We talked to a family about their struggles with trying to be sustainable. Read on to know what other parents think about sustainability.
"When it comes to diapers it's always questionable. Where does the poop go? Do we put it in scented plastic bags to keep things hygienic? Or do we flush it down the toilet? We estimate that our kids use diapers until the age of 3, minimum of 5 times a day. That is 5475 disposable diapers per kid! But what if we are using reusable diapers? Can we have enough for our 2 kids not to wash them 24/7 to keep them ready for use?
Also, how hygienic is it to reuse cloth that had been rubbed for hours to excreta (poop)? There are many types of textiles but in the end, they are all going to be thrown away as waste. In this diaper question, it is yet, inevitable to create a waste-free solution! So the focus here is on creating the least harmful kind of waste."
"All the kids are different. They have different and individual needs. Our kids prefer different toys, but they do enjoy sharing them with each other. However, the toys that they have are not interesting for long enough. To keep up with their needs, we used to buy cheap gadgets. They only played with them for a while and they hardly touch them again. Now we try to buy timeless toys. Still, we think a family so big wastes much more than average."
"When it comes to clothing, like most people, we prefer cheap prices for good quality. We try to buy 100% cotton products, but if the kids mess up their stuff on the playground - because that is what kids do - with irremovable stains, then what? Well, at home, it's okay to wear clothes with stains, but when we go out or celebrate, we like the kids to look neat and clean. Even if we try to buy second-hand clothing it's hard with siblings who often like to wear the same stuff and it is hard to find two from different sizes. It also takes a lot of time, so unfortunately a sweatshop is sometimes more efficient."
Cleaning and washing
"We do 2-3 loads of laundry per day, every day. That is a lot of water, and we haven't even thought about our kids' love for playing with water. It's also a lot of time to dry! Our drying machine broke down recently, and after we fixed it for a lot of money, it broke down again. We decided to buy new, which was also expensive, but it used significantly less energy. We cannot really tell the ecological benefits, but we could tell that the second drying machine was of way better quality. We can only imagine how much we would do laundry if we would only use reusable diapers and inserts.
"When it comes to food, it's another hard question. How much should we buy and how much can we actually eat? Sometimes our kids are saying that they are hungry, but they won't finish their food. Even after a bite, they can say that they are full. Of course, we try to save as much food as we can, but sometimes we just don't want to eat the rest because we are also full, or we are doing a certain diet, then we have to get rid of the leftover in another way then eating it. "
Sustainability in General
"We think most of the parents are shopping for themselves and not for the planet. People will get things in larger quantities so they can buy them at a lower price. We also tend to think that simply because we needed a product once, we might need it more, so it is better if we get the bigger version. Also, usually the most useful products are the most harmful to the environment. For example, wet wipes are containing lots of chemicals, so we try to buy the kid-friendly edition. Even though many wipes have developed over the years - they can be used for changing diapers and wiping your hands after it's dirty - but still, you cannot flush it down on the toilet without harming the environment."