Zero Waste parenting programme in Derry this week

Zero Waste North West are continuing their eight week Parenting Programme this Saturday in St. Columb’s Park House with a workshop on infant feeding.

Zero Waste North West are continuing their eight week Parenting Programme this Saturday in St. Columb’s Park House with a workshop on infant feeding.

The workshops are free and open to anyone who would like to attend and Zero Waste North West are hoping it will enlighten parents on how to live more sustainably.

Some of the parents who attended the first week of Zero Waste North West's Parenting Programme. The eight week programme is continuing this week with on infant feeding.

The workshops are informal, baby-friendly and are led by guest speakers who enable parents to explore each topic in more depth. The recent workshop on Cloth Nappies and Baby Slings was attended by a ‘lively group of parents and babies.’

Caroline McGuiness Brooks outlined the increasing interest in cloth nappies: “The current design of cloth nappies is so much more advanced and convenient now than ever before. Plus, they save parents money and reduce waste. Parents who are interested in trying out these products can contact the Cloth Nappy Library at the Zero Waste Hub on Spencer Road.

“The growing use of cloth nappies could have a serious impact in reducing the demand and use of disposable nappies which end up in landfill.”

This workshop also included a hands-on demonstration of a range of baby slings and wraps - items that more and more local parents can be seen using. Baby wearing is a practice that has been used by many different cultures for generations and enables parents to be hands free to get on with some of those essential jobs that need doing. Furthermore a number of studies have shown that baby wearing can be extremely comforting for unsettled babies and can also be positive for bonding & attachment. Following on from this workshop, Zero Waste North West are now considering setting up a Sling Library in Derry.

Parents taking part in the sling workshop as part of Zero Waste North West's Parenting Programme.

The next workshop, on infant feeding, will take place on Saturday, April 23 and considers why infant feeding decisions are a zero waste issue.

Maria Herron explains: “Most people are aware that breastfeeding is the optimal food for babies - it has amazing health benefits including reduction in cancer, diabetes and obesity risks for babies and mothers. However, many people are not aware that infant feeding decisions can also have a huge environmental impact. For example, formula production involves dairy farming, manufacturing of milk powder as well as the other raw ingredients to make the formula, packaging, distribution and reconstitution of the milk as well as the disposal of packaging. Infant formula has an extremely high water and carbon footprint. For example, did you know that 1kg of formula has a water footprint of 4700 litres? Taking into account the whole product life cycle of formula including consumer use, it is estimated that 1kg of formula generates around 12kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent greenhouse gas. This means that feeding a baby with formula for a year has a footprint of approximately 400kg of (CO2) equivalent greenhouse gas.

“Breastfeeding can be tough especially in the first couple of weeks, so we also want to let parents know that there are lots of great local and online sources of support if they need help with breastfeeding.

“We want to share information and resources with parents that will help them to make informed choices about how they feed their babies.”

Parents taking part in Zero Waste North West's Parenting Programme.

The other workshops as part of the programme are Baby Led Weaning and Batch cooking, Self Care and Positive Pelvic Health, Walking and Outdoor activities, Eco-cleaning and an introduction to the new Toy Library.

There are still some free places available on some of the individual programmes. To book a place contact Maria or Caroline at [email protected] or register via Eventbrite.