If you’re thinking about leaving a greener planet for your little one, here are five ideas of how to be a bit more environmentally responsible during different stages of pregnancy.
1. From the day you first look up pregnancy advice (or receive it unsolicited), you’ll hear repeated reminders to stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy. Invest in, or ask for as gifts, reusable water bottles. Having these strategically placed around the house (with one or two in the fridge getting chilled) can make getting your necessary water intake a breeze. (Also, at least for me, by the fifth or sixth month going down the stairs to get water started taking effort, so having an upstairs water bottle became a necessity!)
Or – in a go big or go home move – buy a growler! These are fun ways to keep other drinks on hand when you are sick of water (or if you experience the pregnancy symptom in which water tastes like plastic or metal). There are lots of personalized or handcrafted growlers out there that can make this a fun gift to request when someone asks you for a wish list, as well.
2. Somewhere in the first few months (depending on several factors that are quite unpredictable), you may start experiencing a need for maternity clothes. These can be difficult to find in an environmentally responsible manner since you’ll wear them for a relatively short amount of time compared to other clothes. Try to borrow clothes from friends or buy them second-hand. Or, if you plan to breastfeed or pump, buy clothes that double as maternity and nursing clothes. (I recommend reading reviews carefully if you follow this path, as some brands are better than others at both accommodating big bellies and sporting easy nursing access.)
3. If you decide to reveal the baby’s sex in a creative way during your pregnancy, celebrate with something fully consumable (such as a cake) or something you can treasure as a keepsake (such as a picture frame or piece of artwork) rather than something that results in trash (such as balloons or streamers).
4. If you put together a baby registry, consider asking for acts of service instead of items. You might also highlight to gift-givers that you are looking for hand-me-downs or second-hand clothes, toys, and gear. Tip for shower hosts: if you know that your loved one is working to be environmentally responsible during pregnancy, you can make this into a fun shower game with a little planning: in the invitation, set forth the challenge that each guest has to find the oldest children’s book, or the funniest child’s outfit, at a local thrift store within a set budget.
5. As you prepare for baby to arrive, you may have a meal train. Ask participants to be conscious of the environment by minimizing disposable dishes. Instead, you might offer to transfer the food into your own dishes when the meal arrives.
Check out the next post in this series, on 7 little ways to be more environmentally responsible while caring for an infant!
Do you have another idea? Please share it in the comments section!