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Green Parenting

Published: 24th April 2009 16:29

Fliss Johnson-StandleyGREEN PARENTING

Being green is something that can easily
go by the wayside when you're a new
parent. Changing nappies, feeding and
soothing take up so much time that you
focus on the minutiae of everyday life
and can forget about the world around
you. However, being green - at least, a
pale green - is not beyond the reach of
even the busiest parent. Here are some
tips that I have put together.


Reusable nappies are the greenest option. Modern shaped nappies
washed at 40 degrees and air dried in your home are the cheapest
option. There are some really stylish ones around, produced by the
reasonably well-known Scottish company Totsbots and now by lots
of independent ‘work at home mums' with their own websites and
one-off designs. Alternatively, a laundry service can save you the
hassle of washing and drying. Visit www.realnappycampaign.com 
to find your local real nappy agent or laundry service.

Eco-disposable nappies, such as Moltex-oko are the next best green option.
Eco-disposables are sold in a number of shops now including Waitrose and
Boots . Steer clear of those large nappy wrapper machines if you want to avoid
unnecessary plastic waste and expense. Degradable nappy bags are the
greener alternative.

Breast feeding is undeniably the greenest option as there is no factory
processing, packaging, boiling water and no waste! If you do decide to
feed your  Dutch baby formula milk or move onto it after breast feeding, there are
plenty of choices. Hipp offer an organic baby milk formula and you can find
out more about the varies companies that produce formula milk and their
by checking out www.ethiscore.org

It is hard to avoid turning your home into a haven for plastic and garish tat,
when you have a little one. Although I had imagined a stylish and calming
cream nursery full of classic wooden toys, I soon discovered that the plastic
lurid kind, bought readily by family and friends, did entertain my son more
than I had hoped! If this is the case for you, look for second hand toys of this
nature at car boot sales and NCT sales (just google NCT ). Habitat sell
some lovely wooden toys that have kept my son's interest such as fire
engines and xylophones.

There can't be another time in your life when you will receive so many
hand-me-downs! The good thing about second hand baby clothes is that
they are unlikely to be very worn because babies grow so quickly. If they
are a bit too bobbly for your liking, they may come in handy for messy play
or for layering in cold weather. Apart from locally made items (your family
knitting cardies and booties probably!) Fairtrade and Organic are the most
ethical choices for new baby clothes. Little Green Radicals and Frugi have
good ranges.

Washable soft baby cloths or organic cotton wool and water is the most
environmentally-friendly option to use, but if you prefer to use baby wipes
when you're on the go, look for biodegradable versions with more natural

There are some wonderful slings that are handmade and websites are easy
to find though a search engine.

Avoid overly packaged shop-bought baby food if you can, and recycle
packaging where possible. The greenest way to feed your baby is to make it
yourself with locally-sourced and fairtrade ingredients, and freeze purees in
ice-cube trays so they can be defrosted easily.  Bananas and Avocados are
good on the go as they can be mashed together easily and eaten at room
temperature. Making it yourself will ensure that you avoid unnecessary additives
and sweeteners and support local and ethical producers. 

I hope this is helpful. All the best in your green parenting quest!

Fliss Johnson-Standley


Fliss is dedicated and knowledgeable in all aspects of fair trade and organic baby
and toddler clothes, cloth nappies and accessories.

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