There’s nothing like having a baby to turn you into a massive consumer. This Buy Nothing Day I am reflecting on all the baby related things I didn’t need to buy, making some excuses and hopefully going forward as a less consumerist human being. The baby hates shopping anyway so we have always labelled her as anti-consumerist as she screams from her pram while I try to find a nursing bra in M&S.
Things I feel guilty about
–Nappies. We use a mixture of reusable (little lamb which are fabulous) and disposable (“eco” brands such as Naty and Bio Baby)- the disposables more for when I am feeling lazy in the house and for going out so I don’t need such a big bag. Both make me feel bad- the extra washing with reusables and the waste with disposables. Before I gave birth I bought the book “Nappy free baby” about elimination communication (look it up: http://www.nappyfreebaby.co.uk/ ) but then never quite got to grips with it. I have started trying again and hoping it will at least save a few nappies!
–Amazon. Oh so easy to order something on prime for the next day. We have had “must have” teething toys, weaning equipment (should I just do baby led and not need spoons and mashers?), most of our nappies come from there. I wish I was supporting more independent retailers instead. Must try harder (and remove the baby’s Christmas wishlist!)
–Fisher price Rainforest Jumperoo. It’s hideous but all the other babies had one so C had to have it. She does like it and it keeps her both entertained and contained. Also I got it second hand off a local mums selling site and will sell it on after so trying to justify it that way.
–Letting others buy C presents such as clothes. It has meant that I have hardly bought her anything myself but I do feel guilty about so many new items from supermarkets as I worry about their ethical policies and don’t like the thought of supporting unethical factories indirectly by letting people get things for my daughter.
-Maternity and Nursing clothes. OK my fabulous mummy did find me a few wrap dresses in charity shops but I also ordered several items from Amazon, New Look and the Outnet. I try to avoid buying too many new clothes generally but could do better!
-My sling habit. I have a stretchy wrap, 2 ring slings, a baby bjorn and a manduca. Finding the right sling for every occasion is difficult but I do like babywearing rather than the evil travel system. All but one ring sling were second hand but now I am feeling like I really want a mei tai as I find the manduca buckles a bit difficult to adjust and when husband uses it too it makes things difficult.
-Buying the travel system new. It was just such a good deal, cheaper than the same one would have been second hand. But that’s not the point and I shouldn’t have got something new when a second hand alternative would have worked.
Things I am happy about
It’s impossible to be an ethical consumer if all you do is feel guilty, so I am giving myself a pat on the back for the following:
-My mother found a charity shop specialising in baby and children so lots of clothes have come from there.
-Other parents have passed on several items that we are using- cot and wardrobe in the nursery, several toys and books.
-Lots of items have come from ebay or local mums selling site- changing table, bumbo seat, bottles, jumperoo, slings, sleeping bags etc.
-I haven’t bought myself any clothes in about 3 months. I don’t intend to until I go back to work and then will aim to get them second hand where possible.
So avoiding the shops today and ignoring my ever expanding email inbox full of black Friday deals!!
Can you tell this was an alternative to writing my performance review for work while the in-laws take baby out? I think I’ll give myself 3/5.