In an interview in mid-July, Argentine actress and writer Valeria Alonso, author of Even the heroines cry She reiterated that being a mother has given her a generosity that goes beyond her children, a more ecological worldview. The same happened to the Catalan psychologist Rosa Jové (Lleida, 1961), author of the bestseller sleep without tears. “Now my kids are 24 and 22, but I had them and I was more supportive of the planet and the whole world,” she says. He dedicates his latest book to his two sons, sustainable breeding (The Sphere of Books) in which, based on his personal experience and with an extensive bibliography, he gives advice on how to approach education with less plastic and in a more natural and respectful way with the planet.
ASK. “Every child comes with a piece of plastic under their arm,” he ironically titled the prologue to his book.
REPLY. If we start making a list of all the waste a child creates in the first year and a half of their life, I tell you, the list doesn’t fit in the article. In the first year it is between 3,000 and 5,000 diapers and twice as many wipes. And from there it starts to add up.
P He will have left more than one shock with the data of the diapers.
R And the worst thing is not that, the worst thing is that diapers last 500 years in this world. That means the diaper I changed my son 24 years ago is still a waste on this planet 460 years from now. And be careful, it’s not about being against plastic in general, but against the use of which we could replace with other alternatives.
P What would be the alternative to the 5,000 diapers in the first year?
R For example, there are reusable cloth diapers.
P Among the excuses for continuing, he names classic arguments such as “I already recycle” or “It’s the neighbor’s fault”. In the case of diapers, comfort could be added.
R As I always say, if you tell a father or mother all the changes they can make in their life, they will be overwhelmed and they will do nothing. You have to make it easier for them to get started. So if they can’t imagine washing diapers, they have other alternatives. For example, the disposable diapers of our lives that we now make from biodegradable materials and that only They take seven years to be mined. These days they are sold in almost every supermarket for a few cents more per diaper. There will be no doom.
P So the main thing is to start.
R In each chapter of the book I give ideas on two levels: basic and advanced. The first thing is to get started, which of course is the most important thing. Why? Because there is a very strange thing about this awareness: everyone who starts always goes to more, never to less. Once you start, you get the bug and look for new ways to keep contributing.
P Let’s talk about the (useless) of a baby. You have to see how many things are bought when you have a child that are not needed at all.
R With the second child, along with trying to take advantage of the first, you already know what’s important and what isn’t, but when you’re a first-time father, because you feel so insecure, you tend to think that we’re better off raising if we buy the most expensive crib of them all or all the junk there is.
P Is there anything (useless) about the baby that particularly scares you?
R phew I am very much against these kitchen robots that cook baby vegetables like a Thermomix. There are parents who request them already on the birth list. I sometimes jokingly tell them: “If you don’t know if you live until you eat porridge!”. And then there are people I’ve seen asking for bottles, teats and sterilizers; and at the same time breast pumps and breastfeeding discs. Either you breastfeed him or you bottle feed him! You don’t have to buy everything, you’ll see!
P What role can breastfeeding play in a more sustainable upbringing?
R We strongly advocate the health benefits of breastfeeding for the baby, but not so much the benefits it brings to the planet. When I give lectures on breastfeeding, one of the things I always explain is that option B, the artificial milk, generates a lot of waste and consumes a lot of resources throughout the production process. It is always advisable to choose to breastfeed. Please, even if it’s for the planet…
P Luckily for those (useless) babies we’ve been talking about, there’s always a way out. Not so much the strategies of discarding and reducing, but rather those of reusing and giving away seem to be gaining ground.
R In the end, reusing and giving away was already done by our grandmothers, so something will have stayed in the collective unconscious. When my mother gave birth to my little brother, I was already 10 years old and I remember that many neighbors brought her things that they no longer needed. Then that’s done. Both my husband and I come from a large family, we have many nephews, so many clothes and many child-rearing utensils circulate through a network we have formed between sisters and sisters-in-law.
P You can’t avoid toy overdose.
R I like to remind myself that the game is the most important thing, not the toy. And then there’s one more thing we could think about: rental toys. In the end, many are used and new for a season. Why not rent them? Libraries and media centers allow you to take books, records, films and board games with you. Why not start playing with the toys in the playrooms right away?
P There are people who no longer have children because of environmental awareness. The same, after reading his book, they are legion.
R That’s what I thought, which is why I ended up writing the open letter to all Greta Thunbergs in the world. Because it’s the opposite. You must have children, what you don’t have to do is consume nonsense. The first year a child only asks for love and breasts is not unsustainable, we make it unsustainable. If we stop having kids, it’s going to hell in 50 years. That’s not what it is about. Let’s see if we turn out to wipe ourselves out before plastic wipes us out…
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