Having a baby changes everything. Your favourite reality-T.V. show takes a back seat to a blissful and rare 30 minute nap. Friday nights are transformed from going to concert with your friends to singing sleep-inducing lullabies to your little one. Suddenly, yoga classes are traded in for mommy-and-me classes, and your designer handbag is traded in for a practical diaper tote.
Similarly, your sense of time also changes. After you have a baby, your idea of being proactive and forward-looking expands from counting down the days until the weekend, to starting to imagine what it will be like when your baby will first say “mamma”; when your baby will take his or her first steps; what activities your baby will grow up to excel at in high school; and how to ensure that you will have enough money saved up for your baby to pursue their choice of post-secondary education and career path.
Becoming an “eco-mom”
As a new mom, you want the very best for your child, not just for today, but forever. If you worry about what the world will be like when your child is old enough to inherit it, join forces with the millions of people who practice environmentally-conscious living every day by becoming an “eco-mom”. Here are some easy ways for the new “eco-mom” in you to practice environmentally-friendly habits and minimize your mommy footprint.
Consider reducing diaper damage
Cloth over disposable diapers? The environmental impact of both is a long-debated issue by parents. Both options have their merits, but disposable diapers are probably the easier option for busy moms, resulting in a huge amount of disposable diapers in landfills every year.
If you’re not quite ready to make the switch to cloth diaper but are still committed to minimizing your mommy footprint, think about using fewer baby wipes (which also contribute to landfill overload) and try making your own reusable wipes by cutting soft cotton fabric into squares for reusable wipes, or even just using half of a disposable wipe for small clean ups.
Try gently used items
Instead of buying all new clothes, bottle sterilizers, baby monitors, mobiles and toys for your baby, consider buying gently used items. If the idea of buying second-hand items for your baby from an unknown source makes you uncomfortable, start a gently used sharing club with your friends and family. As your friends’ babies grow, you can take on items they no longer need—good for the environment, and good for your wallet too.
Bring reusable cloth shopping bags to the store
Having a baby means more trips to the store for food, necessities and cleaning products. Using reusable bags is a great way to reduce your mommy footprint by cutting down on plastic bags. Another easy tip is to bring along your own reusable plastic containers, so that you can avoid extra Styrofoam and plastic packaging at the deli and bakery counters.
Switch to reusable containers
Being a new mom means having a “mommy tote” full of essentials like bottles, snacks, drinks, clothes, blankets—plus extra items for emergencies. Try using reusable containers for storing baby’s drinks and food to help reduce your reliance on disposable plastics. You can also buy food and drink items in bulk and transfer them to your reusable containers to cut down on plastic packaging.
Choose organic ingredients
When you buy products made from organic ingredients, you enhance your baby’s health and safety, and also protect groundwater, farmers and wildlife.
Leave the mini van in the garage and walk
If you live close to a plaza where you do your daily errands like banking and shopping, consider leaving your car at home and walking instead. You save on fuel emissions and the cost of gas, and the exercise and fresh air are good for you and for baby!