|photo: Linda Skoog|
- Cloth Diaper: Here's a sobering fact: 30 to 50 million disposables go into landfills in the United States each year. Plus, if you're using conventional disposables you may be putting your son at risk of adult infertility. SAP (Super Absorbent Polymers), the gel that's inside of standard disposables and even some greener options, may be contributing to lower sperm count in adult males because the diapers heat up when wet, and caregivers tend to change them less frequently because baby doesn't feel as wet. Heat, even against undeveloped male genitals is linked to reduced sperm count later. Babies who are cloth diapered tend to head to the, well--head--much faster, plus you'll save a wad of cash. According to this site, up to $1200 per kid!
- Breastfeed if you can. Your breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby. It's also by far the least expensive. Added benefit? You might be able to quit the gym—it's a great way to naturally lose that baby weight without dieting. Why pay for what your body is making free? Plus mom’s breasts are always BPA free.
- Clean green by making your own products. Baking soda is a great tub and toilet scrub. White vinegar (one part to two parts water) is the best all purpose and glass cleaner there is! (Don't use on marble though, it'll stain). Olive oil will get wood gleaming and clean. And a little extra elbow grease on the scrubbing side may –again–save you a gym membership as well. Calories burned by aggressive housekeeping like mopping the kitchen floor might be 100. Check your chores caloric output here.
- Forget Baby Wipes: No need to go crazy with a chemical concoction for baby's sensitive skin. Commercial baby wipes are great—for getting rust off your car (I have actually tried it with great success) but way too strong for most babies tender tushies, and may even cause diaper rash. A simple solution of water with a drop of lavender oil will do fine. Use cotton balls or pull apart an old sheet and launder along with the cloth diapers to be really frugal and green.
- Purchase organic cotton clothing—and pass it on. Organic cotton may cost a little more, but it's finished naturally, without any of the chemicals that later wash away and strip the life out of a garment, so what you buy is what you get, and keep. Plus, conventional cotton is one of the most pesticide laden crops in the world, so you're keeping farmers families safer, and your kids future cleaner as well. Along the same lines, consider a clothing swap with neighborhood families with kids of varying ages. Launder and arrange by size and gender on living room furniture and invite guests to do the same. Arm everyone with 10 tickets to choose whatever they like. Donate the rest to Goodwill. Free 'new' clothes and a clean closet at te same time. Plus an impromptu get together with friends-that's worth a bundle in itself!