Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Green Living: my baby's Carbon Footprint

I have a daughter. Here she is!

Recently, I've been thinking about her "carbon footprint" of which I am responsible for.  We do cloth diapers, as seen in this picture... and we do the occasional 7th generation disposable for long car trips and at night. But the rate in which she has been growing makes it feel that she only wears something once! And we don't even have that many clothes for her!! So this got me thinking about her carbon footprint.  And I thought this would be a good topic for this week's Green Living post.

In general we did not buy into the hype that surrounds having a baby that says you "need" a certain amount of crap for it. Imagine if you had a clear plexiglass box that housed all of your possessions starting from the day you were born until now! That's a LOT of CRAP. And I hate the idea that someone overseas slaved to make some onsie that my daughter not only wears, but only wears a few times....  Luckily we received some hand me downs- which is the most green and economical way to go, after not consuming in general! For example, we were handed down a car seat, a stroller, a little activity chair, a play mat thing, toys, and books! It's the clothes and future gift giving- I want to get a handle on.  

Clothes: In addition to hand-me-downs, my thought is to buy second hand clothing from consignment shops, vintage etsy stores, goodwill, etc.  I'm a realist though and wont swear off the occasional new sweater, etc. but that should factor for less than 5% of her clothing.

Gift giving: the husband and I will have to think of something... ultimately we don't want a ton of plastic crap laying about, and nothing that will just be used for a short amount of time to end up in a landfill. I want her to have quality toys, to value handmade, etc... to have one or two presents that are good for the earth, and good for her.  ALSO- the husband recently shared with me an Asian birthday custom- where the individual whose birthday it is- does something good for someone else on their birthday, what a great tradition!

I don't want to turn this post into a dear diary entry, so here are some links I've found to help me navigate this issue.

Thredup: lets you swap children's clothing! my husband and I had this idea a few years back, glad to see someone started this!
baby's carbon footprint, according to mother jones
The Cradle: has a good break down of disposable diapers vs cloth
eco-nomical baby guide, (book)  and her website Green Baby Guide
Baby Plays: it's like Netflix for toys!  (this would make a great gift!)
Bebarang: children's clothes rental.
Freecycle: to help you find 2nd hand clothing
Green Baby Bliss: retail site
Calculate your own carbon footprint.
15 easy Green Resloutions for you and your family

I hope you found this helpful. I'll check back in on this topic down the road.  Any new "Green" tips you've been turned on to? Please share!


Jenny said...

My town has a "toy library" which seems like a great idea both for parents who can't afford every toy and for those who recognize that their kids may only play with a toy for a short period of time... http://www.cityofwoodland.org/gov/depts/parks/toy.asp

Also, Holly & Mike have been working on "potty-training" their son since he was just a few months old. I don't know the details, but they have vocal commands and I believe the end goal is to be able to hold him over the toilet to go so that he wont need as many diapers.

Lastly, I'm kind of obsessed w/ G-diapers. I heard about them years ago from a professor who helped them launch - and I just think flushable diapers is a great idea!

abigail said...

Hey Jenny

I like this toy library thing! thanks for sharing, a great idea!

And I've heard of that potty training- it's called "elimination communication" I'm not sure if I have the patience for that, but now that she is older she does have more of a schedule when it comes to that area... so yah never know!

And the g-diapers are great, maybe we should put those on our next cloth diaper purchase list! The flush-able liners would make it so easy. When we take our dog out in the little yard behind our apartment, we pick up her poo with this thin eco paper towel and that way we can flush it and not have to use plastic bags all the time- so the flushing thing appeals to me!

thanks for your tips and comment!


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