Thursday, September 13, 2007

What the hell??? One person’s response to PGB…

I won’t lie. I like to think of myself as fairly enlightened, somewhat knowledgeable, moderately wise. Sure. But I also like to think that any wisdom I might have is low hanging fruit, easily attainable… obvious. But that’s just me.

So, I’m at work today and one of the ladies there comments on how her children had today off for Rosh Hashanah. “I don’t know why my kids should be forced to celebrate a Muslim holiday,” she added.


When I tried to explain to her that Rosh Hashanah is not a Muslim holiday and that the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, which also begins today, may be what she meant, she asked when Vicky and I were planning on having our own children, with that tone of voice that practically screams, “Let’s see how tolerant you are when you have your own kids.”

I gave her the “we’re working on it” response and, somehow, the conversation turned towards making preparations. I, of course, told her how we’re trying to be as environmentally aware as possible.

Her response? “You’ll want to be careful. Most of those kind of companies are unregulated.”

An amazing response, really. I couldn’t believe it. On one hand, most people these days are happy when things utilities and air travel and war production and food go unregulated, which they do. On the other hand, the thought that products made to be more wholesome are somehow bad for you – it boggles the mind.

Oh, and they’re not unregulated! And I told her that. At which point, she asked what we’d done so far.

Opting not to go too extreme, I told her about the NATY products we found at Target. Biodegradable diapers, how more mainstream can you get? “They must be really expensive,” she claimed. Now, wait a minute. I saw them at Target and they were…

… dammit! I couldn’t remember.

So much for a snappy come-back. I went to Target tonight, though, and here’s how much they cost.

NATY’s are $9.54 for 40.
Huggies are $9.54 for 80.
Pampers are $17.49 for 80
And generic Target diapers are $5.74 for 80.

So, what does this mean? Well, for one thing, Target diapers are damned cheap. But I think we can agree that you get what you pay for, right? Okay, so remember that as we toss out the Target diapers. Huggies are twice as much as NATY’s but Pampers are about the same price, give or take three bits.

But let’s assume that they all had the same relation as Huggies. Let’s say that NATY’s were twice as much as regular diapers. Going back to the 6,000 diapers per child statistic, that would mean you’d spend about $716 on a baby’s diapers if you bought regular diapers. But you’d blow a whopping $1431 if you bought NATY.

Is $1431 worth it? Would you pay $1431 to be able to look into your child’s eyes and say, “I did my part.” Would you pay $1431 to help insure that your child might have clean water to drink, keeping in mind that diapers leech into water tables? What price do you put on your child’s welfare, anyway?

I know that everyone can’t afford this but, sadly, most of the people we know, most of those reading this blog, probably can… and yet, won’t spend the money.

That’s what it all comes down to.

Then, this woman said, “I knew some people, once, who used cloth diapers. Can you imagine?” She said it as though they were mideavel serfs or something. I replied, “Vicky and I are planning on using cloth diapers when we can.”

I explained that we know there’s no single solution but, rather, a combination, and how we plan to work together to find the right balance. I used the example of furniture and how we plan to check out some consignment shops.

“Most of the stuff they have there is from the 70’s,” she said, adding, “be careful.”

From the 70’s? In Orange County? Are you kidding?

The thing that amazed me most was this impression she had that healthy, environmentally safe products are somehow dangerous. As if we’re risking our child’s health by planning to cause less harm to his/her world. That’s how twisted the so-called “right” has made things in people’s head – and why we have Project Green Baby.

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