I'm sitting here with my almost 1 year old daughter on my knees while her twin sister sleeps. Again on the radio there is talk about how we have a mere 12 years to create sufficient change to ensure the planet doesn't heat up more than the recommended 1.5 degrees. In a short 12 years, my daughter will be just about to start secondary school.
I wonder what kind of world will we be living in then. What will we be listening to on the radio in 12 years if we don't change? If we refused to give up our addiction to fossil fuels.
Just 12 years to act.
Just 12 years to create change.
What kind of world will we be leaving for her and for all other children and not yet born?
The Seventh Generation Principle is based on an ancient Iroquois philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future. Imagine having that level of foresight?
We can barely see to the impact on the next generation, never mind seven generations.
I've thought about starting this blog many times, why didn't I do it sooner? Mostly because I thought heck why another blog, what impact can that have? But now I believe the only way for us to really ensure there is a liveable planet for our children is through activism around environmental justice.
If you care for human beings then you need to care for the environment that we live in.
I am not saying I am perfect, far from it. I am learning and on a journey too. Right now I drive a diesel guzzling Toyota Rav not perfect. As we learn we change. It was bought when we all thought diesel was clean.. no excuse.
On the other hand I try to make changes where I can I use cloth nappies and cloth wipes on my twin girls because I know the impact that using disposables has on the environment.
These nappies end up in the local landfill where they can take up to 500 years to decompose. Disposable nappies contain paper pulp, plastics, absorbent gel granules, and chemical additives, which have a negative impact on the environment. One baby needs around 5000 nappies before they are potty trained! Additionally, the millions of tons of untreated waste added to landfills each year through plastic nappies can contaminate ground water. Decomposing nappies also release methane into the air.
Not to mention the fact that nappies also contain a myriad of other toxic chemicals used to make nappies. Most disposable nappies are bleached white with chlorine, (Chemistryexplained.com) resulting in a byproduct called dioxins that leach into the environment and the diapers. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2010), exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions.
Think about it, you are placing these chemicals against your babies skin 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in some cases for the first 3 years of their life!
As a child and adolescent development expert, I know that the first 3 years are critical to human development in terms of neurological development and behaviour. We can't be truly certain of the impact that such continuous exposure to chemicals has in the long term.
We have become an ultra convenience and disposable society.
It is worth thinking about if you are a parent, what kind of world do you want to leave your children? Is the convenience of disposables worth possibly not having a liveable planet for your children to grow up in and watch their children and grandchildren grow?
We need to make changes, all of us. Together NOW. Small, little changes and bigger impactful changes too across every aspect of our lives.
Convenience and fear of litigation can't be reason for inaction.
Change needs to happen at local, national and global level. We need a new level of discourse and thinking around this so that we can all be a catalyst for change.
It's not enough to see changes that need to happen, and moan about how things don't change. It's time to BE THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE.
This little article is the seed for thought about how we can all be a catalyst for change and how we can inspire others to think more deeply about their choices. It's a place to learn, share and grow. Yes there may be things I do that when thought about more deeply turn out to be wrong or not effective. Straight up I'm saying that's ok, without judging myself or others. This is a playground of experimentation where we can dream about a better world for our children and the only way to learn is to experiment, try things and learn from the outcome.
Also I don't have all the answers, not even close. But I don't think anyone else does either, so why not just share what I learn and see where we go from there.
As for me, I'm a mum. I'm trying to do the best for my twins at a time when the planet is heaving under the sheer enormity of the amount of us humans. We are all just trying to do our best, whatever that is.