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Green Babies

posted 20 Dec 2010, 05:36 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 20 Dec 2010, 05:37 ]

You can start being green as soon as you are born - if your
parents are environmentally minded, that is. If you're a new
parent, you've got a lot to think about and take
responsibility for, so caring for the environment may seem a
little lower on your priority list. But with a bit of
planning and though, you can care for your baby and the
environment at the same time.

The biggest issue when it comes to "green babies" is the
issue of nappies. Nappies are an inevitable part of life
with a small human being. At the very least, a healthy baby
will go through at least six (and probably more) nappies per
day for the next two years. That makes, assuming that no leap
years are involved, 4380 nappies minimum. Just picture what
four and a half thousand nappies looks like all stacked up
in a heap. And if you consider disposable nappies, in a heap
is exactly where they're going to end. And that's the minimum
from just one baby...

Old-fashioned cloth nappies make a lot of sense
environmentally. Yes, disposables are convenient for you and
more absorbent (and, for older children who are late to grow
out of wetting the bed, the only option), but they're bad
news when it comes to the environment. But cloth nappies are
not that much of a hassle really, especially these days when
nappy washing services are springing up in many main centres
and towns. Cloth nappies are, in the long run, cheaper, too,
as you can use them for a second (or even third) baby and
then retire them as dusters and polishing rags.

If you don't have a nappy washing service in your area, then
you will need to wash them yourself. You will need a large
bucket with a lid, a spatula that's retired from active duty
in the kitchen (for scraping solid bits down the lavatory)
and a sterilising product. Rubber gloves are another must.
Chlorine bleach isn't the most environmentally product on
the market, but it's a lot better than the mountain of waste
produced by disposables. Nappies will need to soak overnight
if possible - doing a load of nappies daily is a good
system. Change the sterilising solution daily as well. Then
wash the nappies in the machine and dry as usual. The next
area that you can save a lot of time, expense, packaging and
waste is in the area of feeding your baby. Breastfeeding
involves no packaging other than a maternity bra, not to
mention the other advantages such as no sterilisers, no
careful reheating, no stirring and mixing and no bag of
bottles to tote around. It hurts for the first week, but
after that, things get easier, so persevere.

Baby food that comes in tins and jars is convenient, but not
necessary. Yes, glass jars and cans are recyclable (the glass
ones make good spice jars) but these still require a good
chunk of energy to produce. Furthermore, the iron used in
making the cans is a non-renewable resource and could go
into other uses. Pureed fruit (especially bananas), mashed
potato or other vegetables are perfectly good baby foods
that come in minimal packaging and can even be home grown.
It's simple enough to take out some of your regular dinner
and mash it up before adding salt or sugar.

You do not need to buy new gear for your baby, with the
exception of a car safety seat, unless you can absolutely
guarantee that a carseat hasn't been in an accident. Babies
grow out of things very quickly, especially clothes. Second
hand gear is easy to find - if you know someone who has a
child a little older than yours, they will probably be only
too happy to give used clothes away. Don't be too proud to
dress your baby in hand-me-downs; the baby doesn't care as
long as the clothes are comfortable, and you're part of the
great "reduce, reuse, recycle" system. And you will probably
hand clothes on to a younger child, too, if the garments are
still in good nick

About the Author:

Nick Vassilev founded Anyclean, his London based domestic
cleaning company, back in 1998. Nick is an expert on
cleaning and loves to help people with his cleaning tips,
articles and knowledge.
If you would like to know more about his cleaning company,
please visit:
http://www.anyclean.co.uk .


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