Our Green Baby

We decided that we would have a green baby the day we found out I was expecting. When I say green baby I am not talking about an alien or plant. But to nurse and care for our baby in a conscious way. Minimizing the exposure of harmful substances and making as wise choices (economical, social and environmental) as possible. Letting her grow up with awareness of the environment and learn to care for the nature. To give our girl a chance to a future on a healthier planet. Can you think of a better reason to devote to a more sustainable lifestyle than becoming a parent?

Green baby. Our Green Baby | My Green Nook

Plant baby. Photo: daily sunny ©

One of the downsides not breastfeeding is the environmental issue. No food can be greener than your own milk. And sadly eco-labeled supplements are hard or even impossible to find. For instance many include palm oil which are grown on plantations known to be one cause of deforestation of rainforests. Being a threat to biodiversity and species like orangutans. This of course broke my heart to realize. Sometimes ignorance is a bliss. There are even brands which use aggressive marketing in developing countries. Promoting mothers to stop breastfeeding and give supplements instead. This in areas where clean freshwater is not available. Causing illnesses and death among newborn babies. This, sadly, makes many supplements far from sustainable.

As you may have noticed in my earlier post s and presentation I am striving for a greener living. Now I am more eager than ever but have less time and energy for research. So I am quite happy I got guidance from my sister-in-law A, other blogs and my previous findings. My green choices are hands on and not difficult to apply in the daily life with a newborn.

Cloth diapers there are several kinds and brands of them and you may choose one that suits your needs. All-in-one, two-part diapers or a hybrid between the two (aka snap-in one or AIO2). We had the opportunity to buy second-hand which made us able to try different alternatives and brands. Our favorite for now is a snap-in one diaper with a lower waist. It is very trim and comes in three sizes S, M or L. The second-hand market, via Facebook groups etc, have much to offer. And you can make real bargains. I have to confess when we got home from the hospital and during the first weeks we used disposable diapers. No one is perfect…

Cuddly diaper. Our Green Baby |My Green Nook

Cuddly Diaper. Photo: Charlotte, My Green Nook

Glass bottles for feeding instead of plastic. It reduces the risk of leakage of unhealthy chemicals. Though, I have to mention, most plastic bottles of today are free of BPA and other debated compounds. Glass bottles are user-friendly in many ways but not unbreakable. We chose a bottle with a protective sleeve which also gives a better grip. It is dishwasher safe and resist fast temperature changes. It can be sterilized by boiling it for five minutes. Spare parts as well as nipples with different flow are available. The bottle can be customized as our baby grows to adjust to change in needs.

Second-hand clothes are often softer and eventual chemicals have been washed away. We got a lot of clothes of my sister-in-law L. Her girls had worn them and she was happy to see them get used again. Since newborns grow fast and do not get too dirty the clothes look like new.

Second-hand gear allows you to save a lot of money. We got the baby carriage from my cousin in exchange for a computer screen. It was a bit worn but works and fills its purpose. He on the other hand bought it on eBay. The baby safe, for the car, we also got from my sister-in-law A. It was well used so the cover was pretty worn out but we bought a new cover. Now it looks fine.

Organic baby care is gentle to the skin and eco-labeled. Newborns do not need many products a good oil is all at start. You may even use an oil made for cooking. Avoid fragrance since it may cause allergies and asthma. And don’t you agree that the scent of baby is the best there is? I love to ‘sniff’ on my daughters head and get tickled by her soft baby hair. Use washable cloth wipes these are easy to make from used towels.

As our baby grows I have to find new ways to stay green. This progress I would be happy to share with you. Do you have any experiences from daily life with a green baby? What do you do to let your children grow up in a greener world?


© The photo is licensed by Creative Commons and some rights are reserved. License Attribution 2.0.

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Conscious Shopping

It is time for Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW). This weeks subject is textiles and how we can share the resources. Have you ever wondered what your clothes and home textiles are made from? Or how they are produced? This might be an eye-opener and an easy access to information about textiles. By browsing the tag #CTWW in social media you will find more read worthy content on the subject. Please also visit Cyndi at Reduce Footprints to learn more about the challenge and textiles.

