Living gently
Big Issue|Issue 293
Nicola Rabkin shares what a typical, environmentally conscious day looks like for her family, who is striving for eco-mindfulness.
Nicola Rabkin

I wake up around 5 or 6am for our four-month-old baby’s first (conscious) feed of the day. The baby sleeps in the bed with us to make night feeds easy and to ensure the whole family sleeps well. Baby and I fall back asleep for another hour or two then Wilson will get up to change baby’s nappy. We use reusable cloth nappies and wipes. Every second day is wash day, so Wilson will throw the contents of the full nappy bucket straight into the washing machine. Nappies soiled by breastmilk poos are water soluble, so we do one quick rinse cycle and then one full wash with the rest of the laundry. Wilson’s also hooked up the washing machine to a hose that goes straight into the garden. We use eco-detergent so it’s safe for the plants.

We always try to remind each other to drink water first thing in the morning; and we try not to use our phones or screens until after breakfast (we turn the Wifi off every night). This is a mindfulness practice that we certainly haven’t perfected yet. Then we’ll have coffee, make breakfast and chat about plans for the day. Breakfast is either a home-made seed porridge with fruit or eggs with vegetables. At the moment we’re harvesting strawberries, courgettes and kohlrabi (a member of the cabbage family) from the garden. Earlier during lockdown we had a couple chickens that were laying eggs for a while, but then they stopped so we ate them. Wilson’s grandparents had a farm when he was growing up so he respectfully and skillfully slaughtered the chickens without my knowledge while I was on a Zoom meeting inside.

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