Help your baby go green
Diapers are a huge problem, many people use disposable ones because they’re easy and more practical, but they aren’t eco-friendly. Cloth diapers prove to be a more efficient way to go, cloth diapers can be washed, and used again and again … and again. They are very eco-friendly. All cloth diapers use is water and detergent, and time.
Breastfeeding is the best way to go for your infant. It’s free, environmentally friendly, and also has health benefits. For breast pads, try re-usable organic cotton or wool felt pads. While there are many great, organic nipple creams available, some locally produced olive oil or organic lanolin does a great job. If bottle feeding becomes a necessity, pumping your own is the first choice. Beyond that, using a fair-trade organic infant formula is preferable.
Buying jars of food is convenient, but as an adult you don’t live out of jars, so why should your baby? For those occasional situations, purchase organic or fresh frozen baby foods. Otherwise, make your own. Cook up veggies, casseroles, or tofu and lentils, whatever is your thing, and freeze it in tiny containers or ice cube trays ready to take out and defrost when needed. (Be sure you discuss any concerns over dietary requirements with your health professional)
Try old fashioned wooden toys and organic cotton or homemade teddies. Because babies put most things in their mouths, go as natural as possible, and then when baby is a little older, get hold of second-hand toys. Also aim for toys that help build a child’s bond with nature and the natural world. The sad truth is that the average American kindergartener can identify several hundred logos and only a few leaves from plants and trees.
All those designer baby clothes are cute and oh so hard to resist in their fruity colors. But babies grow out of clothes amazingly fast. The baby couture might be better replaced with convenient one-piece suits in practical white terry cloth. Choosing organic hemp or cotton, bamboo or wool fabrics made without toxic chemicals are best against a baby’s sensitive skin and last longer with the constant washing. Second-hand clothing is the cheapest and most sustainable option. Get hand-me-downs from friends and family or look in thrift shops.
Diaper wipes and liners commonly include propylene glycol (a binder also found in antifreeze), parabens (a family of compounds commonly used as preservatives) and perfume, which can be made from up to 600 different chemicals. Try using good natural organic cotton wool and water and avoid disposable changing mats and perfumed diaper bags.
There are many other methods to help your baby be eco-friendly; but by starting them off young you can help them to prepare a better world in an earth friendly way.