Topic of the Month

June 2010
What Shade of "Green" Are You?

The "green" revolution is taking over. "Greenproofing" has replaced "babyproofing", parents are now "greenovating" their nurseries and "detox" has taken on a whole new meaning! Whether you’re a bona fide "TreeHugger" or just care about the environment enough to make some personal changes for you and your children, going green doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Creating new eco-friendly habits, whether one or many, is a step in the right direction towards determining your shade of "green".

According to planetgreen.com, going "green" isn’t that difficult. They suggest choosing one item a month and practice it every day. It takes three weeks to develop a new habit. If you choose one new eco-friendly habit every month you will be living a much more self sufficient and prosperous lifestyle in less than half a year.

Here are three easy eco-friendly ways you can make a difference:

  1. Take off your shoes when you enter your house. This prevents tracking anything undesirable onto floors that crawling infants might crawl on or pick up. Taking off shoes is the public health equivalent of washing hands.
  2. Turn your hot water heater down. Turning your water heater from 140 to 120 degrees will reduce your water heating costs by 6 to 10% and best of all it prevents scalding during bath time with your little one.
  3. Practice the 5 minute shower. You are probably already doing this due to lack of time! Add a low-flow showerhead and you save on average 12 gallons of water per shower.

More importantly, finding a common ground that works for your family is key. Determining healthy alternatives for everyday products and decisions can produce "green" benefits as well. For example, the obvious eco-friendly decision on top of mind for every parent is cloth or disposable diapers. But again, this doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Even using a combination of both- cloth diapers at home, but disposables when you're out – can be a great and more "green" approach that serves your needs. You can also make your own baby food when fresh produce is available, and use store-bought brands for variety and ease. You can also experiment with safer household cleaners on the baby-friendly areas of your home to see how effective you think they are.

Lastly, be sure to take advantage of the many products available when buying for baby. More and more manufacturers are subscribing to the "green initiative" proudly offering parents more environmentally-conscious products. Whether extending product lines to offer environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional products, or implementing innovative product recycling programs, babygear companies are working diligently to protect the interests of parents as well as the environment.

Ultimately, you will determine what shade of "green" works best for your family. Making affordable changes towards a "green" lifestyle is a great way to contribute to your children’s future!

For a list of companies offering eco-friendly baby products, click here.