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Baby Steps

An Aussie Mum's Guide To Eco Friendly Babies: Baby Steps

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baby Steps

I was having a conversations with a customer today about BPA and where it's found.  We discussed a few other things worth avoiding in the home and as she walked away she chuckled, threw her hands up and said "It's all too hard... there's always something else to avoid, where do you start?"

That is such a valid point.

When we are told that nearly everything we use is bad for us or for the environment, how do you overhaul your entire lifestyle?  The answer is baby steps (though some people will go at it 100%- I commend those people but certainly couldn't do it myself!).  Here are a few tips on getting started in the sometimes daunting world of natural living...

1. Contact your council
Most councils have services that let you monitor your electricity or water use so you can easily see where you can cut back.  They also offer cheap call outs to change old shower heads and light bulbs to their greener counterparts.  This will save water, power and MONEY!

2. Walk, Run, Ride
Instead of using the car, walk to the shops.  Instead of using exercise machinery, go for a run.  Ride to work if you can.  The prams and bike attachments available now are amazing for those wanting something they can take out for a morning jog or bike ride.  You'll get fit, the sunshine will increase your happiness (and vitamin D levels), bub will get to see the great outdoors and you'll save on petrol and greenhouse emissions.  I'm lucky to be in moderate walking distance to a small shopping centre and the local library, not to mention a few parks.  I've had great fun exploring my local neighbourhood and discovering new shops and people.

3. Doing the Groceries
Not everyone can afford to dump all their old skin care and cleaning products and start from scratch, but every time you replace something, look for a greener option- a grey water safe detergent, a chemical free baby bath... all these little changes will add up in no time and often, the green option is no more expensive than what you were using.  You can also use vinegar and bi-carb to clean almost anything, and it's so cheap!  You can also make small changes to food- slowly changing to organic fruit, veg and meat or even growing your own!

4. In The Kitchen
When cooking, make as much as possible from scratch.  This will avoid unnecessary packaging and transport as well as a cocktail of chemical preservatives, colours, sodium, saturated/trans fats and flavour enhancers.  Using local, in season produce will ensure your fruit and veg is tasty and fresh and hasn't had to travel a million miles to get to your table.  I like to have a cook up every few weeks, making large batches of stuff to go in the freezer for nights when fast food is easier than cooking.  I can just chuck it in the oven knowing that even though I'm taking a short cut, I know exactly what is in the dish I'm serving up.

5. Be Conscious
As often as possible ask your self, is what I'm doing/using/buying good for my family?  Do I need it? Is there a cleaner/healthier option?  You may not be able to change it immediately but being aware of it is half the journey!

If I was going to add a step six, it would be to buy cloth nappies... better for baby, better for your pocket (by a LONG shot) and so much better for the environment, even if you only grab a few and use them 'part time'.

For now, be proud of the changes you can make, talk to your family about how they can help and celebrate your new direction.


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