Having a baby often means bringing a lot of new stuff into your home. Preparing for a new baby is an exciting time, and the nesting process is often very much enjoyed by moms. Having a baby can also involve a lot of disposable trash — wipes, diapers, packaging from the myriad of gifts, and baby food jars. Here are some tips to help minimize your household trash, reduce the clutter, and make your new life with a baby a little more Eco-friendly.
Use cloth diapers and reusable wipes
Diapering is often the biggest new activity that comes with a baby — and the most work. Using cloth diapers will significantly reduce household trash at about 2,000 diapers a year per child. Once you get into a routine, cloth diapers are very easy to use and clean; simply wipe off any solids into the toilet, wash them on a warm pre-wash, and then wash them in a regular cycle with detergent. Cloth diapers also dry quickly and the inserts come out fluffy in the dryer. Cloth diapers can also be “stripped” of any buildup once a month using Rockin’ Green Funk Rock. Simply soak the diapers for 1 hour in 4 tbsp. of Funk Rock, followed by a normal wash. Easy as can be. Our favorite cloth diapers are snap in diapers and pocket diapers. Many cloth diaper styles are also available for all preferences. Reusable wipes are simply soft pieces of cloth that you use instead of disposable wipes. You can wash and dry reusable wipes along with your diaper loads. Plus cloth diapers are just stinkin’ cute! (no pun intended)
Use cloth laundry bags for diapers
Cloth laundry bags reduce the extra trash bags that diapers will quickly fill up. If you are using disposable diapers, simply dump the diapers directly into your large family trash can from a cloth bag instead of filling the trash can with smaller diaper-filled bags. And of course, cloth bags make it super easy to tote your used cloth diapers to the laundry room. Sprinkling baking soda in your trash can or diaper pail as well as over the used diapers will also naturally reduce the smell.
Make your own baby food
Making homemade baby food will ensure your baby enjoys the freshest, least processed foods. While the convenience of store-bought food is tempting, commercial foods are often heated at high temperatures which can remove nutrients. Preservatives are also often added, along with sweet fillers like applesauce. Our homemade favorites are fresh steamed carrots, sweet potato, and corn. It’s very easy to make a batch of homemade pureed baby food, store it in the freezer, and defrost as needed. Reusable food pouches also make it easy to take homemade baby food on the go, without sacrificing fresh & delicious nutrition.
Make fabric covered boxes and tins for extra storage
Diaper boxes, formula tins, and other baby gear packaging can make great organizational storage. Simple use a spray adhesive to adhere fabric to the outside of the packaging for cute fabric closet bins. Empty formula tins make great containers for bottle tops, nipples, and pacifiers. You can also buy the wipe-off chalkboard stickers for labeling your containers with cute customizable script in your own handwriting.
Make homemade cleaning products
Cleaning solutions are often filled with harsh chemicals and ingredients. Making your own cleaners can save money and ensure your little ones are being exposed only to gentle ingredients. Counter tops can be wiped with hot water mixed with vinegar for a natural all-purpose cleaner. Baking soda is also a great natural cleaner that also reduces odor. The Keeper of the Home has some great tips for natural cleaning solutions, including 67 Homemade, All-Natural Cleaning Recipes.
What are your favorite ways to go green? We’d love to hear your tips posted in the comments.
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