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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh dear, a rant just crept up on me...

So I'm afraid I have to admit that we've fallen off the wagon again, but this time I'm blaming the supermarkets.

It was the nappies, of course. Yesterday I drove a half hour to our nearest health food store in Honesdale to stock up on all my fave green goodies (nappies and cleaning products, organic fruit and muesli, etc.). We got back and I'd just put Dot down for a nap in one of the eco-friendly nappies when she started protesting loudly. I thought I'd better check that the nappy wasn't the problem and what I found in her pants (and her tights, onesies, knickerbockers, hat, etc. Well, alright, not her hat) was not pretty. Apparently Dot and her bowel movements have suddenly outgrown the size small Seventh Generation numbers (don't worry, we'll pass them on to a new baby we know. The unused ones, natch).

Now, in the UK this would be no big problem - you'd simply nip to the local supermarket and pick up size medium eco-friendly nappies aplenty, along with all the non-toxic cleaning products, fair trade shade grown coffee and organic or locally grown fruit and veg and your earnest little heart could desire. But we're in America, pretty red-state America at that, and so there's not an organic apple, let alone a compostable nappy, to be found in any supermarket this side of New York (or LA).

I know Wholefoods and co are bucking the trend - and in fact our friend Jamie arrived for Thanksgiving from the city today with a lovely care package of Wholefoods organic honey, tea, chocolate, pie and milk (hm, trying to pre-emptively atone for anticipated bad behaviour, JB?!), but it'll be a long while before WFs makes it to Honesdale. And I know Wal Mart is, to much fanfare, meant to be going organic, but in their Honesdale branch there's not an organic scrap to be found, and even on their website all I could find in the organic section was organic milk, organic Ragu pasta sauce and organic Kelloggs Raisin Bran. Hardly changing the world there, are we?

Hold on, I'm not quite done with this rant yet. Since I was a kid, you've been able to buy eco-friendly washing up liquid and cleaning products in every supermarket in the UK. The leading UK retailers are currently falling over each other to be the greenest on the block (for example, you can now buy a windmill to generate your own power in B&Q, the UK's equivalent of Home Depot) and whatever their motives, this has to be a good thing for everyone. So how come the US is so far behind? No wonder it now ranks #53 in the list of eco-friendly countries (only China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia do worse - not exactly stiff competition, is it? The UK on the other hand is #2. But this wasn't meant to turn into a US/UK pissing contest).

Phew, sorry about that, so anyway, my point is, we ended up - and it really pains me to tell you this - buying a small pack of Pampers to tide us over until the compostable Nature Boy and Girl nappies arrive in the mail.

I tell you, it wasn't easy being green in New York but it's really an uphill struggle sometimes out here.

If anyone knows, by the way, how to convince a supermarket to change its stocking policies (and I know convincing the locals to buy is probably the answer) please let me know! And I promise to try and be less serious tomorrow.

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