If you would like to lessen your environmental impact but don’t know where to start, here are seven places to look.
1. You know what you’ll need a LOT of in the next year? DIAPERS. So, find diapers with a lower environmental cost. You might look into cloth diapering (depending on your washing machine, this may or may not be a better option in terms of the environment). You might find disposable diapers that are compostable (just remember to actually compost them!). Or you might even just find diapers that use less plastic than the main brands. Even a little difference can help.
2. What about toys? As wonderful as the many organic, wood or cloth, “green” toys out there are, plastic is still king of the toys. Recall a classic tool kit, a typical doll, and the age-old stacking cups. Consider buying these toys used from a thrift store or online marketplaces. Same thing with gear: some handy items such as walkers, high chairs, or infant tubs use a lot of plastic. Again, second-hand purchases are a great way to have the convenience of these items while being more environmentally responsible. If you register for or ask loved ones for these items, consider asking them to opt for used gear rather than new.
3. You’ve got laundry for days! And one quick click of a button can minimize the impact that has on the environment: wash baby’s clothes in cold water. This has two benefits: first, it saves energy and reduces carbon pollution, and second, poop stains are more likely to wash out in cold water than in warm!
4. Speaking of laundry, lactating parents have a cool option in that regard too: opt for reusable breast pads instead of disposable ones when possible.
5. For feeding baby, consider non-plastic bottles – stainless steel and glass are two common options.
6. Time flies, and soon your baby will be ready to expand their palates beyond milk! Steer clear of disposable or non-recyclable baby food containers when possible. Instead, opt for buying glass jars of baby food (which are recyclable), making your own baby food, or pursuing Baby-Led Weaning (not actually a weaning strategy, but a feeding strategy that focuses on giving baby what the rest of the family eats).
7. If people offer you used baby items, 9 times out of 10 you can take them and use them safely. Take care when doing this with bottle nipples, car seats, and other items that might require extra safety measures due to germs or expiration dates. But for the most part, give those hand-me-downs a new lease on life!
Check out the prior post in this series, 5 little ways to be more environmentally responsible while pregnant.
And stay tuned for the next post in this series, 10 little ways to be more environmentally responsible while caring for a toddler!
Have another idea? Share it in the comments section!