Eco-friendly baby products

If you are expecting a baby or have little ones in your home, you may be wondering how to surround your infant or toddler with products that are environmentally safe.  Below are a few suggestions that will  help reduce waste (baal tashchit) and keep your baby healthy  too.

  • Make your own organic baby food—The safest food for your baby is the same fresh, organic food you eat.  Rather than worry about additives in store bought baby food and the waste caused by purchasing all of those little jars, buy a baby food grinder. After pureeing items, you can also make extra for later use by putting the food in ice cube trays and then transferring the cubes to a plastic bag or container to freeze.
  • Buy all natural bath and skin care products—Look for items like baby shampoo and lotion that have no added chemicals.  A few national brands such as Burt’s Bees and Seventh Generation make these products.  Natural personal care items for baby are safer and more gentle for the skin.   These products also are not petroleum based so they do not contain fossil fuels.  Excessive use of fossil fuels is harmful to the planet.
  • Use a more eco-friendly diaper—  There is some debate about whether or not cloth diapers are really better for the environment than disposables. This is because cloth diapers need to be washed in very hot water in a washing machine.  Also, if you are using a diaper service you have to factor in the transportation costs for the service truck.  One alternative if you are not sure which way to go is to look for a more eco-friendly disposable diapers.  You can find natural brands that use recycled materials and that don’t use chlorine bleach as part of processing  in some supermarkets and natural food stores.  Another alternative is to use a combination of cloth and disposable, such as cloth at home and disposables when out.
  • Look for organic cotton clothes– Cotton is a natural fiber and so it is a good fabric for baby clothes.  But conventional  cotton is grown with large amounts of water and pesticides.  So look for organic cotton clothing for your little one.

Making these earth-friendly choices for your baby will help both your child and the planet.

Gail Wechsler is the Director of Domestic Issues/Social Justice at the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis. She is the staff person for the Jewish Environmental Initiative (JEI), a committee of the JCRC and a part of the JCRC's Bohm Social Justice Initiative.
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