I could never eat organic! Too expensive!
I could never use cloth diapers-yuck!
Why would I wear my baby?
Breastfeed? Well I’ll try…
Me, Green? Ya Right!
Well who would have known a few years and a few kids later I am proud to consider myself green. What is living green? For me, it has to do with eating the best food I can, making the best choices for our family’s health and wellbeing on the budget we have. That is the other “green” we all have to factor in here, these are some things we do to live green on a small budget.
Our family has found ways to eat mostly organic, we shop local farmers markets, and local fruit and vegetable stands- we find out when they have extras or items that are damaged,or bruised that are discounted. We try to always buy organic foods for the “dirty dozen” a list of the top 12 most pesticide contaminated foods: “Beef , Milk., Coffee, Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Strawberries, Lettuces ,Grapes, Potatoes, and Tomatoes”
I make my own baby food to be green and save some green. You can have variety from a single, whole food item. When making baked sweet potatoes you can puree some, cut some into soft chunks, and leave the rest whole. Because your babyfood is made with whole foods, the leftovers can be made into soups, side dishes and sauces for the rest of the family. Purees can be poured into ice cube trays and frozen. Then stored in freezer bags until needed. Ice cube trays seem to be the perfect serving size for most toddlers.
Another way I have found to be green and save some green is cloth diapers. The diapers of today are much easier than they used to be, snaps and Velcro instead of pins. And so many choices: pocket diapers, all in ones, all in twos, fitteds, covers, wool, fleece, veleur, minky, bamboo, and hemp, oh my!
I have heard the argument that cloth really isn’t “greener” than disposables because of all the extra water needed to wash them. Well consider this:
“18 billion disposable diapers are thrown in landfills each year, taking as many as 500 years to decompose. Disposable diapers make up the third largest source of solid waste in landfills, after newspapers and food and beverage containers--a significant fact, considering they are a single product, used by a limited portion of the population. It takes upwards of 82,000 tons of plastic and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp, or a quarter-million trees, to manufacture the disposable diapers that cover the bottoms of 90 percent of the babies born in the
Some will argue that in areas where water is scarce, disposables are the better environmental choice. Washing cloth diapers at home uses 50 to 70 gallons of water every three days--about the same as a toilet-trained child or adult flushing the toilet five to six times a day. A diaper service puts its diapers through an average of 13 water changes, but because of the economies of scale, uses less water and energy per diaper than one laundry load at home.
Ultimately, instead of getting bogged down in each side's scientific data, the most commonsense approach is to use commonsense. Weigh the impact of manufacturing and disposing of 8,000 paper-and-plastic diapers over the average diapering period of a child versus that of a few dozen cotton diapers, and decide for yourself which is better for the environment.” http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_baby/diapers/joy-of-cloth.html
One way I save some green is most of the cloth diapers I have, I have purchased used, my favorite site is www.diaperswappers.com and there are many others. Then when I am done with a size I can resell them and earn back 75-80% or more of what I originally paid.
Another way I am green is wearing my babies. For me it started as just being a practical way to have a happy baby and also get things done. It is much more convient then lugging around a bulky infant car seat or stroller. And the green factor in it – Think about how much plastic and materials (most made overseas) go into making one of the large strollers- then picture a cloth baby carrier, enough said.
The more I have read about it, the more I am convinced that wearing or holding your baby as much as possible for at least the first 9 months after birth is crucial to the baby’s healthy physical, emotional, and social development. Search on the internet for the benefits of babywearing and there are pages and pages of wonderful articles I love wearing my baby and so many people kept coming up to me and commenting about how happy my baby was and how comfortable the carriers looked and asking where could they buy one, I decided to start selling them and last February Frogmama baby carriers (www.frogmama.com) was born.
I feel one of the most important ways I am green is breastfeeding. With my first child I was going to breastfeed for 6 months. Around 8 months I decided that was long enough and was shocked when I began researching how expensive formula was, but I felt to “have my body back” was worth it. So I called my mother for support with my abrupt weaning plan. When I made my case and asked for support, I was surprised to hear her say “you will not stop breastfeeding, and you will not switch to formula- do you know how expensive it is?, God made this milk for your baby, that is what is best, just stick it out, there isn’t much longer to go” “But mom, you don’t understand,” “No I do understand, keep going!” Reluctantly I continued breastfeeding, and I was so glad I did. Beyond just being much less expensive, as my son got older he did nurse less giving me more of my body back, and as he grew more independent it was nice to still have that one on one cuddle time,. My third child is now 15 months and we have no plans to stop breastfeeding any time soon. So my green tip on breastfeeding-“ Don’t give up! Stick with it” You will be glad you did.
I wasn’t always green, and I have found the biggest help is meeting up with others who are green and making it work and getting their tips and advice. A great way to do this is to hang out at your local farmers market and see who you can chat with. Or look for local green events. There is a one coming up, the Green Baby Expo in
By Lorene Foster
Owner of Frogmama baby Carriers www.frogmama.com
Mom of 3 green babies and wife to a great green man