Eco-Fatherhood – The Green Bar Has Been Raised

Two steps forward, one step back

That’s the phrase that comes to mind as I sit back and reflect on my new role as a dad. Our first child was born a little over a week ago (and in case you are wondering, is not the baby pictured here) and just as everyone has said all along, it’s been a truly life changing experience! It’s amazing, challenging and unlike anything I’ve ever faced before.

One thing is for sure – being suddenly responsible for the health and well being of a little human definitely has a way of inspiring focus and action. At the risk of sounding cheesy (and borrowing a line from “As Good as it Gets”), it makes me “want to be a better man”. Unfortunately, being a ‘better man’ doesn’t necessarily equal being a more envionmentally responsible man!

With new changes come new challenges. In the case of taking care of a baby, many of those challenges seem involve struggling to maintain some semblance of eco-responsibility. During the last year I’ve made great strides on the environmental front. Let’s quickly review some of the improvements:

  • Greatly improved composting/recycling efforts
  • Decreased garbage output (largely due to the above efforts)
  • Reduced water consumption (outdoors & indoors)
  • Decreased power usage (turning lights out when not needed etc) and installation of power-saving devices (CF bulbs, energy efficient furnace etc)
  • Increased usage of eco-friendly products (for cleaning etc)

Since bringing the baby home there seems to be increased power usage, increased water usage, increased garbage output, and increased use of products I wouldn’t consider eco-friendly!

Oh well, I guess there’s no point being too hard on myself. I’m only just getting the hang of being a new dad – being an eco-friendly dad will come with time I’m sure.

On the positive side, it should provide me with a new subject to write about here on the blog!