‘Nappy lady’ pro­motes cloth di­a­per ben­e­fits

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHAN­DRA

Waste-free par­ent­ing is not as hard as peo­ple might think, Kate Meads says.

The 39-year-old mother of one swears the con­cept after tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to par­ent­ing by us­ing re­us­able nap­pies and start­ing a veg­etable gar­den in her backyard.

She’s known as the Nappy Lady, Waste Warrior and to her 12-year-old son Daniel, the Lo­rax who speaks to the earth and the trees. But Meads just wants to do her best for the en­vi­ron­ment and spread the gospel to any­one that will lis­ten.

She’s part­nered with 40 coun­cils in New Zealand and runs a waste-free par­ent­ing work­shop where she speaks about re­duc­ing waste and sav­ing money.

‘‘We know what we need to do but it all seems like too much work and if we try to change ev­ery­thing overnight, it is not re­ally sus­tain­able in our mod­ern busy sched­ules,’’ Meads said.

‘‘We for­get mak­ing changes is not an all or noth­ing deal. Of­ten we think if we make a small change it won’t make a dif­fer­ence but it does.’’

When Meads and her hus­band Vaughn be­came par­ents, they fell into the trap of be­com­ing hugely con­sump­tive of dis­pos­able nap­pies for the ap­par­ent rea­son that it saved on time. After re­al­is­ing how much dis­pos­able nap­pies weighed on their bud­get, they switched to cloth di­a­pers.

‘‘After a short time, we re­alised that they were not as hard as peo­ple kept telling us they would be.’’

A child will use more than 5000 nap­pies from birth to two years and for dis­pos­able nap­pies, these go straight to the land­fill and cre­ate pol­lu­tion.

‘‘One of my chal­lenges to par­ents who at­tend my work­shops is to get them to com­mit to us­ing just one cloth nappy per day be­cause if they do that, 365 nap­pies per child per year will not go to land­fill.

‘‘There are around 145,000 ba­bies in nap­pies at any one time in New Zealand and if ev­ery child in nap­pies had one cloth nappy change per day, that would re­sult in around a mil­lion nap­pies per week not be­ing sent to the land­fills.’’

Meads will hold work­shops in Grey Lynn on Fe­bru­ary 13, fol­lowed by work­shops in Kel­ston and Pukekohe. Tick­ets cost $30 per per­son or $35 for cou­ples.

SUPPLIED

Nappy Lady Kate Meads says dis­pos­able di­a­pers are pol­lut­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

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