Tuesday, June 15, 2010

5 Ways to Go Green While Saving the Green

All over the country young adults who came of age in the world of PETA, animal rights, global warming, conserving resources, and Captain Planet are searching for ways to live life and raise their children in an earth friendly, environmentally conscious way. Sounds like a big job? You may be closer to living a greener lifestyle than you think. Here are 5 ways to incorporate earth friendly habits into your parenting routine by following the old mantra "reduce, reuse, recycle". You'll even save some money while you're at it.
1) Try cloth diapers. Diapers and wipes are the biggest source of infant consumer waste. My son goes through 20-25 diapers per day. That's 150+ diapers a week and over 7,800 diapers in a year! Switching to cloth diapers even just part time will literally keep thousands of disposable diapers out landfills. For an extra eco-friendly choice, use reusable cloth wipes instead of disposable. It may seem old fashioned, but cloth diapering for modern moms is easier than ever before! Stay tuned for more information later this week on cloth diapering resources and how to get started.
2) Accept hand me downs. Waste not want not. Reusing items prevents them from being thrown away or deteriorating from age while waiting in storage. When your baby outgrows his hand me downs, you can keep the cycle going and pass them along to another family.
3) Shop used. By purchasing existing baby supplies, you decrease the need for manufacturers to produce more which conserves our resources. Often times older products are better made, so you will be getting a higher quality product for less money. This in turn also means you'll that another baby will be able to inherit these items when your infant is done with them.
4) Preserve the resale value of your baby supplies. Infants grow so fast that much of your gear will be in great condition when your little one stops using it. Used baby items sell very well on Ebay and Craigslist. Saving as much of the of the original packaging and instruction manuals and taking care of your infant's clothes, bottles, toys, and other paraphernalia will make it easier to resell and fetch the highest price. If you decide to pass them down rather than selling, the original boxes and intact instructions will be very appreciated by your friends and family. Either way, you're keeping baby items that would otherwise still have a lot of life in them out of the garbage and out of your closet.

5) Recycle by finding a new use for seemingly "junk" items. For example, the boxes for bulk diaper packages make wonderful designer storage boxes. Use scrap fabric or recycle gift wrapping paper to cover them over with fun designs and pretty colors. The boxes already have handle cut outs so they're great for a variety of uses. Have different sizes? Make a nesting storage set and give it to an expecting mother as a unique, handmade baby shower gift.
Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net