Children are the future: guide them in the right direction! Protect the earth every step of the way, HaVe A gReEn BaBy!! Whether using earth-friendly and organic products, reusable shopping bags, cloth diapers, or saving water by using Sigg or klean kanteen, you are showing your kids that respecting and loving our earth is an important part of living a happy and healthy life!
Here are some resources I have gathered and found interesting: 
 Klean Kanteen
Klean Kanteen is made from 100% recyclable, high-quality, food-grade stainless steel so it doesn’t need a special lining like some other metal bottles. It’s completely BPA-free and won’t leach chemicals, toxins, or funky flavors into your baby’s water or juice.

Just the Facts! 
Take Back the Tap Homepage: www.takebackthetap.org

  • Plastic bottle production in the United States annually requires about 17.6 million barrels of oil.
  • Worldwide bottling of water uses about 2.7 million tons of plastic each year.
  • About 86 percent of empty plastic water bottles in the United States land in the garbage instead of being recycled. That amounts to about two million tons of PET plastic bottles piling up in U.S. landfills each year.
  • Many plastic bottles of all types and sizes will be incinerated, which releases toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash laden with heavy metals.
  • Manufacturing the 28.6 billion PET water bottles in the United States takes the equivalent of 17.6 million barrels of oil.

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bumgenius-one-size-30-grasshopper1

The Poop on Cloth Diapers

by Linda C. Donovan, RN (from http://www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/poop_cloth_diapers.html)

When my daughter was pregnant with my first granddaughter, she announced that she was going to use cloth diapers. My reaction; “Why would you want to do all that work?” Her reply was cloth diapering is better for the baby as well as the environment and less costly than disposable diapers. Furthermore, she informed me, cloth diapering today is not like cloth diapering in my days. Well, I had a lot to learn.       

 

The Cost of Cloth Diapering.

  • Depending on the style of diapers you decide on, the initial investment of cloth diapering is about $250-$300, about $17.00 per diaper for the fitted, all in one type of diaper. The unbleached cotton prefolds are even less; about $3.00 per diaper. This overall cost is a small fraction of what you will expect to pay in disposable diapers.
  • The average newborn goes through 12 diapers per day or 84 diapers per week for a cost of approximately $24.00 per week or $96.00 per month for disposable diapers. Even though the older child goes through fewer diapers, the bigger the disposable diaper, the less in a box, but the cost is still the same! At these costs, the cost of cloth diapering, including the 3-4 extra loads of laundry you will do each week will pay for themselves in less than 4 months! In addition, he manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth. (3). What’s more, the cost of disposable diapers is expected to go up a whopping increase of 8% this year.
  • It is estimated that the average age for potty training is 35 months, therefore, over the course of your child’s diapering days, the cost saving for cloth diapering is about $2500- $3000, or more. These numbers do not take into account the saving for your next child since you will be able to reuse your cloth diapers, something you can not do with disposables! Even if you start cloth diapering your child at one-year or 18 months of age, you will still reap cost savings of about $1500! Nifty ways to offset the initial cost of cloth diapering your newborn is by adding them to your baby gift registry or buy a few diapers each week until you reach the number of cloth diapers you need.

The Environment

  • According the Environmental Protection Agency, in 1998, the last date this information was collected, disposable diapers made up about 2.1 %, of the garbage in our landfills; that is 3.4 million tons of disposable diapers! In a household with a child using disposable diapers, these disposable diapers are 50% of the household garbage. What’s more, disposable diapers can take 250-500 years to decompose!
  • Disposable diaper manufactures use over 1.3 million tons of wood pulp, or a quarter- million trees and over 75,000 metric tons of plastic each year. In 1988, over 18 billion diapers were sold and consumed in the United States that year. (4) Based on these calculation, it is estimate that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S. (7) Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp. (3) Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby each year. (5)
  • Pollution and global warming are making us think more about what we are tossing into our landfills. Landfills are filled with human waste as it is and they are severely overfilled. Furthermore, even though, the packaging on disposable diapers instructs the user to dispose of all fecal material into the toilet, many do not read these instructions. Why should we read the label and dispose of fecal material properly? In 1975 The EPA warns that rainwater washing through dumps may carry viruses-which can live in compacted solid waste for up to two weeks-into underground streams, and from there into public and private water supplies. Improved sanitation during this century has made rare the diseases associated with direct contact with raw sewage: hepatitis A, shigella. salmonellosis, amebiasis, and typhoid. However, the University of Oregon Survival Center notes that outbreaks of shigella, salmonellosis and hepatitis A are now more common in hospitals and daycare centers. The World Health Organization has called for an end to the inclusion of urine and fecal matter in solid waste. (taken from: Mothering, Jan-Feb, 2003 by Laura Schmitt)
  • Cloth diapering is a lively form of recycling. After all, you are not throwing away one of the 10,000 diapers tossed into our landfills each day, but reusing them; and once you are done with diapering you child, the cloth diapers can be recycled for your next baby and then into a useable rag!

