This is a guest post by Mrs Green who runs the popular Little Green Blog. The site focuses on all aspects of green living from green parenting, organic gardening and green technology to natural health and wellness using some of nature's cures.
Having a baby can be expensive. Some sources estimate the cost to be between £3,000 and £4,000 during the first year. In addition, having a baby often raises your awareness about 'green issues'. Suddenly you realise you need to keep the planet safe and healthy for your precious children. But what about green goods - they seem so expensive don't they? Solar panels, hybrid cars, organic food - it all costs so much. I have some tips to help you go green AND save money! Read on for how to raise a baby the green and frugal way.....
Only 1-3% of women truly can't nurse. So breastfeed your baby for as long as possible; it's healthy, free, plus there is no landfill waste!
Money wise, using formula feed means you need to buy formula, bottles, teats and some way to sterilise your equipment. Breastfeeding costs nothing, means you don't have to carry anything around with you, provides all the nutrients your baby needs and doesn't produce any waste!
The cost of using disposable nappies for 2 1/2 years is around £800 to £1000
According to Plush pants , using washable nappies rather than disposables can save you money, even taking into account the cost of using your washing machine and tumble drier. The savings will increase if you have another child and reuse the same nappies!
In addition, disposable nappies take hundreds of years to decompose. Put another way, if King Henry VIII had worn disposables, they would still be in a landfill now.
To avoid making a costly mistake, take advise from the Nappy Lady - you'll find exactly the right nappies for you and your baby
Give your baby the best start in life by making your own food. You don't need shop bought baby food which is expensive and creates waste, just blend a little of the food you are eating yourself. This means your baby can really take part in family meals and enjoy a wide range of foods, tastes and textures.
If you're pushed for time, store puréed baby food in ice cube trays in the freezer and take out the amount you need - it's still 'convenient' but healthier, greener and doesn't create packaging waste.
(4) Buy secondhand
Forget ideas of grubby babygrows from a charity shop - there are some great bargains to be found!
Try a local NCT nearly new sale for everything from toys to clothes to baby equipment.
Try Freecycle, eBay or local sales for goods. Friends will be begging you to take things off their hands and you can feel smug that you're saving money and not using up precious resources to make new items for your baby.
(5) Green clean
Recent studies show that some of these antibacterial wipes, sprays and lotions are doing us no good at all. In fact, babies and children NEED to be exposed to a bit of dirt and some germs in order to strengthen their immune system. In addition, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) say that some pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside.
Ditch the toxic chemicals and do a little kitchen chemistry:
- Bicarbonate of soda is a brilliant all purpose cleaner - use it on sinks, taps and the bath to bring a shine and sparkle.
- Mix 50/50 white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to get rid of limescale and keep your glass and mirrors smear free.
- Add 5 drops each of pure lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil and lemon essential oil to a full plant mister of water. This is a safe and effective antibacterial spray for using on highchairs, light switches, the toilet flush and even safe enough to spray onto your baby's hands!