If you are familiar with my post, Our Zero Waste Household Mission; you know that when I was pregnant, my consciousness for the environment increased exponentially. Once it became time to start thinking of getting stuff for the baby, I knew I wanted to be sustainable in that department too.
Cloth diapers were something I knew I was going to do even before I had a baby. I had been researching them for a long time and there was no question I would be using them.
Once I learned about the number of diapers that go into land fills every year, it helped to solidify my decision. According to this article by CBC, its 30 to 40 billion in North America. I decided I did not want my child contributing to that number.
I figured that if I am going to raise children that are aware of the struggling environment and are kind to the earth, it seems hypocritical to use disposable diapers. We have done our best and have only used three packs of 45 disposable diapers. This was while she was too little to fit most of her cloth, and during two weeks of vacation.
During my pregnancy, I began building my stash. I purchased most of my diapers and inserts second hand through a local cloth diapering Facebook group. I saved a lot of money and have diapers that work just as good as new.
This is a less well known method of managing a babies doo-doo but has proven very effective. Elimination communication or EC, is the practice of putting your baby on a potty to eliminate.
It is done through watching your baby for cues of when they need to go and putting them on the potty at certain transition times. See my post on EC for more information (coming soon!).
What does this have to do with being earth friendly? It reduces the number of diapers we use. Some days I can go the whole day with one diaper. I offer the potty every 20-40 minutes throughout the day and at transition times. This saves water and electricity since I don’t have to wash diapers as often.
Before my daughter arrived, I shopped at thrift stores for clothing. I wanted to do this, not only save money, but to reduce clothing waste. Clothes end up in landfills too. I couldn’t justify going to purchase a whole wardrobe of brand new clothes when there was perfectly good clothing at the thrift store. Most things I found looked brand new. I also instructed people to gift second-hand gifts on my baby shower/Mothers blessing invitations.
I still look at thrift stores and the Facebook buy and sell (B&S) first if I need a specific clothing article. But now that she’s here, I have purchased a few things new…its really hard to resist cute baby clothes!
Since we live in a tiny house, I did a lot of research into multi-use baby items or items that fold up for small spaces. My goal for multi-use was to be able to use one item longer, therefore saving money and being earth conscious by needing less things. I was really hoping to find these items second hand.
I found a bath tub that could be used from newborn to toddler. Since we only have a shower, this was something I felt we needed. I had my heart set on a Boon Bath. To my delight, my girlfriends gifted it to me at my shower, AND it was second hand! They had found it on the Facebook B&S. I was so happy to receive it and the cherry on top was that it was recycled!
Buying Second Hand
I have mentioned it a lot in this article, but buying second hand items is a great way to help our earth.
It keeps clothes out of landfills longer, reduces our water waste and chemical pollution, reduces your carbon footprint, and encourages us to think about being a little more green. Which is has, in my case.
So far I have purchased a high chair that clamps onto the table and a potty from the Facebook B&S. I also got 5 of my 6 baby wearing wraps from the B&S (yes, I have a wrap obsession). I searched for a cute “baby’s first Christmas” outfit on the B&S and a 6-12 month snow suit. Anything I need for baby I check out thrift stores, the B&S and kijiji first, before I purchase anything new.
You may not have thought of it this way, but breastfeeding is environmentally friendly.
I don’t use water for washing bottles or mixing formula. I don’t use bottles, which are mostly made with plastic…my daughter kind of made that decision for me and won’t take one. There is also no packaging involved or transporting of products, which helps out our environment by not using gasoline or producing emissions.
The Eco-Friendly Journey Continues
These are just a few of the ways to be earth friendly that I know of, at the moment, and are implementing in our lives. As I learn of new ways to reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle, I will try them out. This is a journey, we aren’t perfect at it yet, but we are doing our best! I hope this has inspired you to try some of these eco-friendly things out when you are preparing for your baby.
Do you have any earth friendly practices you do in your home that I haven’t mentioned? I would love to learn about them, tell me in the comments!