for four years! And the first time we ever had to treat an aliment was AFTER weaning her. THAT was not coincidence! Do the research).

I didn’t do the cloth diaper thing although for the life of me, I’m not sure why not. Breastfed babies’ poop doesn’t smell like 'normal' poop so it wouldn’t have been as offensive to wash cloth diapers.

I used a stroller for her until she started walking sometime at 18 months, then we walked everywhere. I’d pass by mothers pushing four year olds, even five and six year olds on strollers and they’d give me that ‘you-mean-mother-look-at-that-poor-child-walking’ look. Some of my friends said I was stretching it too far, but I have often asked, too far for whom? For starters, my kid loved the walks. She hated being strapped to a stroller. She liked to run, liked to touch things, liked to feel her environment and so I let her.

I didn’t feed her soda. Now that was not intentional. I don’t drink much soda myself, so I never had any at home. The first time she tasted one was at the age of four, at a friend’s house and she made a face and didn’t like it. They thought it was odd because it was ‘sweet and all kids love sweet things’, then they were shocked when I told them it was her first time ever, tasting the stuff. She still is not very keen on soda, although she loves decaf iced tea, now I don’t know (and this is sincerely ignorance), if tea is a better option to soda, for a child.

Anyway, These above are the only ‘green’ things I have done for my child so far. I have fed her loads of junk food for lack creativity in the kitchen. Every time I buy a happy meal, I feel a tinge of guilt and tell myself at least she got a toy from it, but think of all the waste accumulated by the packaging alone!

I have been working on a list of simple ways I can incorporate into my daily living to build green awareness and healthy living for my child and hopefully help her help me make our lives more green and healthy. The sad thing is, I don't know anyone here in Italy (or know any group of people) that think this is important. Of course I don't want to hold unto that as an excuse not to be more responsible.

When I think how much there is to do and how left behind I am, it feels hopeless to even start because at the back of my mind I keep thinking, where do I start and what difference will it make anyway? But one step at a time right? And we shall begin by eating right and minding what we shop for and the unneccessary waste…..more to follow…..

2 comments:

  1. This is wonderful! Even I was breast fed and that was a time when Formula was the new 'in thing' - in fact, after years of formula companies giving formula to hospitals I recall a lawsuit that was filed which essentially claimed that this was an evil marketing tactic. What the formula manufacturers knew was that if they provided formula to hospitals where women stayed for several days, and mothers were sent home with some, that the mother would get hooked on it (and would also possibly have her milk dry up (in the early days when women were in hospital longer preventing her from going back to breastfeeding) and so the Formula manufacturers were essentially 'pushers' of formula and made many many subsequent sales as a result of this nefarious tactic. See one study here - http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/98/2/290.pdf. Shameful. How nuts is that?!?

    Naan - it's what you do that is important, and writing this wonderful bit about it is part of the doing!! THANKS!

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  2. The anti-breastfeeding stuff is just WACK to me! Haven't people seen the studies that prove that advantages? Plain weird.

    It's good that you'll take one step at a time to see if you can achieve some of these things. Sometimes I think that moms want to be SuperMom (understandably), but sometimes some of the stuff I see in the media and on the web is not realistically achievable for working moms, moms in certain living situations and with certain budgets. Can't do it all.

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