Making the decision to “go green” can be a bit overwhelming. Most people start with buying organic foods and recycling but there’s much more to it than that. Being conscious of our carbon footprint extends beyond the food we eat. And just like buying organic food, there are things that matter and those that don't.
In the Nursery
Healthy, Non-Toxic Crib Mattress
Of course, we think the best place to start is by investing in a healthy, organic and non-toxic crib mattress. After all, babies spend anywhere between 16-18 hours per day sleeping on their crib mattress in the first year of life. We know how important it is that our sweet babes aren’t breathing in any toxic chemicals from off-gassing materials. That’s why all of Nook’s crib mattresses are non-toxic, breathable and healthy. None of our products have innersprings, plastic/vinyl wraps or toxic fire-retardants. We ethically source all of our materials and repurpose our Pebble Air core design in our Pebble Twin and Full mattresses. From our Organic Pebble Pure to our Hypoallergenic Pebble Lite to our Non-Toxic Pebble Air crib mattress, all are wrapped in our 100% organic Pebble Wrap so you can rest easy knowing our healthy materials are right where it matters most—next to your baby’s delicate skin.
If you live in an old house, you’re probably familiar with the dangers of lead in paint. When designing your dream nursery, be sure to check that that perfect wall color is either No VOC (volatile organic compounds) or Low VOC. VOCs contribute to a variety of issues including affecting the respiratory system, allergies and immune system of infants and children. Luckily, most big brand paints now offer No or Low VOC options. The use of eco-friendly paints doesn’t have to stop in the nursery. It’s a good idea to make sure the paints you use in your entire house are just as healthy.
It’s no surprise that traditional disposable diapers aren’t exactly eco-friendly. And with the amount of diapers our babies go through daily, finding an eco-friendly disposable diaper like Bambo Nature, Parasol, Babyganics or Seventh Generation is an easy way to reduce your impact on landfills. If you really want to make sure your diapers are as clean and green as possible, cloth diapering might be the right solution for you!
In our Bedrooms
We’ve already made sure our sweet babies are sleeping on healthy mattresses, but what about us? There’s an entire industry around comfortable and supportive mattresses but not all of them are eco-friendly. Some of the materials in twin, full, queen and king mattresses contribute to the collection of moisture which leads to mold which affects our respiratory systems and isn’t recyclable. We don’t think you should have to sacrifice comfort and your health to get an eco-friendly, healthy mattress. At Nook, we offer hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, breathable and non-toxic twin mattresses and full mattresses, perfect for your growing toddlers and children and perfect for you! Prefer to sleep on a queen or king mattress? Not a problem! Any of our mattresses can be customized to fit a larger size.
As a general rule, it’s important to be eco-conscious with things you use every day, are wearing or surrounded by for enough time to make a difference. Most of us sleep at least 8 hours out of the 24 hours in a day. If we’re investing in a healthy mattress, it’s important to make sure our bedding is eco-conscious as well. Try to steer clear from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Try and stick to organic materials like cotton and wool, which are not only found in nature but also naturally help regulate your body temperature, resulting in a better night sleep.
In our Lives
From laundry detergent to dishwashing soap and disinfecting wipes, it’s important to make sure the product we use in our homes aren’t chemical heavy, especially when using them on a daily basis. Not only are they bad for the environment because they drain off into the oceans but they also get inhaled by us when we’re cleaning them, polluting our lungs. Nobody can deny the power of bleach but there are several natural alternatives that are sometimes just as, if not more, effective. There are a handful of essential oils (lemon, lavender, oregano, clove, rosemary, tea tree, etc.) that are naturally antibacterial that, when combined with a carrier like vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, not only clean but also disinfect.
Most people think clean eating means eating organic foods all the time and reducing the amount of sugar or processed foods we eat. While that’s great in theory, it’s not necessary all the time. Not all foods need to be organic. Narrow your focus to ensuring the dirty dozen (peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes) are organic and don’t worry as much about the rest!
Lotions, Shampoos and Makeup, Oh My!
We already make sure our babes are sleeping on healthy crib mattresses in an eco-friendly nursery but what about the products we use throughout the day and night on both ourselves and our babies? There are so many skin care products out there but sometimes the best thing you can use is in your kitchen. Olive and coconut oil are not only natural but multi-functional. They can be used for cooking as well as soothing your and baby’s skin! If you’re going to use lotion, make sure they don’t contain some of the key offenders like parabens, synthetic colors/dyes, fragrances, phthalates, triclosan and formaldehyde to name a few. Not only do some of these affect our hormones and endocrine systems but they also make their way into the drains and oceans, affecting sea life.
If your neighborhood offers a recycling program, you’re in luck, but it doesn’t stop there! Be sure to check what items are recyclable before tossing things in your recycle bin. Not all plastics are recyclable and not all recycling centers take glass anymore due to the cost of breaking it down and recycling it. Outside of actually recycling items, consider purchasing used books, toys, clothes and furniture. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure, right? Or look at purchasing your products from companies that primarily use recycled materials or are ethically and sustainably sourced.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Many states and countries have already begun their plastic bag ban because of the dangers they’re posing to our ocean life, landfills and global warming. Most stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods offer reusable shopping bags for as low as $1. They look good, are sturdier and they work well for carrying goodies to the beach or a picnic!
Invest in a small compost bin for your backyard and toss anything from your coffee grinds to banana peels to egg shells in there. Stir it up every once in awhile and add it to your flower beds to help your garden grow! This helps reduce your food waste while also contributing to growing your plants, helping our insect and bee friends!
The fashion industry is, hands down, one of the largest contributors to global warming and over consumption. We’re not saying all of your clothing purchases need to be sustainable but it’s worth consideration, especially for those of us with kids who seem to outgrow clothes as soon as you bring it home from the store. Try your hand at second-hand stores, mommy trading facebook groups or sustainable clothing companies.
The Bottom Line
Listen, we know how overwhelming it can be to go green and we don’t expect you to be able to do everything all at once. As with most things in life, take it one step at a time. Every little bit makes a difference! As a thank you for supporting Mother Earth and Nook’s mission to reduce our global carbon footprint, we’re offering a special 10% discount for any purchases made with a user account between now and April 30.
Sign up for an account now and use EARTHANKS10!