Pregnant mothers are often encouraged to shop shop shop: to “eat for two," buy and buy lots of things for the baby and to prepare, and over-prepare, for the new little person coming into their lives. For some new mothers, the question becomes: How do I do all this, while still reducing my carbon footprint? Here are a few ways that you, as well as your friends and family, can help make your pregnancy and baby-preparation as green as possible.
A Fresh, Clean, Eco-Friendly Bottom
Babies use a lot of nappies. Their little bottoms need to be changed frequently to ensure that they are happy and healthy, so don't skimp on the nappies. Instead, look for the environmentally-friendly options, the first of which is, of course, cloth nappies that you wash and reuse. This option can also save you quite a lot of money, which is also a consideration. The second choice, if washing nappies is not something you look forward to, is to seek out disposable nappies that have been certified as eco-friendly and biodegradable.
Gently-Used can be Re-Used
As you move past the first trimester, you might feel like you’re a different size every few weeks, and once your baby is born, they’ll start outgrowing their clothes even quicker. From maternity clothes for you, to baby clothes for your new arrival, there are many green options. If you have a friend who is about your size and has already gone through a pregnancy, or is a few months ahead of you, see if you can borrow the maternity clothes they are finished with. Or, instead, head to the second-hand stores to stock up on both maternity clothes, and those baby clothes that little ones outgrow sometimes within weeks.
Water Filters, Not Plastic Bottles
Drinking lots of water has health benefits for everyone, but particularly pregnant women. It keeps your system flushed out, helps keep your skin clear and, of course, keeps you hydrated. Don't head straight for the plastic water bottles, though. Investigate a water filter, and filter your tap water. When you are on the go, opt for a reusable, stainless steel water bottle to carry with you.
A Green Reading Option - The Library
There are pregnancy, baby and child rearing books galore for new mothers, especially first time mothers, to curl up with and devour -- but you don't have to buy them. Many of them won't be read more than once, so think of getting them from your local library instead of the bookstore. This is one way to reduce your carbon footprint while you are pregnant, and save the trees, too. When you come across a book or two that you want on your shelf for frequent reference, or that will carry you through your baby's early-growing years, simply buy those instead.
Green, and Baby-Friendly, Cleaning
Keeping things clean is important for the health of the baby and the whole family, but many cleaning products on the market are harsh, and even toxic. Look for green, non-toxic cleaning options while you are pregnant, for a healthier home for you and your baby.
As you can see, it's entirely possible to reduce your carbon footprint and have a green pregnancy without giving up any of the excitement of preparing for your new baby. In fact, you can continue to use these options after the baby arrives - and keep the green cycle going by passing them on to others, along with the items you are no longer using.