The Knitting Movement

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=11986387&ref=twitter

Considering my last blog; it was timely that a recent article in the NZ Herald suggested that new parents were more likely to have a negative impact on environmentally sustainable behaviour.

It’s difficult to comprehend this statement when surely, as parents we are so invested in our kid’s welfare? Yet it appears we are able to dismiss the value of protecting the environment for short-term benefits. I previously discussed how the continual battle between time and convenience always seems to linger, and the response to this dilemma ultimately shapes our daily behaviours. Maybe this could explain why we can overlook the consequences.

Busy Father Looking After Son Whilst Doing Household Chores

One suggestion from the article was to consider our positive legacy and actually visualise how we want to leave the environment for our kids. I’m sure our kids would thank us for it.

So, after a lot of research into sustainable practices, my new Functional Dad skill is going to be…. how to knit.

Why? A number of reasons:

1. I’m a big fan of knitwear, big fan.

2. The gesture; it’s so easy to make quick and cheap purchases with little thought. I’m suggesting that investing in a gift with time and effort is more likely to be appreciated by the recipient.

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3. Maybe dispel some myths about who knits.

4. Arguably the most important point, reducing child labour. The stats regarding our throw-away culture and the manner on which we source our textiles is tough to read. It was reported by the World Counts that there were still over 150million children labourers clocking up 313,630,000 hours of child labour. Some of these hours would have been attributed to sweatshops making cheap clothes in poor working conditions for little or no reparation.

5. Additionally, in the US alone 15 million tons of textiles go to waste annually, with only 15 % of consumers recycling their textiles. This is despite most textiles being recyclable. It is important to note that synthetic clothing may take hundreds of years to decompose which strengthens the argument of using natural fibres. The final stat, if the average life of clothing was extended by three months, it could reduce our carbon and water footprint by up to 10%.

I am going to learn how to knit using 100% NZ Merino Wool.

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Watch this space for a perfect demonstration…

Make it, Fix it, Re-use it, Re-cycle it.

It was an interesting experience leading up to the birth of our little one. We received loads of advice preparing us for the changes and sacrifices we would need to make. In particular, this advice focussed on the habits we had adopted as DINKS (double income no kids), which was epitomised by my favourite hipster habit – Sunday Brunch (avocado on toast, anyone?). “That’ll be the first to go” they said.

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There have certainly been changes, but I consider them necessary adjustments and part of the journey to become an all round Functional Dad. These are the main ones I’ve noticed so far:

• TIME disappears. I hate to admit it, but they were right. I’ll glance up at the clock and it’s 10pm and I am constantly wondering where time has gone. But I have noticed there are still windows of opportunity to get stuff done. It’s here that lies the dilemma. What do you do in these moments; make dinner, clean, paperwork, sleep, train, eat? Especially when taking into account the day the Mama has had??

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• Battling the urge to embrace CONVENIENCE. This particularly applies when it comes to accumulating waste through nappies, wipes, clothes, food and toys. It feels like a lot of effort and time to deal with reusable nappies and to make meals from scratch. We seem to use a lot more plastic and single-use products than before. Additionally, these products are often from areas that employ debatable ethical practices.

I acknowledge that as parents we are learning and compromises are a natural part of the journey, but it’s tough when trying to allow sustainable practices to guide your lifestyle. This seems even more relevant and important when I consider how our actions now shape what the world will look like for my little one.

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So I’m setting myself a challenge: to explore realistic, ethical and sustainable practices. These may only be small adjustments but I’m confident they will contribute to the bigger picture. The philosophy will be either make it, fix it, re-use it or recycle it.

What’s first up?

 

 

The Functional Dad

This is the post excerpt.

I am a new Dad and I need to be responsible, stable and able to guide my children through ethical decisions… But what does that look like?

I am aware of the need to adjust to this new role given the new responsibility, and although I am incredibly excited, I am suddenly aware of the challenges facing everyone in this modern digital age. I want to be in the best position to nurture my kids and allow them to grow into strong, resilient and happy people.

The intention of the Functional Dad is to learn new Dad skills from experts, mentors or friends and family, and share these experiences with everyone to become an all round Functional Dad.