My friend Melissa Moog of Itsabelly Baby Concierge just co-authored and published a fabulous difinitive guide to living green with your own little sprout. I was immediately impressed at how thorough Going Green With Baby really is. Melissa and her co-author, Jennifer Lo Prete, delve into every aspect of preparing for and caring for baby while being kind to the planet. They cover diapering (cloth is great but there are other green alternatives – see p. 101), nursery furniture (p. 87 tells you how to turn your changing table into a hip bar when you’re done with diapers), feeding (p. 25 demystifies all the label claims on food and more) and much more plus there’s a great guide in the back to help you create an eco-friendly baby registry.
Babies generate three times more garbage than grown-ups, according to the foreword of the book, so making green choices from birth makes sense to try to minimize your baby’s ecological footprint, even while their physical footprint is so tiny. I appreciate the book’s inclusion of budget-friendly options as well as more lavish products, because so often living green is mistaken for being very, very expensive.
Personally I wish I had spent more time and money in consignment shops and on craiglist.com before my daughter Grace was born. I bought and received lots of beautiful, brand new products that I’ve since seen available second-hand for much cheaper and in perfect condition. Most of Grace’s clothes now are hand-me-downs (from her older cousin Sophia) or purchased at local consignment shops and you’d never know. Same with her toys – I love ebay, craigslist and consignment shops for fabulous toys that don’t add more plastic to the supply chain and are cheap. Melissa gives some great second-hand resources on page 202 of the book.
The only downside I can see of Going Green With Baby is the quantity of the content. If you’re new to the concept of living green, you might find this book overwhelming as it’s simply a lot of information, although well-presented and easy to navigate. As the authors emphasize near the beginning of the book, the most important thing is to take baby steps and to make changes first where your baby’s (and your) health will be most strongly impacted (eg. things that will go in the baby’s mouth or affect the cleanliness of the air you are all breathing). So go green with baby and take Melissa’s book along with you!