If you are environmentally conscious and seek to live a green life, does this all come to a halt with a new baby? Simply put: no. There are always major changes to your life when a new child joins the family but there are plenty of ways of dealing with a lot of these changes that can still adhere to your green ethos. It doesn’t mean you have to toss your best stroller out and carry the baby everywhere in a sling (unless you want to!) but considering options around things such as bottles and diapers can be important.
Diapers are an unavoidable part of having a baby and also one of the biggest debates in the environmental impact debate. Experts say that the average child will be 6000 diapers before they are toilet trained and that disposable diapers are around for anywhere from 200 to 500 years before they decompose! On the turn side, washing cloth diapers uses water and energy and also introduce chemicals to the environment so there are pluses and minuses on both sides.
If you decide that the time decomposing is unacceptable, then cloth diapers are the option and are a far more modern and convenient product that in years gone by. No more diaper pins, they are complete with Velcro straps or snap closures and are often made from eco-friendly materials such as hemp or organic cotton. There are also organic wool covers available to help minimalize diaper rash on a night. People have also found if they use a laundry service this can help overcome the energy usage and the water waste from washing them at home.
But if you can’t face the constant washing cycle of cloth diapers, you can now also get biodegradable diapers that are made with plant-based plastic (called bioplastics). They contain no petroleum products and can even be put into compost to break down. While they still will take a long time to break down under landfill conditions, there are other options that will break them down much quicker. Click here to learn more about biodegradable diapers and other products.
As you baby moves from liquid to solid food, the temptation is to grab those convenient jar meals. However, if you can resist and get them straight on to ‘real’ food it is great for the child and also saves a lot of packaging waste. It can even save time as you can make them a version of what you are having so you aren’t cooking something for them from a jar then preparing your own meal. Another idea is to freeze tiny portions of things like casseroles or vegetables that have been mushed up in ice cube trays for mini-meals that take a moment to defrost.
There are lots of little ways to keep a green lifestyle when you have a baby without making your life unreasonably difficult or even making your kids miss out on things. It can take a little planning and studying the options available but for you and for their future, it can be well worth it.
For further tips on how to go green, go to http://www.craikecovillage.ca/05/21/baby-steps-towards-sustainability/