Posted by Maaike Mussche over 10 years ago
About consumption and use of resources
It starts when your pregnancy begins to show : “Are you allready furnishing a babyroom? Do you allready have a pram/bed/carchair... or wich one are you going to take? Are you having a gift-list on the birthcards?” “Euh, I was thinking about washable nappies, a few clothes and a little blanket and then see what I need when we go along?” That didn't seem the way to do it so I started to think about it and look in babycataloges and found out that I had to make a clear picture of my consumptionpolicies. We have had a little card with the words Reduce, Reuse, Recycle on our fridge for years and consume according to it wich isn't to hard once you have the essentials of your household as a couple. But when a baby comes a whole new lot of items try to find their way into your house.
So here are the extended R-rules of less-consumption (I will explain them in function of baby-related consumption but the apply to any consumption of course)
Refuse : You don't need most things sold in babyshops and advertised in parents-magazines. Don't accept plastic bags or packaging. Refuse to buy disposable items or items that will end up in the bin very soon because of bad quality. The 'Refuse' is probably the hardest one because some people tend to find it aggressive and even take it personally if you choose not to have things they consider essential or at least 'not problematic'. That is why sometimes I don't mention this rule but put its content under the next one : 'Reduce'.
Reduce : try three rather than five sleepsuits. Leave the car and walk. Turn of light and heating if not needed. Avoid plastic toys, plastic is made of oil, a precious resource that shouln't be used when there are alternatives, besides plastic isn't as safe as we thought when chewed on frequently. Actually think “do I really need this” with everything you want to buy.
Reuse : Reusable bags, nappies (more on those later), clothes (babies grow so fast that one baby is not able to wear down his clothes unless they are particularly bad quality ad therefore shouldn't have been produced anyway), toys, furniture....When you buy something new also think wether it will live long enough for the next brothers or sisters or cousins or even grandchildren.
Repair : only buy items that last, can be repaired and you want to keep forever.
Recycle : for all the things that can't be repaired or passed on.
Other things I find important to think of when I need to buy something are : renewable resources, respect for work- and productioncircumstances and fair trade.
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