Thursday, January 26, 2012

Swap it Baby

I should have known something like this existed! Thanks

It's kinda like LETS where you swap goods and services for 'Operas' but for kid stuff.

A great site, but a little low on stock. 

The Buy Nothing New Kid.

The problem:

The Baby Products industry is going strong and proving to be a ray of sunshine in tough economic times. Over the five years through 2011-12, industry revenue is expected to grow 1.1% per annum  to be worth $4.38 billion. Cashed-up parents have been buying up big for their newborns, with only the best in mind. This attitude, combined with rising birth rates to older parents, has given rise to a new area of growth: high-end baby products (Ibis World Research 2010) 

That's basically $4.38 billion dollars worth of strollers, nappy change tables, toys, clothes, bassinets and other junk that is used at most for 3-6 months.

This junk uses energy, water and finite resources as it is made.  If it 'works' you'll probably need a bunch more coal-fired energy and water to power it and then when the kid is sick of it it will inevitably have to go somewhere.

The waste and energy associated with buying stuff for the kid when it is a baby doesn't take into account the environmental impact of adding another (Westerner) to the earth. This is also a little worrying.

In a study done by Paul Murtaugh & Michael Schlax called "Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individualsit was found that even if you live a really sustainable life (drive a Prius, use Green Energy, are vegetarian, use energy-saving bulbs etc.) these efforts are effectively useless if you have a kid.

In fact Murtaugh & Schlax also found that the in developed countries, each child adds about 9441 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average female currently alive - this is 5.7 times her lifetime emissions.  

The solution?

Well the first option is to sterilise yourself and/or use contraceptions. But if (for whatever reason and seriously probably not a great idea to take sex ed advice from a preggo) this is not an option then raise a kid who will be a decent human being and attempt to fix things.

Apparently this is harder to do than it sounds.

So use the only power that you really have as a parent (until they're old enough to work) - try not to buy the kid anything new. 

For as long as you can get away with it.

I don't know if this is possible, but I'm willing to give it a decent crack.

Will keep you posted.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Save the world, don't have children.


No longer can I justify my (fairly infrequent, yet still highly GHG intensive) travel, with claims that "Yeah, well I don't have nor do I intend to have kids so I can fly now and again".

There is a person being cooked in my belly. She'll be out soon.

Technically, I guess that now makes me a 'Mummy Blogger' which make my face involuntarily grimace and gives me a vague panicky feeling. So you would be doing me a favour by promising to make loud terrible comments if it gets too 'Mumsy'.


Just for shits and giggles, and with the optimism of a person who's still technically childless,  I have decided not to buy my kid anything new.

Partly because of the environment, partly because I don't have much money and mostly as a massive 'Fuck You' to every since company and piece of media that has been bombarding and manipulating me into thinking that I need to buy all this junk new.

I'll use this blog to let you know if it's possible, beg occasionally or whinge.

I'm writing the rules over the next couple of days, if you have suggestions then please leave them below.

Promise not to get emo.

Bloody hippies.