After my first year being a parent I have realized
something. It isn’t easy being green when it involves children. If you have a
child and you have tried to be green in the raising of that child, you know
what I mean.
When I was pregnant I tried to eat more organic food and to
use only organic and natural products. I vowed to only feed my baby organic
foods and use natural products for him as well. And I think I haven’t done too
badly so far. Here is the run-down on the basics for your green baby.
Diapers. Do you use disposable or cloth? Cloth
diapers sure aren’t what they used to be. They are amazingly cute and you can
get a certain size or ones that adjust/grow with your baby. I love these
diapers and in the long run they save a TON of money. Check out these two
and www.cutiepoopsandbottoms.com Did you know that disposable diapers contain
many potentially harmful chemicals like Dioxins, chemicals that can cause Toxic
Shock Syndrome, and TBT among others? The environmental effects are large as
well. They are the third largest single
consumer item in landfills representing 50% of a household’s waste with just 1
child in diapers. Imagine this with 2 children in diapers.
Breast milk. The advantages of breast milk are
widely known and many hospitals are promoting it more these days. It is
healthier for your baby and burns a lot of calories for mom to help lose the
baby weight gain too. It is also FREE! Can’t beat that with the cost of formula
Baby food. When your baby is ready for solid
food, you can make your own. Yep, making food is as easy as buying the organic
fruits and veggies and using a blender. True, it takes a little time but you
end up saving a lot of money. For example, a 4oz. jar of baby food costs
anywhere from $0.49 to $0.99. One organic sweet potato generally costs $0.50.
You can make roughly 8-10 ounces of food with that one potato. This book was great for me, and you can
always find books like this at Goodwill, your local Library, and often times at
baby re-sale shops.
Clothing. This one I have a really hard time
with. It seems that if you want organic cotton clothing, bedding, etc, you have
to purchase online. I don’t have any stores in my area that offer organic
cotton baby items. If they major retailers have anything, it may be one thing
here and one thing there. I usually try to shop locally and try to avoid buying
online because of the environmental impacts of shipping goods and sending my
money out of the community. So, if anyone wants to open up an organic baby
store in Bloomington- Normal, there should be a good market available. Anyway, there is a lot of research coming out
about the use of flame retardants in baby items. Their clothing, pajamas,
bedding, and pretty much everything is loaded with the stuff. Some recent
research I read links the chemicals with SIDS. New Zealand has seen NO SIDS deaths since 2006
after not using the chemical and implementing a mattress wrapping program. I
ultimately ended up buying an organic crib mattress after reading this. You can
Google this topic and find all the research and articles. They have even made
it into Wikipedia (under the Toxic Gasses section of the SIDS and flame retardants search).
Toys are a difficult one for sure. You can’t prevent people from buying
your child toys. Many are plastic and you may not want your child playing with
and chewing on them. It can be unnerving when you hear about recalls and
lead and cadmium in infant toys. There are plenty of options for toys now
though. Most communities have stores that sell safe and educational toys.
So, these are the basics as I see them. I can’t
claim to be 100% organic and green with my son but I try the best I can. The
way I see it is if I can do a little it is better than not at all. Right? Or at
least it gives me a bit of peace of mind which counts for something too. What
about you? Anyone else struggle with this or have any good tips to share?