September is the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association’s (JPMA) National Baby Safety Month and this year’s theme is – Green is the New Pink and Blue! If you’ve ever considered going green — or if you’d like ideas for bumping up your efforts — the nursery is a priority area to focus on. Why would it matter more in the nursery? Because, oftentimes going green also leads to a healthier home because you’re not introducing as many toxic chemicals into your living space. (Yes, if you haven’t heard, many everyday products contain risky chemicals. Bad for the planet. Bad for your family. Boo.)
Anyway, most lists featuring green nursery ideas highlight steps like buying organic mattresses and furniture made from sustainably harvested wood. It’s great advice if cost isn’t a consideration. But, for most of us, living greener and less toxic has to be done in more practical, affordable steps. If you fall into the category of parent that’s eco/health conscious AND cost conscious, this list is for you. Enjoy!
The Top 10 Easy & Affordable Green Nursery Ideas:
1. Remember: less is more. Do you really need a bazillion baby things? Focus on quality over quantity. It’s better for the planet and your pocketbook.
2. Seek out secondhand. Consider buying gently used bedding, clothes, furniture, and decor. Sites like eBay and Craigslist are great resources for reusable goods.
3. Repurpose what you already have. A dresser can double as a changing table. A laptop bag can act as a diaper bag. Get creative.
4. Recycle. Keep packaging, old products, and broken baby gear out of the landfill by recycling as much as possible. Visit earth911.com to explore the possibilities.
5. Make your own wipes, washes & whatnot. Many kitchen staples like olive oil and oatmeal double as awesome, affordable, eco-friendly care products. Bonus: no toxic chemicals.
6. Keep your cleaning routine simple. Nix toxic cleaning products filled with risky chemicals and false fragrances. Dust with a damp cloth. Clean with simple soap and water.
7. Freshen air naturally. Diaper pails can create daunting odors. Instead of reaching for chemicals that merely mask odors, grow plants and open windows to clean up indoor air.
8. Make your home a shoe-free zone. It’s better for your baby’s nursery and your whole house if you leave dirt, pesticides, lead dust and other shoe residues at the door.
9. Try to be PVC-free. PVC is the most toxic plastic – for our planet and our health. Skip anything with the number 3 and/or “PVC” in the chasing arrow symbol.
10. Read labels & email manufacturers. Get to know what you’re buying and who from. “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” ― Anna Lappe
What are your easy, affordable green nursery ideas? Share them in the comments!