Babies have exceptionally sensitive skin and very delicate immune systems so baby items need to be selected with care. ‘Most people understand that residues from everything you put onto skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream and may also be responsible for rashes or irritation,’ says Catherine Cervasio, founder of Aromababy. Petro chemically derived ingredients, such as mineral oil, are reported to reduce the skin’s ability to ‘breathe’. Cervasio suggests less frequent bathing, less use of commercial products and a more natural approach to personal hygiene for babies and children.
Organic and natural fabrics for clothing and bedding will expose baby to less harmful chemicals and dyes that could be potential allergens. Toys should also be made from natural materials such as wood and cloth. Plastics, while durable, are made from petrochemicals and can contain polyvinyl chloride which has been known to release potentially harmful fumes – you’d be amazed at just how much plastic your child is exposed to from birth.
Food is another area where sustainable, organic choices can be made. First and foremost, ****** milk is one of the most nutritious and environmentally friendly foods for baby – just consider the elimination of packaging and food miles. Andrew Radford, from the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, estimates that if every baby in the US was bottle-fed, almost 86,000 tonnes of tin plate would be required for 550 million discarded formula tins. Formula must also be heated up in plastic bottles, which of course, uses more energy and resources. ‘A 3 month-old bottle-fed baby needs 1 litre of water a day for mixing feeds,’ Radford says.
Most parents find that they become much ‘cleaner’ and more conscious of germs when they have a young child. The temptation may be to bleach, sanitise and sterilise everything baby can get his hands on. Opt for natural cleaners such as bicarbonate soda and vinegar, they do an effective job and minimise the family’s exposure to harmful chemicals.
By taking the extra steps to choose a greener and more sustainable lifestyle from day one, your child can get off on the right foot to being more aware and environmentally conscious. Eco minded parents are most likely to pass their values and principles down to their children. While it seems cliché, children are the future and we will depend on them to continue our quest to protect the environment.
Look for more eco friendly and green baby products on the Green Pages green directory.
After all, who are we really saving the planet for?
By: Paige Green
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