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Oregon Family Magazine

Simply Green: Tips for Going Green with Baby

03/29/2010 ● By Anonymous
It’s spring! As Earth Day approaches, the bulbs are bursting, the trees are budding, and many families are preparing to welcome their newest addition. We all want the best for our new babes, but the high cost of buying solely organic products can seem downright prohibitive to families on a budget—especially in this economy. Is there an eco-friendly, budget-friendly solution? Yes!

We’ve highlighted our top ten ways to go green on a budget with a baby in tow:

10. Count on quality. Pass on that cheaply-made gizmo that will wind up in a landfill after five minutes of use.

9. Go natural. Glass vs. plastic? Cotton vs. polyester? Natural materials are often (though not always!) easier on the earth than man-made ones. Glass bottles, for example, last longer than plastic ones and are easy to recycle once they’re no longer serviceable. They also don’t leach harmful chemicals into your baby’s food.

8. Consider longevity. How long is baby going to love that play mat? Is it worth buying something that gets used just a few months?

7. Think local. Shipping bamboo nursery furniture all over the world releases pounds of carbon into the atmosphere. Look into goods made right in your hometown from locally-sourced materials.

6. Don’t be greenwashed! Just because something has an “eco-friendly” label stamped on it doesn’t mean it’s better for your baby—or the planet. Look for a USDA organic label on clothing, blankets and baby food products.

5. Think gender neutral. Don’t go nuts with the pink princess or the “Lil’ Champ” theme nursery—and your next child will make better use of the hand-me-downs.

4. Repurpose! Can a dresser or shelf from somewhere else in the house work for baby’s nursery? Do you need a special changing pad, or can you use a folded towel or fleecy blanket instead?

3. Buy used. Thrift shops, consignment stores, eBay, and Craigslist are all great sources for clothes, furniture, swings—even cloth diapers! Try hitting Bambini or My Little Children to pick up gently used items at a huge savings. You’ll save the energy used to create new items and ship them across the country.

2. Pass it on. Even if you do buy some things new, you can still keep them for a second child and pass them on to friends and family when your babies grow into little kids.

1. Live without it. Our number one tip for gearing up green with a baby? Think outside the box stores. You don’t need everything on their registry lists to be a good parent with a happy and healthy baby. The most important tool you’ll need to entertain and soothe your baby is you!

We hope you enjoy all the gifts of Spring , including those chubby cherubs swaddled in cloth diapers. Welcoming baby to a greener world has never been easier—or more cost effective!

For more great Eco-Friendly tips, check out our new book: The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet. Available in stores and on-line.

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