Not something you'd connect? Well, this heatwave (as with many other things) has had me in a panic, yet again, about the state of the world. I remember when I was about 9 recieving a flyer about the damage to he ozone layer which really struck me. It had a picture of humans bumbling around a scorched city, arms out feeling where to go, dark glasses on, in obvious distress. That image haunted me. As has the rate of weather change (which I know isn't climate but it'd be stupid to deny that this weather isn't a result of human activity on our planet).
I spent some time recently listening to some TED talks on climate change, trying to inform myself more, and I'm always left feeling the same, powerless. That the global problem is so much bigger than me and my tiny actions now. But something I heard yesterday was: to talk about it. Whatever situation we're in, talk about it. Stop denying it.
So it got me thinking about the cloth nappy library, and then to babywearing itself. And how actually babywearing, and the choices we can make through babywearing CAN have an impact on change. Here's my thinking
(And honestly, this is not a publicity stunt to get you to babywear because of my business, or even a way of lessening my feeling of guilt over climate change, but rather a way of opening a conversation...)
1. The carbon footprint of a sling or wrap.
We are so lucky in this part of the babywearing world to be able to choose really carefully where we buy our slings from. We CAN absolutely choose a lower carbon footprint sling via a few different options.
- buy a pre-loved sling (and even better, locally)
- buy a sling from a UK based company who source fabric and resources locally and sustainably. I'm thinking especially of companies such as firespiral and integra and sleepy Nico.
- find out about the packaging of your sling when buying. Mamaruga are awesome at sending everything in recyclable packaging.
- reuse a sling for all your children if it's in a good condition. I don't have a massive personal stash of slings. I don't have the room and I've never been a fan of buying excess "stuff" if not needed.
(And the carbon footprint of a sling will always be smaller than buying a buggy. This is not a dig at those who have a buggy though, but more a choice that COULD be made. I exclusively babywear Anna).
2. Recycling a sling. Well slings last an awfully long time unless damaged in some way. And when you've finished using it, they can be passed on or fabric can be recycled or repurposed into a keep sake, or cushions, or clothes. Good times.
3. Babywearing gives you freedom to ditch the car.
I had no car for almost 18 months after Anna was born. The sling allowed me the freedom to do this. It made using public transport easy. Even if you could leave the car behind for 10% less of your journeys. That would make a massive difference. (10% was a figure I read for the need to reduce our energy consumption by that much to avoid the 2/4 degree temp rise).
4. Babywearing gives you the freedom to get out into nature. Walking the dogs and going for long walks are two of the top reasons people like to get a sling. Babywearing can help us to take baby outside and off the beaten track. The more we can be in nature the more we can appreciate it AND observe any changes. Also, I know a number of sling-y friends who have allotments and take baby in the sling. Planting crops, encouraging wildlife, living sustainability (through crop growth, if possible, even in a limited way), is a massive deal for our world right now. It can also open the conversation about the choices we make when food shopping.
5. Meeting like minded people.
It used to be a bit of a cliche that you were a "crunchy mummy" if you were a babywearer, maybe a bit hippy. I'm incredibly happy that babywearing is becoming more and more mainstream and accepted. But there is an element of truth about the crunchy mummy thing. And the babywearing world for me has opened up joining groups such as the Babipur Facebook group which is all sustainable fairtrade clothes and toys. Or a zero waste group, or conversations with fellow sling librarians about running a paperless sling library...learning recipes for homemade deodorant and cleaning products, buying fewer but better clothes etc,ditching plastic straws, and if you wanna be a cool kid in the babywearing world you've gotta have a klean Kanteen ..all these things start the conversation. And then when you're not on you're own with these issues, things become more positive.
Because we can choose to babywear
Choose to ditch the car
Choose to understand nature
Choose to join the conversation
Choose to try cloth nappies
Choose to buy a sling which has a lower carbon footprint.
Babywearing can also help us to have a slower pace of life. Living life with a baby in a sling causes us to walk that bit slower, be more mindful about how we move. Choose natural fibres to wear to avoid over heating. When we slow down and become more mindful about our life and consumption of things, we can change our mind set and help change the world.
thanks for reading. if you liked this, our blog is up for an award, we'd be so grateful for your vote!