If you’ve come to CarseatBlog, you likely have children or are about to have one. The time is long overdue that parents and caregivers firmly grasp that governments and corporations don’t care much about your children when it comes to the planet they will inherit. If there is going to be a change to give our children and grandchildren a chance at clean air, clean water, uncontaminated food and sufficient energy to go about their lives, then we have to make the changes necessary right now. Yes, you’ll hear it everywhere today and we don’t pretend to be the experts. Speaking for myself, outside of driving fewer miles in fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, installing compact fluorescent light bulbs and sending a few bins of recycling to the street each week, our family has done pathetically little to help improve the situation.
So, what advice do we have?
Well, most of our visitors come here to buy carseats. Most carseats end up in landfills. We need to change this. We must start to promote products that are 100% recyclable, even if that means the manufacturers must participate in programs to accept them in areas that do not offer recycling. Going forward, we will try to ask these companies about their policies regarding recycling of the products we review. Some, like Clek, already have such programs. We also commend some manufacturers, like Dorel Juvenile Group, that have significantly improved their factories in regard to their ecological footprint, some being zero-landfill certified. We also appreciate efforts made by companies to include environmental impact information on their packaging. Even so, recycling of the end product is a must for the future of our planet. Until more companies find ways to keep their products out of landfills, we will have to depend on our own local resources. Beyond that, a shift to the use of renewable materials in making carseats will have to happen at some point in the future, so hopefully we will see more of this in new products.
That leads me to one more thing parents can do right now when they are shopping. Before you buy, check the box to see where that carseat is manufactured. Is it made in a country that has strict environmental standards to reduce pollution? Or, is it made in a country that looks the other way as its factories poison the air, land and water, just so the carseat can be made as cheaply as possible. Yes, it may cost you a few dollars more, but consider it as one of the best investments you can make for the future of your child. You might just get a better quality product in the process!
Finally, we also review automobiles. At least in the United States, we have gotten out of control with our driving. We drive everywhere in our cars, as much as possible. We drive cars far bigger and heavier than we actually need. We use gasoline like there is no tomorrow. Literally. The mentality that buying the biggest vehicle we can afford and driving it as much as possible really has to change from the consumer, because the government and corporations won’t act strongly enough until it is too late. So, if you’re buying a vehicle, new or used, pick the most fuel efficient one that meets your needs, even if it isn’t everything you want. Families in many countries of western Europe have somehow managed without monster “mini”-vans, trucks and SUVs for decades, yet it seems like they have become essential in the United States. We now have fuel efficient models in many vehicle categories. By downsizing, picking a model with good gas mileage for its class and following fuel efficient driving habits, many families can literally cut their gasoline consumption in half. That’s a big deal. We’ll try to help by making EPA fuel economy ratings more prominent in our reviews, giving credit where it is due.
Have a “green” tip for other families? Know where to recycle carseats in your area? Please share with our other readers and leave us a comment!