Having trouble keeping up with our increasingly organic, eco-friendly world? Let me be your guide! From all-natural makeup to the best in eco-conscious jeans, I will test and review the products and treatments that are best for you and the planet.
Have you noticed how many pregnant women are walking around the streets these days? I sometimes stroll around my neighborhood and count the number of pregnant bellies I spot in a five-block radius. It’s hard not to be amazed at the sheer number of gestating ladies making their way around town. I once counted seven and then looked down and realized that the basketball I seemed to be carrying under my shirt made eight.
Procreation is definitely still trendy.
These days, chances are good that you’re either pregnant, married to a pregnant woman, friends with someone pregnant, or the sister, brother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, or cousin of someone who’s having a baby. This connection to a woman who’s with child should be enough to inspire a bit of eco-friendly baby care, but even if you are not on a first name basis with somebody who’s about to give birth, I encourage you to care about environmentally-conscious baby care.
Take diapers. It’s said that a baby will go through about 6,000 diapers before he or she is toilet trained. This leads to tons of plastic waste sitting in our landfills, since the most commonly purchased diapers are not readily biodegradable. And if you can get past the diapers — although 6,000 dirty diapers are tough to ignore — there’s also mass produced cotton onesies and blankets (here’s a reminder about the chemicals that are used to produce non-organic cotton). Add to that cribs and bassinets manufactured with toxic glues and non-sustainable wood, bottles made with polycarbonate plastic (which can contain bisphenol A — a hormone-disrupting chemical) and bath and body products made from unpronounceable, possibly harmful ingredients.
So, the next time you have to attend a baby shower — on behalf of all pregnant women, I apologize for any tedious games or pastel-colored favors you are forced to endure — buy a gift that will start Junior off on the right green foot. Consider it a three-in-one: positive for mother, baby and the planet.
Environmentally-aware baby gear is now cooler than ever. Here is some of the best:
Sometimes an eco-friendly product surpasses its traditional alternative not only in planet-protectiveness, but also in sheer style. G-diaper is the ultimate in fashion-forward earth-conscious diapering. If you go the G-diaper route, your baby will not only be outfitted in a nappy that sounds like “G-Money” he or she will also be swaddled in a diaper that comes in an array of colors — pink, blue, brown, orange, or green. The colorful cotton “little g” pants hold a biodegradable liner that can be easily flushed, composted in the garden, or thrown out the traditional way (the liners contain no plastic and so will decompose easily in a landfill).
For a more traditional diapering routine, check out Seventh Generation’s chlorine-free diapers. Most diapers are whitened with chlorine bleach, a process that can create carcinogenic chemicals such as dioxin and furans. Who needs sparkling white diapers anyway? They’re just going to get dirty.
As for cribs, safety’s first, but environmental awareness can be a close second. Oeuf’s Sparrow crib (pictured above) is sleek, modern and constructed from wood panels made from recovered wood fibers. A non-toxic finish ensures that your baby won’t be chewing on harmful chemicals.
Babies grow. It’s one of the things you can count on as a parent. As they expand out of shoes and shirts and car seats and strollers, it’s comforting to know that something will be growing with your child. The Stokke adjustable Trip Trap high chair will take your kid from infancy through adulthood — yet another way to live a greener life.
My babysitting experience has taught me that it can be nearly impossible to lure a child into the tub, and then equally impossible to get them out. To make bath time more alluring, California Baby has come up with a line of 100% natural bath products that produce piles of toxic-free bubbles (each bottle even comes with its own wand for bubble blowing). And with calming aromatherapy options like “Overtired and Cranky” and “Light and Happy” I may find myself lathering up while the baby’s napping.
Super-soft newborn skin makes babies prime candidates for organic clothing. Sage Baby can provide the little one with an entire wardrobe — T-shirts, footed pants, hats, cardigans, even bibs — made of nothing more than organic cotton. And check out Kate Quinn Organics for irresistible mini organic cotton jumpsuits — because every kid needs a good jumpsuit.
Marisa Belger is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience covering health and wellness. She was a founding editor of Lime.com, a multiplatform media company specializing in health, wellness and sustainable living. Marisa also collaborated with Josh Dorfman on “The Lazy Environmentalist” (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang), a comprehensive guide to easy, stylish green living.