March 9, 2014
This week marks the height of my hipocracy (I hope that it only gets greener from here!). Two weeks ago I wrote a post about switching to green toothpaste. During a visit to my dentist the other day, we discussed the ongoing saga of my daughter’s dental health. (We finally got into the specialist, who announced that she either needed a root canal or the tooth would have to be pulled. I still well-up at the thought of it). I mentioned I’ve been having trouble flossing her back teeth (which the specialist had mentioned have more plaque build up), and my hygienist suggested we get the pre-strug plastic flossers.
Then it was my turn. My hygienist mentioned that from examining my gums (and the amount of bleeding during the exam) it appeared that the bacteria in my mouth were out of balance, and that I should start using mouthwash once a day for a few days to bring things back in balance. I mentioned that I was using salt water (an obvious more environmentally friendly option) but she said that wouldn’t be strong enough for me right now. The bacteria in your mouth, although are supposed to be there in small numbers, if too high can get into your blood stream and make you sick. Which is interesting considering since about December I’ve been alternating between head colds, stomach flu and strep throat (which is before I made the toothpaste switch, so it probably has nothing to do with the that). She also said that the bleeding could be because I’m pregnant.
And wouldn’t that be nice. We had decided back in the summer, unbeknownst to any of our friends or family, to pull the goalie so to speak and let fate take it’s course, but apparently my team’s defense is stronger than the offense. I was a couple of days late and had noticed the past couple of weeks that my rings were a little harder to get on (maybe joints expanding in response to hormones??) and that my pants with buttons had a little less give. Every month we daydream about and debate the pros and cons of giving our daughter a sibling and satisfying our parents’ desires to hold another grandbaby, whilst throwing our lives into chaos again just when things have settled down into the new normal. Every month we share in our relatively balanced sense of disappointment and relief, wondering if we’re doing the right thing. Would this be the month when fate settled it for us?
After the appointment I had a bit of time to do some errands before picking up my daughter from daycare, so I popped in to the drug store to pick up some mouth wash and flossers without really thinking about it because I’m daydreaming about the prospects of redecorating the spare room upstairs.
On the way home it hit me. Here I am switching to “green” toothpaste and making all of these other changes, yet proceeding to use non-reusable or recyclable plastic flossers and mouthwash with who knows what in it, all the while actually contemplating putting another person with it’s own ecological footprint on this already over-populated planet for the sake of giving my daughter a sibling and winning points with our parents.
Suppressing the planet-guilt as much as possible, I went to work the next day, where I accidentally printed a 20 page document that I didn’t need too (and non-double sided at that), thinking about how I have to be honest and write about all of this on my blog (which Google Analytics tells me no one but my husband is reading anyway, and I don’t have as much time to work on because my daughter has also decided she no longer needs naps) – when Aunt Flo decided to make an appearance.
Feeling pretty bummed out and frustrated about all of this, that evening I promptly drowned my guilt in a glass of Chilean wine.
What goes up must come down, and the week did improve with some progress on one of my challenges – reusable training pants.
Since I began this challenge at the beginning of January, I’ve been researching and experimenting with different options for training pants. Our daughter is basically potty trained, except during naps, at night, and really long outings or where a washroom might not be available. My daughter’s daycare requests that the children use training pants for naps until they are fully trained. I suppose it saves on laundry and hassle, but creates a lot of waste.
We had used Bum Genius cloth diapers* from the time she was about six weeks old until she was about 14 months, and the daycare was really good about it. We only lost one diaper to use of rash cream (which decreases absorbancy). After 14 months she was so mobile that the cloth just weren’t working – her “bum scooting” was forcing the liquid out through the legs, onto her pants, and leaving a trail of pee behind her. I totally understood the daycare’s perspective – constantly changing her into dry clothes and cleaning up trails of pee that other children are crawling through is not healthy or efficient. So we took a break from the cloth and used Seventh Generation and PC Green diapers, which are both (supposedly) made in a more sustainable way than regular disposables and are fragrance-free. Once she started walking we were able to switch back to cloth diapers for another year or so until she was ready for potty training.
When we first entered this new phase of todderldom, I was concentrating so much on the actual business of getting her to do her business in the right places and the right times that I didn’t give much thought to other options. Once we were all comfortable with the mechanics of potty training, I wanted to make the switch.
Seventh Generation also carries disposable training pants similar to their diapers, but I can’t seem to get my hands on a package. I could ship them from Amazon.com, but that also seems wasteful, in terms of packaging and carbon emissions, and is very expensive. I’ve written to Superstore, Sobeys and Walmart asking that they start carrying them. I received lovely replies that thanked me for my feedback and they would look into it. But nothing on the shelves yet. by the time they do stock them she’ll probably be fully trained.
I went on to look at non-disposable options for weekends. A few Google searches and lunchtime shopping excursions later I found Bummis – available at Fluffy Bottom Babies and Nurtured -and Kushies available at Babies R Us. While the price point of the Kushies was perfect – about 10$ – I also like the idea of supporting local entrepreneurs rather than box stores, and the Bummis seem to fit better and are more absorbent.
I broached the topic of using the Kushies at nap time with the daycare, and they were totally open to it. And so far it’s been successful!
Now, off into the sunshine to walk away this winter weight and onto the next challenge!
*For more information on cloth diapering and the environment, check out the following links: