Make the Switch to Green Baby Care

By Ashley Ess in Thinking Sustainably

Having a baby can be the happiest time in your life, but it can also be quite expensive. Some of the eco-friendliest baby products can be hard on your wallet, often leading budget-minded moms to settle on disposable items that may wreak havoc on the environment. But it doesn't have to be this way. You can be Earth-conscious while being wallet-conscious when it comes to green baby care!

Many new moms also feel overwhelmed by the number of items a baby requires. Taking the time to choose natural baby products instead of using one-stop modern conveniences like baby marts and online shopping can be painstaking, but you'll be doing your paycheck and the planet a favor. You can even opt to make your own green baby care products at home.

Reasons to Switch to Green Baby Care

It's no secret that many of the products we see on store shelves contain unwanted chemicals. Unfortunately, this can also be the case for the baby section. Opting for more plant-based baby products can reduce your baby's exposure to things you choose to avoid like artificial fragrances or preservatives. The term "natural" is not regulated by the Food And Drug Administration as it applies to baby products, notes Parents magazine, so if you're concerned about ingredients, it's worth doing your own research. The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database offers a way to check for scientific evidence of the safety of common cosmetic components.

Due to the rise of interest in the natural products industry, manufacturers have become more competitive, which means more options and lower price tags for green consumers. A large number of stores now have natural baby products to choose from, and you may be surprised how well they compare to traditional options. Often they use Earth-friendly packaging, too, which is a bonus.

Another advantage is the potential to save money. For items like diapers, disposables can get pricey. Cloth diapers can be purchased once and reused for years (even on multiple kids), and they save on both trash and packaging. Ecolife broke down the environmental cost of buying vs. washing and concluded that cloth diapers were more eco-friendly than disposable when using an energy-efficient washing machine and line drying. If you're traveling or can't commit to all that laundry, Parents magazine lists a few companies that make biodegradable diapers that are friendlier to the environment than well-known plastic-based brands.

homemade baby wipes

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…and DIY!

It's a great idea to recycle packaging whenever you can. However, reusing it can be even better. There are many practical and creative ways to repurpose a baby shampoo bottle or wipes container. Add them to your crafts box to store paint or crayons, or use them to store your homemade shampoo or wipes. For packaging that can't be reused, make sure what you buy can go to the recycling center and not the landfill.

Another option is Earth-friendly product packaging. Plant-based plastics are gaining ground holding everything from yogurt to soda to Legos.

One way to ensure you know what's going on your baby's skin is to make green baby care products yourself. Alternative Daily suggests some great natural baby care recipes to try for diaper cream, body wash, and more. Homemade products not only save you money, but also cut down on the amount of packaging that needs to be recycled.

Baby wipes are one of the most disposed-of baby care items, but keeping them out of the landfills is actually easy to do. Homemade baby wipes are so simple to make that you will never miss those late-night trips to the store when you run out of disposable wipes. Simply cut wipe-size squares of cotton flannel fabric (or use baby wash cloths ) and follow this recipe from DIY Natural. Cloth wipes can be washed and reused.

What are some of your favorite DIY green baby care products? Tell us on Twitter!

Image sources: Flickr | Flickr

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Why It’s Good

Discovering how you can take a green approach to baby care can save you money and help the planet.