Living the eco-baby life

I know I said it would probably be a while before I published another blog post, but I have learned so much in the past month I couldn’t resist!

In an ideal world, many people would prefer a natural birth with no drugs or interference and a labour that is not particularly lengthy. This is what I also hoped for but as my due date grew closer, I was readying myself for anything.

After being told I may need to be induced early, something changed for me. I was ready and understood that the baby was ready to come out!

So, my birth didn’t start off going to plan but after being induced, having my waters broken and a couple of hours of contractions, out he came.

Our beautiful baby boy is now with us and we are loving every bit of the journey. We are learning so much every day, and instead of feeling constantly overwhelmed, we are enjoying it as much as we can and I am focusing on expanding my knowledge because there is just so much to learn!

Being the eco-conscious person that I endeavour to be, I ordered a bunch of both cloth nappies and biodegradable bamboo nappies before the birth. I had heard that cloth nappies weren’t the easiest on newborns, but I was keen to eventually give them a go and planned to use the bamboo nappies in the meantime.

After returning home from hospital, we got to work on our eco-baby routine. Bamboo nappies, check. Bamboo wipes, check. Biodegradable nappy bags, check. We were set and it felt really good. But I felt like I could do more, I mean I had enough cloth nappies for part time usage and a heap of old school terry towelling nappies too.

It’s like people tried to put me off, telling me cloth nappies aren’t easy, and that I wouldn’t last long using them, especially without a dryer. But I am pretty determined, and I don’t mind cleaning a bit of poop here and there. The biggest issue I am having at the moment is with the fit. Once he is a bit bigger I think I will find them more useful and won’t need to change the sheets so frequently! But I have decided that a little bit of extra water usage in the interim is better than a mountain of waste that will take a lifetime to break down. I know that even biodegradable nappies take a while to break down, but their environmental footprint is better than that of non-biodegradable nappies.

I have also been researching the best chemical free or chemically reduced options for things like nappy rash, sunscreen etc and have been asking anyone with a child what they did. I am now using paw paw ointment as barrier cream for nappy rash, which seems to be working well. Apparently nappy rash will be an issue with cloth nappies, due to moisture build up so I make sure I lather it on at least once a day!

I had to order of a different type of (still Australian made) biodegradable nappies, as the ones I started using decided to start leaking occasionally too. These new ones I have ordered claim to have a high absorbency and have been pretty good so far.

This is my life now and I am loving it! It has been such an important time of learning and we love watching our baby as he takes in the world and responds differently every day.

If anyone has anything they want to share, please leave a comment!

A brighter future

This month has just been one of those months, you know? Where you feel like you have no time for anything and are constantly exhausted, no matter how many hours of sleep you get each night. Despite my apparent lack of time, there were a few things that caught my attention.

Cruising in the wrong direction

I recently read about the crazy amount of damage the cruise industry has on our planet. Seems obvious that these vessels carrying thousands of people with seemingly endless options for food and entertainment contribute overwhelmingly to carbon emissions but it still came as a bit of a shock to read about.

I can’t find the exact article now, but I even read that going out to the deck of one of these ships has the same affect as being on a busy, polluted city street! Which makes it all the more confusing that people actually go on these kinds of trips for a relaxing break to ‘get away from it all’.

This got me thinking about what future holidaying might look like.

I am hoping far less cruises will be available, and realistically as the world recovers from a pandemic, I doubt the industry will be coming back to popularity the way it was before.

There tend to be 2 types of people when it comes to cruises; the cruise devotees and the people who would not be caught dead on a cruise ship. But it isn’t often you hear of the environmentally conscious…

And with a leader like ours, I guess this makes sense.

Leadership woes

At the recent Biden Climate Summit, while many committed to a new global emissions target of a reduction in 50-52% by 2030, PM Scott Morrison explained that Australia is aiming for a mere 26-28% reduction in this time.

Why can’t we commit to matching the targets of other countries? Is it fear of failure? Surely an attempt at doing the right thing is better than having a comparatively low target? Give us something to strive towards!

Holidaying local

As many Australians are encouraged to holiday here this year, a campaign brought on by the late 2019 early 2020 bushfires, we can only imagine the reduction in global emissions encouraged, with frivolous Australian travellers being restricted.

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly am excited to travel again both within Australia (we have some trips planned already!) and one day internationally again but I also have something a bit bigger coming my way that might make travelling… interesting.

Next month our family of three (me, my husband and our dog) will become four! We are super excited!

Saying that, I like to think that I’ll be able to maintain the once a month posting frequency I have upheld over the past year for my blog but in all truth, I am yet to know exactly what’s coming for me. Maybe I will find time but maybe this is unlikely for the first 3 months or so.

So if you don’t hear from me until the second half of the year, don’t fret! Just understand that I am most likely experiencing sleep withdrawals and enjoying time with my new bub, perhaps while sipping coffee and pondering about the world…

I’ll be in touch 🙂

Making room for the bigger things

If you’ve ever given much thought to ‘Life’s big decisions’ and our possible thought processes behind them, you will realise that they consume a lot of time and energy and often leave us feeling blurgh.

Whether it’s buying a house, deciding to have a baby, embarking on a new career or breaking free of contact with someone who you no longer feel very close to, the level of extremeness for each of these decisions differs greatly from person to person, and this article from the Conversation AU looks into possible reasons for this, and also looks into reasons behind regret.

Sometimes even the smallest decisions are difficult. Maybe you ordered something online and it wasn’t quite what you had hoped for when you received it? Do you send it back or adjust whatever you had planned to use it for to suit accordingly? If there are free returns, this can be an easy choice, but what if there aren’t or if you only have a limited time to make a choice?

