Monday, April 21, 2008

25 Ways to be a Green Mama or Papa

1. Paint the nursery with Earth-friendly paint, such as zero-VOC, low-VOC or milk-based.

2. Save the gift bags from your shower and reuse them. They also can be cut up and turned into thank-you notes and borders for scrapbooking.

3. Buy used baby products whenever possible. Consignment shops offer high quality and good prices. (Experts recommend buying some items, such as crib mattresses, new.)

4. Don't overbuy. Babies don't need much stuff.

5. Don't sign up for baby-product catalogs. If companies find you anyway —- and you know they will —- call and ask to be taken off the mailing list.

6. Nurse if you can. If you can't, recycle formula containers.

7. Baby products use a lot of batteries. Recycle —- IKEA accepts alkaline batteries and fluorescent light bulbs —- or use rechargeable ones.

8. Develop Earth-friendly diaper habits. Some parents swear by flushable —- and adorable! —- gDiapers (www.gdiapers.com). Even with disposables, solid waste should be flushed. Offset water used in washing cloth diapers with even shorter showers.

9. If you're using cloth diapers, use cloth wipes. Cut-up T-shirts work well. For a cleaning solution, try water, baby soap and a few drops of baby oil in a spray bottle.

10. Line-dry diapers, cloth wipes and clothing when possible.

11. Save outgrown sleepers for the next child, hand them down to a younger baby, or turn them into dust cloths.

12. Use biodegradable cleaning products. You can clean just about anything with baking soda, vinegar, liquid dish soap, lemon juice and hot water.

13. Organize a neighborhood swap meet to get rid of outgrown baby gear and pick up gently used items.

14. Try making some or all of your baby food (www.wholesomebabyfood.com). Recycle glass baby food jars.

15. Get in the habit of eating local produce by getting a Community Supported Agriculture membership. Shop at farmers markets. Plant a garden.

16. Compost the produce you don't eat. Compost tumblers are easy, fun and don't stink.

17. Find close-by places to play to avoid excess driving.

18. Use public transportation whenever possible.

19. Love the library, not just for children's books but also for parenting advice books, magazines, DVDs and more.

20. Turn recycling, composting, gardening and water conservation into games to play with your child.

21. When a new toy comes in the house, have your child select a toy to donate to charity.

22. Keep birthday parties small and simple.

23. Practice creative gift-giving. For a 2-year-old, try a small saucepan, a wooden spoon and a whisk. When the birthday boy gets bored, Mom's kitchen can absorb the gift.

24. Have a post-holidays gift-swap party. Every child brings a toy or two and leaves with a toy or two.

25. Eat dinner together at the table when possible. Use cloth napkins. You're doing laundry anyway, right?

Source: Metro Atlanta mothers, including members of the Intown Atlanta Parents of Multiples Club, Decatur Mamas, Atlanta Mommas and other parenting groups.



1 comment:

Jenet said...

With soaring prices baby goods are going to have be reused and recycled.