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Weekly Tips | May 20, 2013

Cradle to Cradle


Making way for that bundle of joy? Whether or not you’re newbies to parenthood, bringing up bébé can have its price, so why not consider showering the wee one with love AND registering a minimal environmental impact? It doesn’t take a Baby Einstein to calculate the savings for Mom and Dad—and Mama Earth!

Almost everything parents need to prepare the nursery, closet, diaper bag, car, bathroom and kitchen can be found second-hand or made from recycled or sustainable materials. The Seattle area is home to a wide variety of second hand shops and online shopping and exchange sites like Craigslist, Freecycle, and Trading Cradles. With spring around the corner, garage sale signs will lead the way to a brave new world of used toys, clothing and equipment for baby.

When the time comes to trade up for toddler gear, consider organizing the ultimate waste reduction event - a clothing and equipment swap with other parents. Not only will you save money, but you will help keep reusable items out of the garbage.

Once those items are outgrown, you can also donate them to Westside Baby, a non-profit which provides gently used car seats, high chairs, cribs and other essential items to children in need.

Finally, for items that are no longer usable, BabyEarth’s RENEW mail-in recycling program will dissemble used baby equipment and distribute all recyclable parts to accredited recycling centers.

Help your friends and family support your waste reduction efforts by letting them know that “gently used” is the new “new”!

Sources: Trading Cradles| Parent Map Consignment Guide | Punkernoodlebaby | Ecovian Seattle | US EPA Design for the Environment product list | Green  Baby Guide blog | Earth 911 “8 Ways to Green Childhood
 

The Big Picture

In 2009, the US Department of Agriculture estimated that an average couple will spend between $8,500 and $19,000 on a child before her first birthday(1).

A portion of this cost includes single-use, disposable diapers – of which 16 billion are deposited in U.S. landfills every year (2).

In reality, the addition of a new family member does not have to place a huge burden on individual finances and natural resources. When getting ready for a new baby, get creative and look for gently-used alternatives to all of the items on your shopping list.

Sources: (1) US Dept. of Agriculture “Expenditure on Children by Families 2009” | (2) US EPA RCRA Fact Flash | Eco-nomical Baby Guide

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