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Five Easy Ways to Parent Green

fiveeasyparentgreen.jpgIt?s a common trend nowadays to look for ways to be more environmentally responsible. While not all parents are ready or willing to forego the disposable diapers, there are some easy ways to go ?green? without a fuss. Here are five simple things that parents can do to be more environmentally conscious.

Buy used clothes. When I first became pregnant, I headed for the consignment shops to look for maternity clothes. Not only can you find a great deal of variety, but shops usually have racks bursting with baby clothes as well. Since babies grow out of clothes quickly, consider buying used clothing.

Use reusable wipes. Instead of commercial baby wipes, which can be harsh on baby?s sensitive skin, we use reusable wipes made at home. We use the reusable wipes for wet diapers ? for messy, dirty, stinky ones, we use the non-chlorine commercial baby wipes. To make baby wipes, take a few old white cotton t-shirts or men?s undershirts and cut or tear into squares. Mix about a tablespoon of mild soap such as Cetaphil in a bottle with water and squirt or spray onto the wipes as needed. After using the wipes, simply toss them in with baby?s laundry, or wash separately.

Buy or trade toys. Toys can be expensive, and just because you pick one out for your child does not guarantee that he or she will like it. We?ve found that our daughter enjoys the simplest toys the most ? hand knitted blocks, a plastic key ring, and a little plastic photo album in which we?ve pasted photos of her grandparents. Instead of buying toys new, consider purchasing them used, through a thrift store or online. Be careful to check toys thoroughly for any loose or damaged parts, and clean them before handing them over to baby.

Ditch the diaper pail. Instead of using an expensive diaper pail or diaper disposal system, we use good old fashioned paper bags for her diapers. Paper bags from take out orders or brown paper lunch bags work fine and are less of an impact to the environment than plastic bags.

Make your own baby food. It?s easy to make baby food at home. Simply wash and either steam or cook organic fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, apples, pears, or anything else your baby likes, then puree it in a blender or food processor. Serve cool, or refrigerate or freeze. To freeze, pour food into ice cube trays to divide into individual portions, then freeze the cubes in zip top bags or freezer containers.

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