Are Will and Kate destined to be green parents? (Photo: WENN.com)
With an environmental advocate for a father, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge will no doubt be expected to be green parents.
So what are some ways they might help the environment while raising the future king and queen? Here’s a few ideas:
In 2010, Environment Canada said more than four million disposable diapers are thrown out daily in Canada, accounting for approximately 250,000 tonnes of trash each year. So some moms turn to cloth (despite arguments washing diapers uses too much electricity and water to clean them).
But, I can personally say, cloth diapering is easier today than it ever was – forget safety pins and rubber pants – today’s cloth diapers are just as simple to use as disposables with snaps and Velcro.
“Today’s cloth diapers are not recognizable compared to our grandparent’s cloth diapers,” says Amy Appleton of AppleCheeks, a Montreal cloth diaper maker.
“Modern cloth diapers are made with wonderful fabrics that are more absorbent and even softer than anything seen before as well as high-tech, offering fabulous performance,” she says in an email. “Are people surprised by how easy they are to use? Yes! We hear from people literally every day telling us how easy AppleCheeks are to use – and how cute they are on baby’s bottom.”
And it really is better for the environment.
“Taking everything into account, including water and detergent, there is still no question that cloth diapers are more gentle on the environment that single-use diapers. Think about it: No one would ever say that using a dish one time and throwing it away is more environmentally friendly than using reusable dishes and washing them,” Appleton says.
“You must consider the whole life of a diaper, from production to landfill. AppleCheeks can be reused hundreds of times before they are eventually suitable to be used as rags and after that can decompose in the landfill to be spread, as compost, on the garden the next spring.”
Kate and Wills could also use reusable wipes (something as simple as a wash cloth, or specifically designed wipes) to help save the environment.
Or no diapers at all
If they’re willing to go even further, there is also “elimination communication” where parents watch for cues from their baby for when the little one will go pee or poop, then hold them over a toilet. This method of early toilet training begins immediately after birth and means there’s no need for diapers at all.
Moms breastfeeding in Edmonton. (Photo: QMI AGENCY)
New moms are always told “breast is best” for baby, but it’s also good for the environment – it saves on waste from formula packaging. There are also options to ensure breastfeeding is even greener, by using non-toxic nipple butter and reusable breast pads.
Kate has said she enjoys spending time in the kitchen making meals for William and herself. Will she also be making her own baby food?
“Keep it simple,” says Kim Corrigan-Oliver, an Ontario birth doula and holistic nutritionist who runs the website yourgreenbaby.ca.
“You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment – a steamer, a hand blender and some BPA free containers to freeze the food in,” she says in an e-mail. “When she gets started introducing her little one to food my number one piece of advice is to follow her baby’s lead. It is important to remember food in the first year is just for fun and to get our babies use to different tastes. Breast milk or formula provides all of baby’s nutrition for the first year, any food eaten is considered bonus nutrition in my book. So if mom and dad can relax and let baby lead the whole experience is so much more fun.”
While organic products will likely be top of the couple’s list, buying local produce will also be important. Perhaps she will want to start a garden in the backyard at Kensington Palace to teach the little one about growing vegetables and to get the freshest produce.
Maybe Prince Charles’ food line Duchy Originals will come out with a line of organic baby food?
Toys and clothing
Will and Kate are unlikely to hit to thrift shops to pick up used clothes to reuse them, but they may buy sustainable clothing – items made from eco-friendly resources, like bamboo, cotton, and hemp. It doesn’t just stop at clothes – receiving blankets, towels, bedding, even toys can all be made using eco-friendly resources.
Is going green going to be hard?
“I don’t personally find it hard, it is important to our family so we prioritize it in our lives,” Corrigan-Oliver says. “I often have families who are looking to live a ‘greener,’ more eco-friendly life and my advice is always to start small. Take a look at the big picture, where you want to be and then step back and determine how to get there. It is those little steps that will eventually end up at the big picture.”