Having a baby is one of the most monumental experiences in your life. It creates a large amount of change and one of the most significant transformations might be the amount of baby stuff you accumulate for your new little bundle. Having a baby can send you into a buying frenzy with the need for furniture, clothing, toys, and diapers. A baby really has very minimal needs though, so going overboard with baby purchases is not required. Also there are many options available today that are not only baby friendly, they are planet friendly as well. Raising a green baby is easier than you think if you consider some of the following ideas.
Since caring for a baby can be so time consuming, it is easy to see why parents choose the perceived convenience of disposable diapers. They just toss them in the garbage bin and forget them right? Well, green parents cannot forget that diapers account for an enormous amount of landfill waste that does not biodegrade. Luckily cloth diapers have become just as easy and convenient as disposable diapers. Forget the flat diapers you need to fold and pin together (although those are still around if you are so inclined). Cloth diapers today are fitted with elastic, they close with pins or Velcro, and are easy to clean. For those that do not have the time or the desire to do diaper laundry, there are diaper services widely available. Cloth diapers can last for years and be used by more than one child. Also flushable diapers, such as gDiapers, are another green diapering option.
Feeding Your Baby
Not only is breastfeeding usually the perfect food for baby it is also the most planet friendly way to feed your baby. By simply breastfeeding your baby you eliminate the need for formula cans and baby bottles. Breastfeeding is waste free! If however you need to pump milk and bottle feed there are green options there too. Glass baby bottles are reusable and able to be recycled or donated unlike their plastic counterparts which are prone to breakage and do not biodegrade. Helpful products for mom such as wool or cloth breast pads and organic creams are also available.
When your baby is old enough to eat solids you can continue to feed “green” by making your own baby food from organic fruits and vegetable that you are already eating. There is no need to buy boxes of baby cereal or tiny jars of baby food when you can mash or puree family foods and feed them those. They can be frozen inside ice cube trays for later use and convenience.
Clothing Your Baby
Farming with chemicals is hazardous for our planet and very unsustainable so when you buy clothing for your baby try to buy clothing made with sustainable fibers. Organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and wool in natural colors or dyed with low impact dyes are all good choices. The absence of chemicals is also better for your baby’s tender skin.
Consider buying used clothes instead of new. Buying second hand clothing that someone has recycled is much more sustainable an option than buying brand new. Look for used clothing at thrift stores, on local lists such as Craiglist, or through family and friends. This option is also much easier on the pocketbook.
When we bring a baby into the world we want that world to be as friendly and hospitable as possible. These are just a few of things we can do to raise green babies and ensure that that world remains friendly and hospitable for generations to come.