Conscious Shopping - Textiles | My Green Nook

Textiles are all around us. Photo: Peddhapati ©

As I wrote in a previous post, To consume or not to consume, the first thing to do is to cut down on your purchases. I know many of you love clothes, shoes, handbags and want to look fashionable. I do not blame you but I want to give you some advise. First of all organize your closet and make it viable. Think of what you need (and like) instead of just running to the store and impulsively buy something. It is amazing how many variations you may come up with just by having a good basic wardrobe. This enables you to just add a new top (or what you need) rather than having to buy whole outfits since nothing matches. Think quality and choose things you know will not go out of style in the first place. Like that little black dress almost every woman have in their closet.

Conscious Shopping | My Green Nook

Organized closet – a good start. Photo: Rubbermaid Products ©

While organizing your closet make piles with things to give to charity, sell, swap or refashion. In Sweden the SSNC have a yearly clothes swap day (this year April 18th) which is a great idea. Look for your local clothes swap day or start one. I have a friend who twice a year invites all her acquaintances to a clothes swap with mingle and food. I think it is a very nice initiative. So get some friends together and plan your own party.

I love to by second-hand but sometimes it is hard to find something I really like. Then it is time to get into the labels of sustainable textiles. I know this can be tricky and a bit boring but once you have learned you never forget. And sorry folks there are hustlers on the market – saying they are eco/organic/green but have no criteria for what they mean or lack a certification. To be on the safe side you may want to keep these labels in mind:

Click on the labels to learn more

GOTS

GOTS - Global Organic Textile Standard

Oeko-Tex

OEKO-TEX International Standard - Textile label

EU Ecolabel

EU Ecolabel - European environmental label

Svanen/The Swan | Nordic Ecolabel

Svanen/The Swan. Nordic ecolabel.

SSNC´s Ecolabel | Good Environmental Choice

Good Environmetal Choice - Swedish eco-label

These are the labels commonly seen in Sweden. I know there are other labels – national, regional, type specific – so head out and look for more. Gather information about eco labels and sustainability labels used in your country. Feel free to share your discoveries with me by leaving a comment.


© The photos are licensed by Creative Commons and some rights are reserved. License Attribution 2.0


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An extraordinary day

What happened today that made my day so extraordinary – you may wonder?

I got accepted as a member of International Bloggers Association. It is a big step for me and My Green Nook. And it feels great. It is a quality certification only allowed to use after applying and passing the inspection of your blog. Both content, language and appearance is part of the judgement. So now IBA got a new Swedish blogger in their team. I will do my best and hope I will be a good ambassador of this awesome community. Thank you IBA and all members of the IBA board. I am proud to put your badge on my blog.

Have you ever heard of the International Bloggers Association? If not I recommend you to visit them. Just click on the badge and I take you there!

After I got this splendid news I took the train to Stockholm city. I walked to my hairdresser from the station. The city was covered with snow and beautiful as always. While I was on my way I noticed how stressed people were. They almost ran and seemed unstoppable until they reached their goal. I cannot help it but I am one of those who gets in their way. Walking slowly, looking around and savoring the atmosphere. Now I walk even slower with my big bump and heavy feet. I can imaging the frustration if you are in a hurry and get stuck behind me. Anyway I took the time to take some pictures of Stockholm winterland.

Mariatorget - My Green Nook

Mariatorget in Stockholm. Photo: Charlotte @My Green Nook

Södra station - My Green Nook

Södra station in Stockholm. Photo: Charlotte @My Green Nook

At Friekosör I got pampered by my hairdresser Dolly. I wrote about my first visit there in one of my earlier posts. It is an organic hairdressing salon with high standards. They make their own products and are also up to date with modern hairstyle. You feel that they care about you as a costumer and want you to return. Always offering the best service and that little extra. I purchase all of my hair products from them and think they are top-notch. Now I am about to try some new make up from Zuii, which I bought at the salon. Zuii is an Australian brand. Their cosmetics are organic and made with natural products. I will start with trying their foundation and powder. If it suits me Dolly told me they are going to get a whole bunch of new Zuii make up this spring. I will give you my review when I have tried it for a while. Have you any favorite organic make up brand? Any super products you recommend?

