Pink, Blue... and Green: Keeping Your New Baby Earth-Friendly

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You want your baby to grow up in an environmentally secure world. Here are some of the steps you can take to help raise your kids in a green environment.
Eco-Friendly Baby Bottles
Eco-Friendly Baby Bottles
The very best thing you can do for your baby is to breastfeed. That's the healthiest option, and it cuts down on the supplies you need. Nevertheless, there will be times when a bottle is necessary. Plastic and glass bottles require a similar amount of energy to produce, so choose one you like and stick with it. You may be familiar with the debate over plastic baby bottles that contain the chemical Bisphenol-A. It's not just that chemical-free bottles are a good choice for your baby's health; they also help preserve the health of the planet.
The Diaper Debate
The Diaper Debate
A baby goes through thousands of diapers before being potty trained. If you're concerned about the waste caused by disposable diapers, you can go the reusable route and buy cloth diapers. Since cloth diapers can be washed and used over and over, the higher initial cost will be offset in a short period of time. But it takes energy to wash those diapers, too - sometimes more than one trip through the washing machine! Another option is to buy biodegradable disposable diapers, but the irony is that a landfill is one of the worst environments for the biodegradation process to occur. There are pros and cons to every type of diaper available. Parents should choose the one that makes the most sense for their family.
Paint the Nursery Green
Paint the Nursery Green
If you're like most new parents, the type of paint you use in your child's nursery is far down on the list of your environmental concerns. But it is a factor in raising your baby in an eco-friendly environment. Standard paint is latex-based, and that means it contains chemicals that can break down and vent into the atmosphere. Look for a type of paint that specifically mentions it is a "low-VOC" product (VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds), and consider using it for every painting project in your home.
The Natural Crib
The Natural Crib
As is usually the case, the environmentally friendly choice also has other benefits. Buying a crib that's constructed from natural or even organic materials is more earth-friendly than buying one made with synthetics like plastic. It's also less likely to contain allergens, which can keep your baby from enjoying a peaceful night's sleep. Don't buy a crib without knowing exactly what went into its construction.
Organic Foods
Organic Foods
Many families feel that the benefits of going organic aren't enough justification for the high cost they must pay for those foods. But if you want to be sure that your baby's food is free of pesticides and other chemicals, and that it comes from an environmentally sustainable source, then organic foods may be for you. A study performed by Consumer Reports found that organic food really is safer for children than conventional products. The good news is that parents have plenty of organic food options these days. Look for containers that are clearly marked as 100% organic.
Non-Toxic Toys
Non-Toxic Toys
Recent toy recalls only underscore the need to surround your baby with safe, non-toxic products. It's hard to know what materials have gone into the construction of mass-produced, imported toys. Also, consider the energy it takes not just to manufacture these products in huge quantities, but to transport them across the globe. Try to find toys made locally from all-natural materials. Chances are there are local artisans who are making high-quality products your kids will love.