आप सबके लिए “आपका ब्लॉग” तैयार है। यहाँ आप अपनी किसी भी विधा की कृति (जैसे- अकविता, संस्मरण, मुक्तक, छन्दबद्धरचना, गीत, ग़ज़ल, शालीनचित्र, यात्रासंस्मरण आदि प्रकाशित कर सकते हैं।

बस आपको मुझे मेरे ई-मेल roopchandrashastri@gmail.com पर एक मेल करना होगा। मैं आपको “आपका ब्लॉग” पर लेखक के रूप में आमन्त्रित कर दूँगा। आप मेल स्वीकार कीजिए और अपनी अकविता, संस्मरण, मुक्तक, छन्दबद्धरचना, गीत, ग़ज़ल, शालीनचित्र, यात्रासंस्मरण आदि प्रकाशित कीजिए।


रविवार, 23 मार्च 2014

My baby greenest

My baby greenest

A new breed of eco-aware parents is ditching the disposable diaper and junking the pram to reduce their baby's carbon footprint 

Babies may be small but they can have a big impact on the environment — think of the mountains of dirty diapers they produce. Sudha Chakravarty, a 37-year-old Mumbai mum, didn't want the green guilt. So while most children use up at least 5,000 diapers in the first two years of their life, her two-year-old Niharika has used less than 50. Chakravarty prefers cloth nappies instead of disposables. And, there is no pram for her evening strolls either. The toddler watches the world go by as she sits snug in a sling made out of an old sari and tied around Chakravarty's torso. 

The former HR professional is not looking to cut costs or follow granny's tips. She wants to raise her children without harming the planet. Chakravarty is among a growing breed of 'green parents' who are ditching modern, non-degradable conveniences like diapers and strollers to minimize the carbon footprint left by their children. 

Even as Delhi's hip moms doll up their newborns in Swarovski rompers and Chandigarh's elite splurge on Burberry bibs, these parents are dressing their children in handme-down clothing, buying wooden toys instead of plastic ones and feeding them from regular steel utensils. A few like Sudha are also practising 'baby-wearing' to avoid buying prams. "We won't live forever but we should at least leave a better world for future generations," says Chakravarty. Her son draws on old utility bills to reduce paper wastage. 

This kind of 'planet-wise' parenting might be new to India but it has been a rage in the West. While Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow use flushable chlorine-free diapers for their children, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and singer Dave Mathews cover their babies' bottoms in cloth. Hollywood stars like Jessica Alba and Halle Berry have green nurseries with organic bedding and formaldehyde-free wood furniture. 

That green parenting has caught the fancy of few Indians is apparent from the long list of brands that have launched earth-friendly kids' products from cloth diapers to ethical clothing. 

At least 400-500 pieces of BumChum cloth diapers are sold every month despite zero advertising. Almost as many diapers made by US-based Cotton Babies — BumGenius and Flip Diapers — and marketed in India by Smart Baby Retail are being sold. 

Awerganic, a Gurgaon-based company which sells organic clothes for kids, gets at least 2,500 orders for its rompers and party wear every month, say owners Poonam and Nishit Mehrotra. Old players are also seeing a surge in business. A Delhibased toy manufacturer that has been making non-toxic and ecofriendly toys under the brand name 'Skillofun' has seen online sales rise from one toy a day three years ago to 75-plus orders daily in 2014. Many parents are also opting for BPA-free plastic toys or borrowing from libraries like the Delhi-based 'Friendlytoyz'. 

But for urban Indian parents, who have got used to the convenience of disposable diapers, getting back to the foldand-pin cloth triangles is hard. New-age cloth diapers, however, are different — they are made with absorbent fabrics like bamboo cotton and are as efficient as disposables.

BumChums have cotton inserts and only these need changing and washing. "I got them designed in Germany and roped in a factory in China to manufacture them," says Delhi-based Amrita Vaswani, who launched her line late 2012. The mompreneur who moved back to India from the US could not find any cloth diapers for her ninemonth-old son and decided to do something about it. "I was also shocked to see that there is no disposal system for diapers. I could see tonnes of soiled diapers strewn around my neighbourhood dumpsters," she says.

Green parenting doesn't come cheap. The diapers, which can be resized with snap buttons as the child grows, cost between Rs 500 and 1,500 per piece. Bum-Genius and Flip diapers cost Rs 1,700 per piece and above but this has not deterred mothers from ordering it. "Despite the higher initial investment of say Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000, parents realize that they will save a lot in the long run," says Chand.

Some moms make their own cloth diapers, too. Chakravarty uses BumChum at night and makes her own diapers during the day using 110 by 110 cotton squares, biodegradable inserts from Mee Mee and and raw silk pads that she stitched herself. She does not use wipes either. "I use a homemade spray made with coconut oil and water and clean cloth," says Chakravarty. 

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