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Going diaper free with your baby is not as hard or bizarre as you might think.  In the Western world, we have been programmed to believe that babies need diapers, but in many parts of …

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Home » Advice and Tips

We didn’t inherit the Earth

Submitted by on Sunday, 20 September 200910 Comments

One of the (many) things I love about my wife, is that she has taught me and our kids so much about caring for our Earth, and for others.  I have learned through her that giving back to the Earth and others is the most fulfilling thing you can do in life, and I owe her the world for setting a wonderful example for our kids in this regard.

kittenWhen our kids see what we do (she does) to take care of the Earth and others, they want to do the same (you know, kids always want to be like their parents – until they reach puberty at least – which is why it is good to start when they’re young!).

For example, if our son, Smarty Pants, sees a bottle, or piece of paper or plastic on the ground in the park, he picks it up and throws it in a garbage can.  Without even thinking about it.  It is truly amazing to see.  Sometimes I have to stop him from picking up things that look too dirty or like they shouldn’t be touched!  If only that were the most difficult aspect of parenting!

Here are just a few examples of things my wife does regularly that have had big impact on our kids, on other people, and on the earth.  I hope this list gives you a few ideas of your own:

  • If we are going out somewhere for a walk and we know we will pass by homeless people on the way, my wife packs a few extra fruits, like bananas, to give to them to them as we go by.  How great is it for our kids to see us giving food to the less fortunate?  Very good!
  • Recycling everything possible… including food composting.  When we moved to Vancouver, we could not sleep until we found an organic garbage bin in our neighbourhood!
  • Using cloth diapers and going diaper free.  I never would have had the guts to do these things on my own, but Love Buns showed me the way, and it has saved us a ton of cash, and a landfill a ton of diapers.
  • Using rechargeable batteries.  Before I met my wife, the only thing I recharged was myself by sleeping a lot.  Now I recharge batteries and don’t recharge myself nearly enough.
  • Using environmentally friendly dishwasher and laundry detergents.  I don’t even know if they can be classified as detergents.  In any case, they are chlorine and phosphate free and are biodegradable.  I am really glad we don’t dump all that crap into our water system anymore, and hope that others follow suit.
  • Keeping the parks and streets clean.  Like I hinted at before, if we pass by a piece of garbage that some miscreant has littered the earth with, and it looks okay to touch, my wife and son will do the right thing and put it in the nearest trash can (or recycling bin, if it is something recyclable, of course).

Doing things like this is especially important when you have kids, for two reasons:

  1. because we want the Earth to still be in good shape for our kids and grandkids and
  2. because we want to set an example for our kids, and hope that by doing so, they will adopt the same habits into their adulthood, and teach their kids the same.

If you are ever in doubt, just remember the old but timeless proverb, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

If you have any other tips or ideas, or comments, I’d be happy to hear them here.

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  • Keith Wilcox says:

    I consider myself reasonably conscientious about earth related health stuff — but no way could I have done the cloth diapers. I’m completely on board with the rechargeable batteries and what not though :-) We do compost and recycle though so I guess I’m not a complete slacker!
    Keith Wilcox´s last blog ..Developing Math Skill in Kids My ComLuv Profile

  • Head Jammer says:

    Hi Keith, that is good to hear and encouraging! I hope more dads can also say the same! The cloth diapering was not so bad… I was wary at first too, but luckily my wife was passionate about this and made me passionate about it too. You get used to it, and in the end it is not a lot more difficult than using disposables, and you have the added pleasure of knowing that you are not dumping tonnes of disposable diapers into the environment, and saving money at the same time :-)

  • Great post! Love the extra fruit packed for the homeless. So true, that when we set a precedent of giving to others our kids are inspired to follow. Seeing our children grow up to be compassionate citizens and stewards of this green/blue ball we all call home is a very special blessing. Recently we caught our son in the act of spontaneously helping someone–it brought tears to our eyes. Thanks for inspiring posts like this one.
    Guerrilla Giving´s last blog ..Gift #13 Fall into Poetry My ComLuv Profile

  • It is great to see that your wife is teaching your kids these lessons at an early age.

    Must say that you are a braver man then I am for cloth diapering! I have no doubt that it saves money and all, but after seeing what our little one does to a diaper…. I think it is just as well that we throw it out.
    New Dad Chris´s last blog ..Pacifiers: Good or Bad? My ComLuv Profile

  • Head Jammer says:

    Hi Chris, thanks for your comments… I had worries about cloth diapering before we started, but it was fine :) Now we are going diaper free with our second one, and I was even more worried, but it turns out to be even better than cloth diapering, believe it or not!

  • Head Jammer says:

    Thanks Guerrilla Giving for your comments and story. I totally agree, setting a good example of giving is one of the best things we can do for our children, our community, and the community of the future.

  • Diaper free? How’s that working out?

    I’ve read about it and it looks like a great idea in theory… I am curious to see how it works in practice.
    New Dad Chris´s last blog ..Surviving Night Feedings My ComLuv Profile

  • Head Jammer says:

    Hi Chris, it has its ups and downs, but surprisingly is going well overall. We can tell when she needs to go, and usually she tries to communicate to us when she has to go, through cries or hand signals that we have been teaching her. You have to be a lot more attentive, so it is a bit of extra work, but overall, saving a lot of work over the long term. Check out my Diaper Free FAQs and Facts jam.

  • The ultimate calling… leaving a legacy that not only affects our world but affects our kids. Wow. Is there a better job? Huge kudos to your wife and YOU for recognizing her!
    Glen (Smart Dad)´s last blog ..The Throat-Grabbing Life Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

  • Head Jammer says:

    Thank Glen, very well put!

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