The most sustainable mom I know is my dear friend Kim who finally agreed to let me interview her so she can show us all (moms, dads, and none of the above) how it’s done. Although Kim had some environmentally friendly practices down before her daughter Kami was born two years ago, she has since stepped it up. The following interview provides straightforward and inspiring insight and guidance on being a sustainable parent. Thank you to Kim and Kami for sharing their experiences with us.
When did you realize that you wanted to include sustainability in your daily life and what motivated you?
As Kami started to grow and eat solids is when it really started to kick in! She would put everything in her mouth and it made me realize how EVERYTHING could affect her growth and development. She chewed on her toys, furniture, dog toys, dirt, etc. Seeing this made me realize how much I really wasn’t aware of the chemicals in my (our) life. When Kami started to eat I noticed more and more that I wasn’t necessarily eating bad food but I wasn’t eating food that was nourishing either. This got me thinking not only about the chemicals going into our food, but also how food was stored and the waste we were producing.
What are some of the easiest sustainable actions you do that you would recommend for other busy parents?
The easiest things to incorporate into my life were using glass tupperware and a reusable water bottle (stainless or glass) for everyone in the family. I always have a water bottle with me and I use tupperware anyways. For kids I would definitely use stainless bottles that can switch to a sippy top. I love our glass bottles, but not all children are as careful as Kami and may break the glass.
What are some of the most difficult or time-consuming sustainable actions you do that you think are rewarding and totally worth it?
I would definitely say cloth diapers! I love using them and wouldn’t change it, but to get down a wash routine, figure out what kind, keep up with using them, etc. it can be really hard! I love that I am making this difference and that Kami doesn’t have that nasty questionable goop on her bum. Another difficult thing has been the cloth wipes. They are a pain to keep up with, but so worth it. They feel amazing on our skin, clean way better, and I don’t need as many because they work better!
Is there anything else you would like to tell other parents that are trying to be more sustainable?
Find a mommy/daddy group for support! We have a wonderful group called Wholistic Mamas and Papas in our area and it is my go to support for anything family related. Parent participation can be a great support also. You can have online or in person support but find one or two places. Otherwise, you will make yourself crazy with all the contradicting info out there. Also, always use your parental instinct. You ultimately know what is going to be best for your family and no one else can make that choice for you. And make changes at your own pace because you cannot conquer the world in one day!
Interview by L. DeMates