Going green when starting a new family does more than make a positive impact on the environment. It can actually save you money and improve the overall health of your home’s environment. It doesn’t take major changes to make a big difference. These ideas for ways to save money with a baby don’t take much effort, even if are more unconventional than others. All these idea would be lifestyle habits that our great-grandmothers would be familiar with.
Make Your Own Baby Food
Store bought baby food offers convenience for busy parents, but does not offer a large selection of food choices. By making your own baby food you can give your child a wider variety of food and cut back the resources used to make the packaging that baby food comes in. Making baby food doesn’t require any special skills in cooking. A good “make your own baby food” book will give you tips for recipes and teach you what foods to avoid when making your own baby food. However for most foods, all you need is a food processor and reusable food containers. Often you’ll find that you can easily blend whatever you are eating for dinner to feed to your baby.
Practice Elimination Communication
The great debate in going green for babies is often focused on whether to use cloth diapers or green disposable diapers. However this debate’s focus is missing a better choice for the environment: elimination communication. Using cloth diapers or disposable diapers leaves an impact on the environment. And there’s no definitive scientific research that shows one is better than the other. Not using diapers at all eliminates that impact completely. Parents can start potty training almost from birth using elimination communication.
Moms get to know when their infant is hungry or tired and respond to their baby’s needs without the baby ever saying a word. The same can be done when a baby needs to poop or pee. Before the invention of disposable diapers, elimination communication was how all babies were potty trained. Still today, this is how 50 percent of children around the world are potty trained by their first birthday. Parents that practice infant potty training today often find it’s easier than battling a nearly three-year old, the common age of potty training today, over potty habits. They also find it saves them thousands of dollars and they feel good about not using unnecessary resources for unnecessary diapers.
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If you haven’t yet made the switch from using strong chemical based cleaners to using more environmentally friendly cleaners, with a new baby in the house now’s the time. The Environmental Protection Agency states, “…a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” Several factors contribute to this including the use of harsh household cleaners. Babies spend a lot of time on the floor and a lot of time with their hands in their mouths. Although the effects on human health from such household products are still being researched, theses are considered pollutants and are not likely to show a benefit to a child’s health.
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Green cleaners often use plant-based ingredients and do not contain toxic fumes. Making the switch does not mean more work or more expense to you. You can choose to make you own cleaners for a bigger savings, or buy green cleaners at the store for convenience. If you choose to purchase green household products take a look at the label. A “Design for the Environment” logo from the EPA means the product has been reviewed by experts in chemistry and toxicology. Also, check the ingredients. A good green product should have ingredients that you can read and understand.
Go Green Outdoors
Like making the move to green cleaning, adding to your family is also a good time to go green outdoors as well. Pesticides and herbicides are designed to kill living things. When it rains, these chemicals make their way into the local rivers, streams, and ground water systems. From here they make their way into the food chain through fish and other aquatic species. Storing pesticides and herbicides also increase the risk that a young child will accidently poison themselves by ingesting the chemicals.
Making changes to how you garden and combat pests will make a great difference in the environment that surrounds your home. Borax based ant bait is non-toxic to pets and humans but effectively kills an entire ant colony invading a home. Biological pesticides, such as releasing ladybugs to eat aphids, can control most of your garden pests. Keeping plants and lawns healthy with proper watering schedules, organic fertilizers, and lawn aeration will help keep them disease free and push out unwanted weeds.
Pregnancy and bringing home a new baby changes how you see the world and your growing family’s place in that world. It’s not uncommon for this to be when parents start to think about going green as a way to teach their child how to care for the Earth. However, when taking these relatively small steps, you’ll find that you are also taking better care of yourself and your child and have stumbled upon ways to save money with a baby.
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