Your baby’s little feet can make a big ecological footprint. Between diapers, toys and some feeding choices, raising a baby may mean a lot more waste is coming from your home. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Making earth-friendly baby care choices can be good for your baby, your wallet and the environment.
Check out these earth-friendly baby care methods:
Diapering: Treehugger estimates that babies use approximately 6,000 diapers before being potty trained and 49 million diapers are used every day in the U.S. alone. Using cloth diapers cuts out much of the waste of diapering because only the liners are disposable. Plus they can be laundered and re-used many times, even with other babies. But cloth diapering isn’t for everyone so eco-friendly biodegradable diapers are a better choice. They are made of plant-based materials, not petroleum, and can be used for compost. Also consider not using regular wipes but rather a warm washcloth to wipe your baby’s bum.
Feeding: Breastfeeding is the most eco-friendly feeding choice for babies, of course! No manufacturing, shipping or packaging required! It’s about as natural as Mother Nature herself. When it’s time for solids, make your own baby food from fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably locally grown (or grown from your own garden!). This will cut back on waste from baby food jars and pouches, in addition to all of the manufacturing that goes into making pre-made baby food.
Toys: Wooden and fabric toys are the best options when purchasing toys. They may be old-fashioned but they are better for the environment and your baby than plastics. Consider buying used toys as a less expensive way to stock your playroom and be green. And when it comes to some eco-friendly play, create the fun by making your own toys and materials. You can make molding clay, finger paints and bubbles yourself, and you can fashion puppets out of old socks and dolls out of old t-shirts. Also remember, kids love playing with everyday household items like pots and pans, wooden spoons, cups, purses and water. Keep it simple and find things around the house that amuse your tot.
Clothes: Again, hand-me-downs or purchasing gently-used clothes is always the best option for the earth and your wallet. While they may have a few stains, they leave less of a stain on the planet and you know they’ve been washed enough to remove any toxic materials from the fabric. When you want to spring for a new outfit, purchase from an eco-friendly baby clothes manufacturer. They have less of an ecological impact and you can often find wonderful choices made from organic cotton that will be super soft on your baby’s skin.
Skin and Bath Products: Your baby’s skin is ever so delicate and deserves the best natural products. There are many eco-friendly personal care brands that make products specifically for babies. Check them out and find one that works for your budget and your baby.
Convertibles: Strollers, car seats and beds that grow with your baby are ideal. Not having to buy new products every few years as your baby grows out of them prevents a lot of consumer waste. You can also buy some of these items used, however do be careful about car seats and mattresses as there are some safety concerns over these items.
Nature: Visiting museums and taking baby-stimulating classes are great every once-in-awhile. But also consider nature’s entertainment by enjoying the outdoors for some natural stimulation. Your baby will love looking at the sights and sounds in a botanical garden or park. You can also let your baby dig in dirt or sand, crawl around in grass or sit outdoors on a breezy day for multi-sensory experiences.
Cleaning: With a baby in the house, skip the toxic cleaners that can be ingested or inhaled. Go for green cleaners that are baby-safe. They are better for your baby and the environment.
Go green with these earth-friendly baby care tips for Earth Day!