Would I donate 50p for carbon off setting? I was amazed to be asked this when just buying a bathroom tap. Well no, but I have decided to go greener in the way that we live from using washable nappies to minimising the flights that we take. Besides every Mum knows that the a happy child makes for a happy holiday - and a day travelling, followed by the rigid necessity of slip, slop, slap can have its downsides. As you can see from my holiday snap, Sarita does not look too miserable on a Cornish beach in September.
I was just reading David Milliband's comments on Mumsnet on food miles: 'Seasonal, local food is good in terms of carbon. But it's not as simple as more miles = more carbon because sometimes food grown locally requires lots of carbon if grown in artificial conditions'. Which highlights my thoughts that it ain't that simple.
Mums are adept at juggling and finding a balance. Lets face it, when we were pregnant we all had preconceived ideas about our ideal parenting styles; who has not bent the rule - ultimately to the benefit of their children? Sarita loves a good party so there is no way that if her Godfather gets married I'm not going to wreck the routine to allow her to join the us. Likewise, has she had the odd biscuit or chocolate, but she has never have crisps or squash in the house.
We have a similar juggling act on the site. With my own Rockin Hoods I wanted an organic version, but as the non-organic version is better as it does not need to be tumble dried. Also, I did make the highly uncommercial decision to have them made in the UK to minimise the carbon footprint - it means that I can't afford to wholesale or discount them but, it is a price that I am prepared to pay.
We always go the extra mile to find products that have a good ethical balance, but it is a balance. Take Cheeky Wipes a great alternative to wet wipes as an example. Helen did her best to source all materials in the UK but finding locally made plastic boxes was just beyond her, so she had to source them from the far east. (As I write they have had the most amazing endoresment on The Baby Website)
As you may know I love the Baby and All Bag but would you pay £100 for it? Would you pay £75? Well, I could not afford that for a nylon change bag not matter how well made it was. By having it made in China was can sell it to you for £45. I did have long discussions with Debbie, the amazing Mum inventor of the bag, about how she sourced a factory that was up to the best possible ethical standards.
Then at the other end of the spectrum is the Storyshaping Cube number two in Green My Style's Top 10 Eco Xmas Gift Ideas A few of my friends have told me to take the Cube off the site as it make it look expensive (even tough at times we are the most cost effective retailer on certain brands) - but I really believe in the dream of this product and everything it stands for. It has been designed my artists and hand engraved by artisans in the UK. Is it so wrong to have something of this callibre selling for £45? Maybe we can't all afford it, but it does deserve to exist.
Being ethical and green should not always cost money. Besides, sack cloth and ashes have never been my style - so unflattering, but then I did find a rather diva full skirted 1950's coat in a junk shop that is much more my idea of being green with style.