Grand Lifestyle

Supporting Your Family in Sustainable Living

Kate Meads is known as the Nappy Lady, a champion for waste free living, parenting and sustainable food practices. Kate Meads will be at the Baby Show in Auckland (16th – 18th August) and spoke with Grandparents NZ about reducing and living more sustainably along with some tips to help Grandparents support their family in sustainable living.

Waste free is a modern concept for a modern problem. Many grandparents wouldn’t have had the sort of waste that is going out now. What trends have you noticed have come full circle? 
There is a big move back to reducing at the present time. I think people have realised that the way we are currently living is not sustainable and we need to take the future of the planet quite seriously. So the usage of reusable nappies has increased significantly. There is a lot of talk about reusable wipes and loads of groups popping up on Facebook and Instagram to combat and discuss alternative options which are ultimately what our parents and grandparents did naturally.


Kate Meads checking out some waste

How do you think grandparents can support their kids to be waste free or minimise waste with their children?
Nana Dot (my husbands grandmother) once said to me “It is amazing what parents think they need to have a baby these days, back in my day we just needed a cot, (sometimes it was a drawer with a mattress in it) some bedding, clothes and some food for the baby and that was it.”

I think grandparents can support the parents by helping them to use cloth nappies and when making purchasing decisions for a new baby look at simplistic options. Help the parents not get caught up in all the marketing of products that they think they might need and encourage them to buy only what they do need. If they need some thing later on, it is only a click away with online shopping these days. Many parents over buy products, just in case they need them which is a huge waste of money and if they don’t end up using them they end up doing the rounds as baby shower gifts.

Going back to basics is the key to minimising waste especially as this next generation is going to be here after we have gone so the decisions we make now will be important to this new generations future on this planet.


Grandparents love to spoil their grandkids. Do you have any advice on present giving? 
Look for natural products, wooden toys, rubber teething rings and avoid plastic where possible. Many kids toys are also over packaged. If the packaging is absurd, don’t buy it. Perhaps a couple of the cute modern cloth nappies to encourage them to give a go, even just one per day. Purchase natural clothing instead of synthetic because the synthetics are having am impact of our sea creatures when the fabric gets washed and the micro particles end up in the oceans.

And if you are helping to purchase bigger items like Pushchairs / buggies etc, buy quality so they can be used for a number of years and then sold second-hand.

What will you be presenting at the Baby Show this year? 
This year at the baby show I will be talking about why try cloth nappies and how to use them.  Choosing the right nappy for your baby and how to wash them. We will also have some discounted trial packs available to people who attend the seminars. The packs are worth $90 and are only $25 to buy.


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