The costs of having an organic, eco-friendly baby environment are often more than parents can handle. Even formerly eco-conscious folk sometimes have to cut corners when bringing a new family member into the world. Still, some corners shouldn’t be cut, especially when it comes to what goes into the baby’s system and even what touches the baby’s skin.
1. Buy organic baby food. This is no indulgence, merely a better, healthier choice for your baby that the infant cannot make for itself. If your baby knew you were putting pesticides and herbicides into his or her body, he or she would probably tell you to stop. Upwards of 62 pesticides have been found on non-organic peaches and 42 on non-organic apples, for example. Even without concerns of non-organic origins of the foods that end up in baby food, commercial baby foods are filled to the rim with flours, corn syrup, chemically modified food starch (often called Tapioca), sugar, and sodium. In organic baby foods, pesticides and chemicals are non-issues, and these brands tend to be more health-conscious, so corn-derived ingredients, sugar, and sodium levels will typically be lower.
2. Buy organic cotton for baby clothes and otherwise. Non-organic cotton is the dirtiest crop on the planet—it takes 150g of pesticides and fertilizers to make one adult-sized t-shirt, and one drop beneath your skin would kill you. Keep in mind that these are often the same pesticides used in food production and end up in your baby’s food. Over 20,000 people die annually in developing countries (where 75% of our cotton is made) because they’re exposed to these chemicals and can’t afford proper safety equipment. Moreover, 8,000 chemicals are used then to bleach and process the cotton before it hits the stores in the form of baby clothes that then touch your infant’s very sensitive skin. When your baby outgrows these clothes, you’ll probably throw them away—straight into the landfill where they’ll leach these 8,000+ chemicals into the earth and our water systems, and eventually into your baby’s mouth. Buy organic cotton—for your baby if not for the planet.
3. Organic cotton is expensive, but here’s a tip that will delight savers everywhere—buy vintage. This makes sure that old clothes remain in circulation and out of landfills where they stand to leach chemicals into our water supply (and your baby’s). Although you may still want to buy organic cotton for clothes that directly touch your baby’s skin, you can go vintage elsewhere—baby cribs, jackets, shoes, toys, and the like. This will not only save you money, it will help the environment.
4. Request organic items for your baby shower, if there’s still time. It’s a great way to be frugal and green for your baby.
It’s difficult for even one person to be wholly conscious about his or her eco-footprint—adding an entire family and an infant to the list can be mind-blowing and overwhelming. Keep in mind that no one can do everything but everyone can do something. Aiding the environment is ensuring your child’s future.
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, where recently she’s been researching different online pharmacist degrees and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.