Health Issues for Our Babies

  • Most importantly, we should be looking at our babies and the health benefits of cloth diapering over disposable diapers. For starters, about 78% of the babies who use disposable diaper suffer from uncomfortable diaper rashes, where as only 7% of the babies in cloth diapers suffer from an occasional diaper rash. Absorbent disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, which is an amazing water absorber; it can absorb 200-300 times its weight and hold it in a gooey gel when wet. You know those crystals you see on your child’s bottom when changing the disposable diaper, that is sodium polyacylate. Sodium polyacrylate can be linked to allergies, skin irritations and possible organ dysfunction. Interestingly, sodium polacrylate was banned from tampons in 1985 as a link to toxic shock syndrome; bacteria caused illness. If ingested, as little as 5 gms, sodium polyacrylate is deadly to children, however, this chemical is still found in our children’s disposable diapers.(3)
  • The Food and Drug Administration has received reports that the fragrance in disposable diapers can cause skin irritations, headaches and dizziness. Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not in the U.S. (1)
  • Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) – a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. (2) In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis. (8)

The Cloth Diapers of Today

  • Mothers, fathers, grandparents and everyone involved in child nurturing have many choices to consider when making a cloth diaper purchase. This, too, can be a little overwhelming; however, there are those well informed on cloth diapering to help the new parent or caretaker with their decision. Each parent has her own set of needs and desires even when it comes to cloth diapering and there are many choices, such as the Chinese pre-folds, organic cotton, hemp diapers, fitted, all in one, and one size diapers in many different colors and prints. And, let’s not forget about the “rubber pants”; they too have come a long way and babies can be seen sporting an absorbent waterproof hand knitted wool diaper cover, fleece covers, or colorful wraps. Many of these new diapers do not require a diaper pin; my memories of cloth diapering include the dullness of the pin and the daily challenge of not sticking the baby in the hip with the end of the safety pin. Now, you can find diapers that are fastened with snaps and Velcro-like material. Nonetheless, for the diapers that do necessitate some type of fastener, say good bye to the rusty diaper pins we know so well and say hello to snappies(r) that can be fastened with one hand and don’t run the risk of a pin stick!

Conclusion

  • Even though, I initially had to change my views about cloth diapering and wasn’t sure how to put them together, I quickly learned because I want the very best for my grandchildren. We can not turn our heads to the financial, environmental and health benefits associated with cloth diapering.
  • Nowadays I would not have it any other way. My granddaughter not only stays free of diaper rashes, she looks so cute in her cloth diaper, wraps and wool covers. Her new brother will get her hand me downs, but I am confident that he will get some special new diapers to call his own, especially some boy patterns!. So, where will you be late at night when you run out of diapers? Will you be standing in line at the all night super market paying a high price for disposable diapers, or will you be opening the cloths dryer to pull out a freshly washed soft and fluffy cloth diaper for your baby’s precious bums.

Linda Donovan, RN is co-owner of Peaceful Beginnings, a Women and Family Wellness Center and Boutique, now located at 208 State Street Greensboro.

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Natural wood toys for kids

By Dave Andrews

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

Palumba wooden toys
Wooden toys feel and smell better than plastic, and they’re natural!

Toys made of wood and other natural products are good for your small children

  • When it comes to your children, nothing’s too good for them, although some things are certainly too good to be true.  These days, literally well over 99 percent of the toys offered for sale to your children are made of plastic and metal.  Natural wood toys are nearly non-existent.  That’s sad really.  They’re an important part of our heritage and culture, and chances are they’re safer than plastic toys as well.
  • How many times have we been told that a plastic or painted toy is safe, only to see it recalled or find out it has lead in the paint or plastic body or is unsafe for any number of other reasons?  This holds especially true for very small children and babies.  These little ones will be putting whatever they play with in their mouths, and plastics, painted toys and metals probably aren’t high on the list of things you want in your baby’s mouth.
  • A better alternative, both for your child’s safety and for the environment, is to have natural toys. 

Teething

  • When your baby is teething, anything and everything they can get their hands on will instantly go into their mouths.  There are plenty of natural teething toys for babies on the market if you look for them.  What used to be very difficult to find in person is now very simple to find with a quick web search.  When considering wooden toys for your baby or toddler, be sure to get a high-quality product with smooth, rounded edges and curved corners.

Stimulating

  • Plastic is a recent development in human history, and is entirely artificial.  Wood is ingrained into our being, pun intended, and has been a key part of human development since the very beginning.
  • Wood stimulates the senses, with a subtle feel that no plastic can duplicate and a wonderful, natural smell.  Of course, from a baby’s point of view, it tastes pretty darned interesting too!

Safety and the Environment

  • Natural, unpainted wood is non-toxic, free of artificial chemicals and safe to go in your baby’s mouth.  The high quality wood products you’ll find in any links in this article also have wonderful smooth edges and rounded corners to enhance the safety, look and feel of the toys.
  • While obviously a tree had to be cut down to make wooden toys, trees are often cut down to create the energy used to make plastics, which also happen to be made of oil.  When the toy eventually goes into the trash, as all toys will ultimately do, wood will not harm the environment or be damaging in landfills.  It won’t give off ozone-killing, global warming gases the way plastics will.  Unpainted wood is an entirely environmentally friendly material.  How many toys can make that claim?
  • So when looking for toys for your children during the next birthday or gift-giving season, please consider natural wood toys.  It’s better for you, better for them and better for all of us.

 

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