I can remember it clearly. It was very early on in my first pregnancy. I was hardly showing and still felt like a bit of an imposter in the baby store. Still, I ventured in to try to get a glimpse of this new world I was ventruing in to. And I was instantly shocked by the plastic.
As a single gal and a park ranger, I had never really thought much before about plastic. I’m sure I used the occassional plastic cup and I know I carried a plastic water bottle in my hiking gear. But plastic wasn’t really on my radar one way or another as an issue.
But then came the baby gear. It seemed that absolutely everything I would need to care for my new baby had to be made from plastic. Bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, diapers, car seats, changing table, diaper pail, baby bath tub, toys, strollers, high chair…all plastic. And that’s not to mention the various and sundry products that this baby would require: baby bath, baby lotion, diaper cream…all came in plastic bottles.
It suddenly seemed like my world was about to get very plastic, and I did not like it one bit. But over the years, I have found lots of alternatives to these plastic “necessities.” When it comes to car seats and bathtubs…you’re pretty much stuck with plastic. But for everything else, you now have a choice. The explosion in the green marketplace means that you can find tons of baby toys and clothing made from organic cotton and other eco-savvy materials. High chairs, bassinets, and cribs can be found in sustainably harvested woods. And the best part is that many of these greener alternatives are now even available in traditional big-box baby stores.
For other items, like baby bottles, pacifiers, and diapers, you may have to do a bit more digging, but the plastic-free alternatives are there. Here is the list that I have compiled thus far of plastic-free baby gear. Please feel free to add and comment to this list as you see fit.
Evenflo: Glass baby bottles. Evenflo bottles come with either latex (natural rubber) or silicone (plastic) nipples
Born Free: Glass bottles (can also be purchased with silicone sleeve to prevent heat transfer and breakage.) Only silicone nipples.
The Safe Sippy: Stainless steel drinking cup (with plastic handle and spout)
Klean Kantene: Stainless steel drink bottle
Sigg: Cute aluminum drink bottles with fun designs for kids
Organic Wool Changing Pad: from Green Mountain Diapers
Natursutten: Natural rubber pacifier
Bumble Bee Ring: Organic cottong cloth teething ring
Teething Veggies: Organic cotton “veggies” come in their own crate.
Camden Rose Maple Teether: Crafted from maple wood and finished with beeswax
Bambu Mini Me Bowls: Made from 100% organically grown bamboo
Stainless Steel Tableware: Mug, plate, and cereal bowl lined with stainless steel (outer layer is plastic)
Disposable diapers all contain plastic in their outer shell and in thier linings. And many reusable cloth diapers also contain plastic in their fleece linings or covers. If you want to go truly plastic-free, look for organic cotton diapers like those from Under the Nile or KushTush Organics.
You may have also heard of the line of bidegradable eco-diapers called gDiapers that are supposedly “plastic-free.” This may or may not be the case. For now, I can just say that smarter minds than mine are getting to the bottom of this and I promise to report back on their results.
. Check out her site on Tues, April 14th for a slew of plastic related posts!