From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to be very intentional in all the decisions I was going to make when our baby arrived. Honestly, what parent doesn’t sit and think about all their expectations and what they want to happen? Most of my wants and expectations though came out of being surrounded by so much stuff. I personally attach a lot of emotions to items and I’m overly sentimental which means that I find it much more difficult to get rid of things. I know that when baby arrives I’m going to want to keep everything they have. So I have decided to make a list of expectations and guidelines for how we’re going to live sustainably with a baby. Realistically I know that these will not be followed perfectly but I’m going to do my absolute best. I want to teach our child to be mindful and intentional in all aspects of their life so the best time to start teaching is when they’re a baby.
Purchase and register for only what we need
I know that babies come with a lot of gadgets, toys and things I don’t even know the use for. My brother is 12 years younger than me so I remember all the bouncers, swings and toys he had. It was overwhelming. I have decided that I am not registering for products that will only be used a few times and that our child may grow out of. This means I do not want a swing, a bassinet, or other items that our baby will only use for the first few months either because they’ll be too big or they’ll developmentally move beyond that toy. We live in an apartment and we have at least one more move coming up in the next year so I do not want to have to pack all this stuff up and move with it. Rather than getting items that will be shortlived, we want to register and purchase items that will have multiple uses or grow with our child. An example of this is the pack and play we registered for. I know that we will need a pack and play at some point because we do travel a lot and so this was a perfect sleep solution for us. It’s recommended that infants stay in your room for at least 4-6 months so the pack and play we choose has two levels and then a removable changing station and a bassinet which I could do without.
In addition to not getting items we don’t need, my plan is to have a limited supply of bottles and clothes. I remember seeing the piles and piles of bottles, nipples, and clothes that my baby brother had, my goal is to not have this. We only registered for two packs of bottles and we will not be purchasing more when baby arrives.
Purchase and register for quality and ethical/sustainable products
Everyone knows that I love fair trade, organic and sustainably made items. I am doing everything I can to find these items but I’m honestly finding it a little difficult. In cases where we cannot find a product that’s either ethical or sustainable and it’s a necessary item, then we’re going to purchase for quality so we can have it for our next child. I know we won’t be able to find a conscious car seat or stroller so we’ll get ones that we won’t need to replace.
Purchase and register for gender neutral items
Again, we do not want to have to repurchase items because they’re the wrong color so we have told everyone and wrote it on our registry to buy neutral colors. Personally, I like plain and neutral clothing anyway but this will work well if we have kids with the opposite sex. I won’t need to hold onto clothing that may never be used.
Make our footprint as small as possible
My plan is to eliminate as many single use and plastic items as possible, as well as purchase products that have a smaller environmental impact in the production and delivery process. A baby can go through over 1,800 diapers in a year and usually they stay in diapers a little longer than a year. This is an incredible amount of trash. Everyone I know uses disposable diapers which means all of them are sitting in a landfill, not breaking down and leaking chemicals out. Because of this, we’ll be using cloth diapers and specifically ones that are not synthetic because microplastics are a concern as well. Everyone thinks I’m a little crazy for committing to this but I believe it’s really important. Another area we’re trying to reduce our footprint is with bottles. Every bottle I’ve seen in my life have been plastic so I did some research and found bottles that are glass so we registered for that real quick. I will also be breastfeeding as long as I possibly can because what’s more sustainable than that?
This is my plan and some of my expectations for living a more conscious and sustainable life with baby. Realistically I know that not all of this will happen because some things are out of my control but I’m going to try hard to ensure that we stick to this. What have you been doing to try and be a little greener and sustainable while bringing up a little one?