I remember thinking a few years back that eco-parenting was for many people a lifestyle choice, made by those lucky enough to have options and a strong desire to leave a minimal environmental impact by those choices. That perspective changed virtually overnight, when COVID-19 changed our lives forever.
Going crazy over toilet paper-really?!
It started with the all too familiar toilet paper shortage. Whilst most people were scrambling to hoard enough to supply for their entire community, I was relieved that that was one less thing to worry about- I had a regular subscription to Pure Planet so my toilet paper supply was guaranteed. It also meant I had enough to share with elderly family members who were struggling to get their supply. This simple concept surprised me but I was totally unprepared just how far reaching my eco-parenting journey would lighten the challenges of life in lockdown during a pandemic.
Where hand sanitiser was also in short supply, I looked into natural, homemade recipes that I could use. I was concerned about hand sanitiser being used by young children as they are at greater risk of poisoning and eye injuries, particularly children under 5. This is because most hand sanitisers contain alcohol and babies and young children tend to put their hands in their mouth, a lot! Some sanitiser dispensers squirt the sanitiser- causing eye injuries. What was really frustrating is the constant media bombardment about using commercial hand sanitiser when in fact the safest option for babies and young children was to use soap and a wet face cloth- no supply shortage there!
As my kids were a little older, I chose natural hand sanitiser-without potentially toxic chemicals- my favourites were Squeakie and Jack n’ Jill so they were in school bags and the car. This has come in handy even on picnics and trips to the beach or just everyday life where messy hands, vomit, spills and pet accidents are sure to occur.
No nappies or wipes, WTF?
Nappies and wipes were also in short supply, adding to the stress of adjusting to life with a new baby. For parents curious enough to try cloth nappies, again the results were far reaching. A nappy subscription service was also worth it’s weight in gold. It’s amazing how these little eco steps can have a profound impact during times of crisis, not just during a global pandemic, but in times of bushfires and floods as well-something we Australians are all too familiar with.
Where to from here?
So whether you are a seasoned eco-parent from way back or just taking little eco steps to reduce your carbon footprint, having a backup of eco products is essential. Even better is sharing these nuggets of wisdom and creating a little emergency basket of supplies for a young family in your life. You never know just how much of an impact this can have.
Have you had a similar experience during the pandemic or emergency situation? I’d love to hear what you found helpful or even lessons learned to be better prepared in an unpredictable future.