If we pay a bit of attention, it's pretty much impossible to ignore the topic of sustainability. Not least through the media, it is regularly reported how severe the situation actually is. (Micro)plastic flooding the oceans, climate change through greenhouse gases and the social, economic and environmental exploitation of many countries are just some of the reasons for an urgent change. I strongly believe that many people have understood this urgency, but when it comes to really acting, things become more tricky. Talking about it, of course! But doing something ourselves? What difference can i actually make?
In the last six months, it´s become even clearer to me why we need to change this line of thought. Why complacency no longer counts as an argument, if we really want to change something. And why the actions of every single person count just as much as the big picture. Since i´m pregnant, a sustainable lifestyle has taken on a new meaning to me - out of love for the future of my child.
Sustainability in Everyday Life
In the past years, i've pretty much dived intensely into this topic and integrated the things into my life that i can easily implement. For example, i don't eat any meat, i use carsharing, public transport and often ride the bike, use mostly natural cosmetics, buy regional at local markets or second-hand, i drink tap water out of reusable bottles and try to use electricity and water sensibly.
A small start, but still there is still enough on my list that i have not managed yet: subscribing to a regional vegetable box, having less but more sustainable fashion in my closet, reducing plastic waste when shopping, and supporting more local stores instead of big chains. Knowing that we will be three people in our little family at the end of November, this list has actually grown. Why? Because i want to make a contribution so that our child can grow up safely on this planet. Because i want to teach him my values of protecting the environment. And of course because i only want the best for our baby.
So all of a sudden, there are completely new questions about sustainability: Do we use cloth diapers or disposable ones? Which parts of the first shopping can we buy second-hand and which ones should be new? On what mattress should our newborn sleep? And - very importantly: What clothes should he wear on his skin?
Less is More
Of course in answering these questions, there aren't just ethical aspects involved, but also financial and practical aspects. But there shouldn't be any excuses here either - the principle “less is more” still counts as much as ever: I´d rather invest in a few rompers from sustainable materials that grow with my child, than items of all sizes that will soon be too small anyway. Better to have a neat and smaller toy box, instead of having one that overflows with cheap plastic pieces and where only a fraction is played with anyway. It's absolutely fine to use used items, that may be already available in the circle of friends and can be passed onto the next family. All this saves money and is much more sustainable. And all this is a small step in the right direction.
Last week i spent a few days in the mountains, hiking and enjoying the untouched, beautiful nature. The small trip showed me again, why it's worth washing one cloth diaper more and not using any throwaway cloths just because they are practical:
So that my kid can hike through the mountains with his little family just like me, and marvel at the same beauty. Although i do hope that it will take a while until then…
5 sustainable family blogs to get inspired
Blogs are a fantastic way to dive into the topic of sustainability a bit deeper. There are lots of blogs and platforms that revolve around family-life and sustainability, and also ones that are simply written by moms and dads. Here is an overview of the ones i like to read most:
The Tiny Canal Cottage - A sustainable life with husband, little child and two saved beagles in a very small space.
Elfenkind - A blog from Berlin about a sustainable and natural life with kids. You can find lots of ideas about interior design, fashion and a healthy lifestyle here too.
Avec Quatre - A sustainable family blog about travelling and recipes, lifestyle topics and food for thought about the life as a mom or dad.
Viertel / Vor - Anna Schunck and Marcus Werner became parents of a little daughter just a few weeks ago. In their online magazine they give news, tips and interviews about sustainability - with lots of beautiful pictures!
- Stryletz- One of my absolute favourite fair fashion blogs. Bina from Hamburg proves time and time again, how stylish organic fashion can be. Along with that, she gives tips on nutrition, travelling and beauty.
Sonja is a long way from having a sustainable wardrobe, but convinced that even small steps are good steps. She lives with her dog and her cat from the animal shelter in Berlin since about 10 years and and works there as a freelance editor for the topics Fair Fashion, Organic Beauty, Travel and Tech.