After my visit at the hairdresser I went to one of the more popular second-hand stores, Stockholm´s City Mission. Which  is a nonprofit organization that works to make Stockholm a more humane city for all. One of Stockholm’s City Mission engagements is to operate second-hand stores around the Stockholm area. The stores sell clothing, accessories, furniture, household items, and books donated by individuals and businesses. They focus on recycling and create opportunities for people to approach the job market. I searched the child section and found a pair of gorgeous baby jeans from Mexx. I bought them for 40 SEC (about 5 USD or 4,40 EUR) quite a bargain, don´t you think?!

Baby jeans - My Green Nook

Baby jeans from Stockholm´s City Mission. Photo: Charlotte @My Green Nook

You may also want to read Beautiful hair – get rid of the frizzyness

Life With Garnish
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To consume or not to consume…

To consume or not consume... - My Green NookWhen it comes to buying new things I always think twice. The best thing for the environment is not to consume at all. But in today’s society we sometimes have to spend since we are not self-sufficient. When I have to buy something I always ask myself:

  1. Do I need this at all or is it just an impulse?
  2. Can I find it second-hand?
  3. What is the market´s best offer from a sustainable perspective?

Sustainability starts in the mind – you have to change your mind-set. That is actually the hardest part. When you get over the threshold you will find that a sustainable living is both fun and inspiring. On top of that you will even save money. Now some of you will argue and say that organic and fair trade is more expensive. Yes, sometimes it is true but since you cut down on consumption you will not have to spend more. And you should at least manage to live on the same budget. As a beginner you do not have to walk the whole sustainability line. Figure out what you can handle and cut down on. Every small step counts. For starter you may begin looking for organic and locally produced food in your store. Compare prices and get familiar with the organic alternatives. Read about which groceries have the largest environmental impact changing from conventional to organic.

Sustainibility - My Green Nook

There is a market for second-hand stuff and you can make real bargains. Many communities also arrange swapping days where you can find new things in exchange of your old. If you do not have the effort at least recycle and hand in your clothes etc to a second-hand store or charity. Someone will be very happy to get them. Your trash may be someone elses treasure.

As a first time parent there is much you need to get for your baby. If you have to buy everything it can be very expensive. The market knows how to use the situation. To buy a baby carriage is almost like buying a car there are so many models and brands to choose from. And you will feel it in your wallet. Me and my spouse have the fortune of being last one out so our friends and relatives are eager to give us their outgrown baby stuff. We have been offered even the most costly things like a buggy and a baby safe second-hand. We are thrilled – not only will we save money we will also make a good environmental deed. In our families we have some talented crafters who are happy to make things for our baby. And what can be better than do it yourself customized things made with love and awareness of our lifestyle. Somethings we still have to buy. I would like to share some of the products on our shopping list with you so you get a glimpse of how we think:

Baby bottle

We have decided not to use plastic food items for the baby. Even though the market works to reduce the use of toxic chemicals especially in items for children. We want to feel safe and not jeopardize anything. Besides it is easier to keep glass or stainless steel bottles clean and fresh.

Diapers

Imaging the amount of waste produced when using traditional disposable diapers. Instead of disposable diapers you can go with cloth diapers and fabric wiping. If it scares you too much you can choose organic labeled diapers and wiping cloths. EC (Elimination Communication) aka IPT (Infant Potty Training) is also recommended to get your child diaper free earlier.

Pacifier

Many pacifiers are made of plastic, silicon and other chemical based materials. Instead we have found organic pacifiers made of natural rubber. They may look kind of boring compared to traditional ones but if you add a pacifier holder it will not be noticed that much.

Toys

Today many toys are made of plastic or likewise. And colored with sometimes questionable colors and paints. Be aware and ask for safer toys colored with food-colors or water based paint. FSC-labeled wooden toys are to prefer over plastic. Textiles should be labeled with GOTS or Oeko-Tex. Natural unprocessed materials are often better to choose. Most of all reduce the amount of toys – many kids have so many toys I wonder if they really use them all. Quality before quantity.

This is just a taste of what the market has to offer. The awareness is spreading and sustainable alternatives keep taking market space.

Do you want to know more about sustainability? Here are some links to start with:

You may also be interested in reading Sustainability in the bathroom cabinet

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