A Note on Going Green

Ok so these days green is in. And I’m all for it! As Lisa Ling recently pointed out on an episode of “Oprah”, we as a country throw away 30 billion dollars worth of food every year. And that’s just what grocery stores and bakeries toss–it does not take into consideration all that goes brown and moldy in my fridge alone. So no big surprise to anyone, Americans buy and toss way too much stuff.

That said, you do need stuff when you get a baby. Yeah I know your Mom says she slept in a drawer, had four cloth diapers, and wore the same sleeper night after night. Whatever. You need some stuff. You just don’t need tons of stuff. No one needs everything that the big baby stores tell you that you need when you register. With the right things, a little stuff goes a long long way.

Also, you don’t need all brand new stuff. Of course, anything that involves your baby’s safety, should be carefully considered. It’s up to you but I wouldn’t recommend used car seats, crib mattresses or pumps (and be sure to check out the latest safety standards). Bear in mind that there are many gradations of “used”! Go to garage sales! Check out Craig’s List and Ebay. Look items over very carefully and then save bundles buying “nearly new” from thrift stores, consignment shops and more. Everyone gets some things their kids don’t love and never use. Things your baby may just love! Toys, books, and clothes especially are wonderful used! Pop plastic toys in the top rack of the dishwasher, soft toys and clothes in the washing machine, and they’re good to go. And if you don’t want imported plastic toys that contain lead, check out the vintage toys you may have played with; pay a quarter at a garage sale for toys from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s stamped “Made in the U.S.A.” and let your kids play with confidence.

As a new mom, it feels like Christmas every time my friends and family hand me a box of clothes and toys. Yeah they may have a little spit up on them, but it comes out in the wash–and I know whose spit-up it is! And hey, a little spit-up never hurt anyone. Then, keep up the good karma. Send your friend across the country a box of barely used baby clothes (you do get so many and they do wear them for such a short time) and make her day!

A well-supplied baby can be a green baby! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Your baby will be glad you did.