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What is Environmentally Aware Parenting? Being an environmentally aware parent is complex, but if we all do what we can, in a non-judgemental way, that will make a difference, believes Zion Lights never found being environmentally aware a problem – before I became a parent. I had a two-bin compost system and a home-made compost loo in the garden, recycled almost everything and produced very little black bag waste. I had time to garden and gather fruits and veggies in season and make jams and pickles. But one day all that changed. And when it changed, with the life-altering event that is motherhood, the stakes had never been higher in my mind. Here I was, desperate to create a better, cleaner, greener world for my newborn daughter, and there were the nappies piling up in the corner. Well, not quite. We used cloth nappies from the start, and I researched composting occasional disposables with far too much gusto while feeding my baby girl at 4 o’clock in the morning. But this didn’t satisfy me, because everything I read seemed to lead in circles: one ‘nappy expert’ would say that these nappies were better for the environment, another would say that those were. My head ached with reading up on bamboo vs cotton, and cloth vs disposables vs biodegradables.

Illustrations by Stu McLellan –

Something had to change, and I found that change in reading up on the science. What did that study actually show about the way women give birth, and what did that report really mean what it claimed that reusables were as eco-unfriendly as disposables?

environmentally aware parenting is about nurturing

Discussing these topics with friends also seemed to be a barrier. My environmental activism, which was seen as a desirable hobby pre children, became seen as a luxury afterwards. Yet to me, looking into my daughter’s deep blue eyes and seeing the world in them, it became even more of a necessity. The world has become our rubbish tip, one great big landfill that extends into the oceans, and the climate is heating up and we’re losing the Earth’s diverse species because of it. My words won’t change the world, but if they help to raise two strong voices for the Earth, who can show others how to cope with our changing world and climate, then that is my calling in life right now. There is no greater one. It’s difficult to know where to start with environmentally aware parenting, because it’s easy to do the ‘new parent’ thing and >


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