Monday, March 22, 2010

Eco In a Word

The Great Green Baby Giveaway

I can't wait to check out the "Eco-nomical Baby Guide"  I read "The Green Baby Guide" and got so much great info from it, so I'm sure this will be no different.  I'm finding that many eco-friendly, as in environmentally friendly ideas have also proven to be quite economically friendly too.  Let me clarify.  We've saved money by many of the choices we've made, so I guess it hasn't been economically stimulating when you look at the worldwide big picture, but we've done well.  Some money saving examples...
* Cloth Diapering and EC
     By default, we've bought far fewer disposable diapers and utilized less diapers through this process.  Some argue that you spend as much in water washing diapers, but (a) we don't pay a separate water bill because of living in a condo, it's included in our association fee...but this isn't an environmentally friendly way to look at the, (b) EC cuts down on even cloth diaper use dramatically.  When baby's going on the potty, you don't really need the diapers at all.  No mess!

* Cloth Wipes
     In addition to using cloth diapers, we used cloth wipes, which are really just wash cloths soaked in a moisturizing solution.  I've been using the baby wipes we did get to clean up Cece's hands and face after dinner.  At this point, she's such a pro with EC that we don't really use wipes much anymore for her bottom because we just use toilet paper.

* Breastfeeding
     Talk about free food!  It', it's ready to serve, self - warming, always with you, and the perfect food for your baby.  Supply will always increase to meet demand and serve up what your baby needs at each stage of his/her life.  The health benefits also save you money at the doctor's office.  We've only been in for well visits so far (knock on wood).

* Home Made Baby Food
     According to "Super Baby Food," making your own saves a third of the cost.  In addition to the cost savings, you're not creating more waste with containers (even if they are glass jars), you can expose your child to a much greater variety of foods (anything under the sun), you know there are no preservatives or junk you don't want your kid to eat, and it's easy to make.  All you need is a pot and a food processor and you're on your way!  I've become much more adventurous in the kitchen since making Cece's baby food.  I've learned about different fruits and vegetables and different ways to prepare them.  Her taste buds have encouraged mine to try new things.  Baby steps indeed.

* Simple Living
     We didn't get a lot of the things you "need" to get when you have a baby.  Primarily because of space...or lack thereof in our case.  Secondly because of plastic.  A LOT of things for baby are made of plastic.  A few examples of things I consider non-necessities: bouncy seat, full swing, exersaucer, walker...and I'm sure there are more that I can't think of at the moment.  Don't get me wrong...there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things.  Keep in mind our space is limited...but I have found that we don't need these things either.  A lot of people look back at the short time span a baby uses many different items compared to the cost of those items and lament having spent it.  When you find something your baby loves, that becomes invaluable to you.  But think in advance whenever possible about how something can multi-task to prevent you having to buy more "stuff".  I found an item I'm excited about to serve a few different purposes.  It's a push/ride toy by Prince Lionheart.  It comes in a ladybug, bee, mouse, and cow version and it comes in a small size (18 mo.-3 yrs) and a large size (3 yr. and up).  It has a wooden base instead of plastic.  When I first saw it in the ladybug version, I fell in love.  But I didn't fall in love with the $70 price tag.  Last night, I was checking our credit card Thank You rewards program and guess what I found....I'll bet you figured it out.  Originally, I enjoyed the ladybug, but then decided the bumblebee was more unisex in case baby 2 is a boy.  Oh, that's another way to save...even if you know the gender of your baby, try to get as many gender neutral items as possible for use in the future should you have more babies and should they be a different gender, and also for hand me down/consignment resale value.  Anyway back to the bee.  Cecelia likes to pull up and lean on things and she's done so on a push toy before.  Rather than having one "just because" we're supposed to, I've paid attention to what I think she needs at each stage.  Hopefully she'll like it, and if not...I do.  And that's what's really important, right?

Anyway, to digress...there is also a contest by the people over at "The Green Baby Guide" to win their newest book and a ton of other cool stuff.  Check it out!!!

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