Contributing Editor Paige Grande
Because babies spend so much of their new lives in the nursery (those little guys sleep for days when they’re brand new!), it’s important to provide as non-toxic an environment as possible. Our tips on creating a natural nursery will help your baby get off to a good start.
Walls: Don’t put off painting the little one’s room. Pick a color already! It’s best to complete painting at least a month before the baby moves into the room. Water-based, low VOC paints should be used and note that pregnant women should not do the painting, low VOC or no.
Floors: Unless the flooring currently in the room is an older carpet, it’s best to leave whatever floor is already in the room and clean it well. If you are planning to put new flooring in, consider natural linoleum or sustainable woods, such as bamboo.
Furniture: Choose real woods, sustainably harvested hardwoods, preferably natural or painted with water-based low VOC paints. When purchasing furniture made of sustainably-grown woods, look for the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) seal, which assures you the wood was harvested from sustainably managed forests.
Bedding: The closest thing to baby, next to Mom and Pops, the crib bedding should be as pure as possible. Choose organic, untreated pure cotton or wool fabrics.
Toys: There’s a reason why wooden toys are making a big-time comeback, not only are they fun, but they’re also durable and beautiful. Natural cloth toys are another good choice. Stay away from plastic. Sooner than you think, your child will be inundated with more plastic toys than you can imagine, despite your best efforts. Start them off right, while you still have the ability to control it.
Finally, once you’ve created the green baby nursery of your dreams, be sure to keep it that way by using non-toxic cleaners.
Three Steps to Get Started Raising a Green Baby
Wondering how to get started transitioning baby to green? Follow these three easy steps and you’re well on your way:
1. Make your own organic baby food. With the help of a Cuisinart Mini-Prep, a good cookbook, and some yummy organic fruits and veggies, you are on your way to becoming a Culinary Chef for your bambino. This also gives you a great opportunity to reuse baby food jars. Bonus!
2. Use cloth diapers. Consider these scary facts: Disposable diapers have a tremendous negative impact on our solid waste resources. Cloth diapers use less water and energy and generate much less waste than disposable diapers. It takes between 200-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose, while cloth diapers have a life span of over 100 washings per diaper. Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste. Yuck. Using a cloth diaper service company or buying your own cloth diapers would go a long way in helping to reduce these problems.
3. Share clothes with other babies. As every parent knows, babies grow out of their clothes faster than you can say, “Wow that baby’s grown!” Creating a circle of like-minded parents with babies of various ages helps to keep these gently used clothes in circulation, while helping you to manage your budget as well.