Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Greening up baby

Enjoy this article appearing in Abode magazine this month

“Babies just don’t need a gazillion things!” I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Dolly Garnecki, a local chiropractor and presenter of green mom workshops in town. This month we offer guidelines to help babies grow up green, which could end up saving you some green.

Paint: For your little one’s room, choose PVC-free wall coverings and paint without VOCs (volatile organic compounds). If your house was built before 1978, check for lead paint.

Furniture: Try local secondhand stores. For cribs, first verify the consumer safety guidelines for proper rail spacing and other safety considerations at cpsc.gov.

Buying new? Choose Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. It’s harvested with care. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification is industry-led, less stringent, and possibly an illegitimate measure. See the National Resources Defense Council website for more.

Clothing: Choose secondhand or handmade clothing at farmers markets and craft fairs. Recycled fabric and organic cotton are lower-impact.

Toys: Less is more. Remember, babies and toddlers enjoy the box as much as the toy, so no need to overindulge. Embrace hand-me downs, both giving and receiving. If you decide to buy, choose domestic. I liked to rotate toys every two weeks, moving toys from one room to another. It keeps things fresh. Consider starting a toy-swap-rotation with other parents: Gather six toys your baby (and you) can part with, disinfect them with vinegar and hot water, and exchange at a monthly play date.

Keeping it simple will help you stay sane. And it’s O.K. to to give in to the occasional necessary bright pink plastic item!

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