If you’re like a lot of new parents, you may not be ready to ditch disposable diapers for cloth, or grow and blend your own organic baby food, but you still want to be environmentally responsible and help your baby grow up that way, too.
Fortunately, contrary to what a lot of people think, it’s generally not more expensive or even more time-consuming to adapt a green lifestyle. In fact, with a few exceptions – like the price of some organic food – it’s often both more economical and healthier to adapt a planet-saving, health-promoting lifestyle.
Best of all, deciding to raise your baby green isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. You can choose only the advice that works for you and your family. Here are some suggestions for easy ways to go green.
Even if you use disposable diapers, you can take a few steps to minimize changing waste.
When you’re home, use soft, wet washcloths instead of disposable wipes to clean dirty bottoms. And when you’re out with your baby, keep biodegradable disposal bags in your diaper bag to reduce the amount of plastic you throw away.
Try to clean green.
You don’t have to shop in specialty stores to buy affordable, organic cleaning supplies. Most supermarkets and discount stores carry at least a few. Better yet, use natural cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Using these cleaners will protect your baby from toxic fumes and will keep harmful chemicals from leaching into the air and water supply.
Embrace hand-me-down clothing.
There’s no need to buy babies complete new wardrobes, especially considering how quickly they outgrow their clothes. If you have friends or relatives with older children, see if they can pass their children’s outgrown clothing to you. If you don’t know anyone who can give you clothes, check out secondhand stores and yard sales. Since babies don’t wear a clothing size for very long, many used baby clothes are practically new.
When you buy baby furniture, try to purchase items that will grow with your baby.
Some cribs, for example, convert into toddler beds. High Chairs
can morph into booster seats. Buy nursery dressers that toddlers and older children will still be happy to put their clothes into. The longer you can use things, the less waste you create!
And just remember, even if you don’t embrace the green lifestyle completely, anything you do will be good for your baby and good for the planet your baby will grow up on.