Of course, many parents have questions regarding Going Green- from designing the nursery to making registry selections and deciding whether to make babyfood at home. Founder Shannon Choe, named 2009's Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs ("Best Person to Know When You're Expecting") shared some tips on how to navigate and what to consider.
navigating through process of making green selections for your nursery
and baby registry, it's great to have a handful of trusted resources
that you feel offer reliable, unbiased information to check in with and
become informed about the latest issues and information available.
of PBC favorites include: Healthy Child Healthy
World and the book, "Raising Baby Green; The Earth Friendly Guide
to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care," by Alan Greene, M.D.
What's so important about being green? Aside from benefits to the environment, we know that chemicals that are inhaled or touched can be absorbed and enter the bloodstream. Studies show that there are several health impacts related to exposure to these toxins over time, such as allergies, asthma, cancers, developmental disorders, and other concerns.Which things are important to invest in? Based on the information available to us today, it makes sense to do our best to avoid chemicals and toxins in baby's environment and make the best selections when it comes to the things baby will breathe, ingest and/or have direct contact with. Consider the following types of items in our homes:
- Nursery paint- Look for non-toxic paint without Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are cancer causing toxins that can emit years after drying. Mythic Paint is a great option, with over 1200 colors to choose from.
- Household cleaning products- Look for non-toxic, environmentally safe products such as Melaleuca and Sun and Earth products.
- Feeding products (and toys!) that baby will have in his or her mouth. There has been a lot of news (and some controversy) about bisphenol-A (BPA) in recent years. Recently the FDA has "suggested parents minimize the BPA-based products that could make contact with foods or drinks that infants or toddlers might consume — especially hot foods and drinks" because "recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”
- Cloth diapers- Better for the environment and in some cases, much lighter on your wallet, cloth diapers offer a chemical free diaper option (depending on how they are washed). There are so many options. Apple Cheeks, Bumkins & Fuzzibunz to name a few. If you are in the Philadelphia area, there are some great services to make cloth diapering as convenient as can be. Check out Philly Diaper Service and Kinda Krunchy's cloth diapering consultation service.
- Personal care products such as soap and baby wash- As we said, it's unfortunate that parents can't rely on labels. According to the Environmental Working Group, '80% of children's products described as "gentle," "soothing," "hypo allergenic," and "dermatologist approved" contain ingredients linked to allergies and skin irritation.' Unfortunately parents can be mislead by labels since manufacturers don't have to disclose all of their ingredients and the terms such as "all natural" and "eco friendly" aren't regulated, and as a result become meaningless.
We brought Cheeky Baby Butter and soap from Baby Bear Shop and Le Baby hair gel to the show today, but due to time, didn't get to mention them. Check in with Skin Deep, the EWG's cosmetic safety database to find more safe options.
- Crib Mattress- Babies sleep a lot and spend a lot of time on their mattress. Most traditional mattresses have a vinyl cover with PVC, which is one of the most toxic plastics, and are foam made from petroleum with the toxic additive polyurethane. There are some great alternatives at varying prices. The Naturepedic No Compromise Ultra mattress is made from Certified Organic materials and has a non-toxic plastic 100% waterproof liner within. Natural Mat offers a superior range of entirely natural, organic crib mattresses. Natural Mat’s hand crafted mattress collection combines the finest natural and organic raw materials such as lambswool, natural rubber latex foam, coir, mohair and cotton.
Parents: Do you have a favorite non-toxic product or resource not included above? Let us know!