Whether we realise it or not, these small life decisions can have a big impact on us and take up a lot of space in our minds.

I have heard of many situations of people trying to limit the number of decisions they make each day, which is an interesting idea in itself. Take Mark Zuckerberg for example; he wears the same outfit every day so that he doesn’t have to think about what he should wear each morning. Seems a bit strange, but upon further thought it actually makes a lot of sense!

By clearing out the clutter, there is more room remaining for the bigger things, like running a social media empire, right Zuck?

Weighing it up

For all decisions contemplated, there is always another way to go about it. A lot of the time that option is to keep doing things the way they are done, which is what people often choose. This option is comfortable, easy, and unless there is something more to look forward to with the other, why not just keep doing things the way they are?

To me, this is not an option. I like to decide by weighing up the pro’s and con’s by making a list; you should try it – forming a range of points for each side really helps to analyse the situation. When something is taking up a lot of head space, and it is difficult to focus on anything else because the answer is not immediately clear, the ‘List’ comes in very handy.

Big life decisions also come with lessons learned. Now in my early thirties, I have made my fair share of these, but I am aware that there are still plenty more to come.

Supporting a movement

Decisions also come with supporting movements and choosing what to stand behind. What do you want to invest your time believing?

Earlier this month (March 8) was International Women’s Day, a day where the achievements of women are recognised and celebrated. Since entering the corporate workforce in 2013, I have noticed as this day has become more widely celebrated each year, which can only be a good thing. As inequalities continue to exist, we have to appreciate and strive towards more activism in this space, which is precisely what this day acknowledges.

An appropriate level of rush

Last week I made the decision to venture into the city for the first time in a year. It was a big deal for me, which after so long at home I was quite excited by. Not because I was desperate to get back to the office but because I missed the morning commute, the food, the faces and experiencing something different every day. As you know, I have been enjoying my new routine, spending a whole lot more time at home with my husband and my dog. I sat on the early morning train watching passers-by and reflecting on how much things had changed in this past year. I also thought of the city rush I was about to experience, although I was expecting it to be much quieter than when I had last been there. I was keen to experience the city as it ‘wakes up‘, with less urgency and a slower pace.

For old times’ sake, I really wanted to have a true Melbourne style day; I wanted to get a nice coffee in a café down an alleyway, eat a bagel for lunch and window shop, then return to my desk to admire the view of the city, which is exactly what I did. I don’t know when or how often I’ll go back in, but now that I have done it, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, I think there needs to be a balance and that organisations have (or should have) learned a great deal from the pandemic. If an employer doesn’t see that their staff can be both happy and productive at home, I don’t know what they have learned, or what decisions they have been making over the past few months.

It’s been a busier time for me than usual, not that I have minded. I still think it’s very important to take it easy and enjoy life at the slower pace many of us have grown used to, but every now and then a level of rush can be invigorating. However, we must recognise that there is a decision there, and we need to figure out what levels of rush we want in our lives. This can be done by reflecting on the long-term impacts which although may not be immediate, are ultimately worth considering.

Are we in a world that change can fix?

My post from last month came at a time when I felt so relaxed and ready to take on 2021, so today I wanted to focus on some more pressing issues.

Acknowledging the impact

Like the bushfires that very recently swept across Perth suburbs in Western Australia. Almost 100 homes were lost as well as a huge amount of wildlife. This is all too familiar with us residents in the east, as we were reminded of the devastation of the Victoria/NSW fires not so long ago. With recent findings revealing that logging increases bush flammability for up to 30 years, and that it is 7 times more likely for the canopy of a forest that has been logged to burn, we have to wonder, what is being done to counter this? We can not simply hope that things will change, and that Australia’s environmental future will somehow be spared, we have to act on it; we have to actually do something about it.

Protecting biodiversity

Which brings me to this article from The Conversation AU, ‘To fix Australia’s environment laws, wildlife experts call for these 4 changes – all are crucial’. The post looks at steps that need to be taken to reverse Australia’s current track record of protecting biodiversity, including:

  1. Setting standards
  2. Greater government accountability
  3. Decent funding; and
  4. Increase ecological knowledge.

It is an interesting article and I encourage you to have a read but for now I want to reflect on the last point, the need to increase ecological knowledge, again coming back to my point of adapting to changes occurring around us, rather than hoping. The article suggests expert committees are a requirement in increasing ecological knowledge and really learning about our threatened species and ecological communities so that we can fully invest in forming active recovery plans. We should be paying more attention to this issue, as it affects the environment in which we exist, yet for the majority of the population, contemplating such an issue is just too hard. Why worry about these complex issues when the immediate future is at stake?

In Melbourne right now

Right now here in Melbourne, we are 4 days in to a 5 day lockdown. This is the first time Victoria has tried such a short lockdown in an effort to combat a recent COVID outbreak, and we are all waiting to see if it has paid off so that we can return to the lives we were getting so used to again.

As I said last month, I think this year will be a huge case of trial and error. Even though the vaccine/s are in the process of being rolled out across the country as we speak, it does not mean it is going to abruptly come to an end. It felt strange yet familiar as we suddenly plunged into lockdown at 12pm on Friday night, all plans for the weekend out the window. Which is why this year at least; our plans need to remain as flexible as they can. Certainty is not something we can be sure of, so we need to adapt and whatever we do, we can’t forget the lessons learned in 2020.

Hope is a funny thing. Once we get a glimpse of it, it can be very hard to turn our focus to anything else, but we need to remember that we are still a world that change can fix to some extent. Whether it’s our health or the environment or something else altogether, we need to be able to properly identify the challenges around us; often times, the situation we have put ourselves in. We all have the ability to improve and invest in making a difference to future outcomes, both health and environment related, so let’s make an effort to properly understand what’s going on around us.