Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. As I am getting closer to the birth of my second child, a baby girl this time around, I find myself often repeating this simple mantra. Until my child can make her own choices in this world, it is up to me to do so for her. What a big responsibility that is, right? A responsibility that I am sure gets more complex as our children grow.
Today though, as I sit looking at the little nook we have created with so much love for our soon to arrive baby girl I want to focus on those early decisions: what we choose to buy, receive and/or reuse to welcome them into this world.
- REDUCE- I am so grateful to so many mamas before me who honestly and generously shared the truth with me when first bombarded with the insane, overwhelming world of baby products: YOU REALLY DON’T NEED THAT. It’s so wise. It’s often correct. These simple words will free you and allow you to focus on gathering those things you will truly treasure. Choosing less will also free up some of your budget so you can invest in organic and fabrics (I am a BIG Burt Bees Baby fan, and couldn’t live without Aden & Anais organic swaddles) and sustainable/recycled materials (love wooden Plan Toys & Babyletto eco-friendly and multi-purpose cribs).
- REUSE- Choosing to have less “stuff” can be such a challenge when everyone around you wants to give you so much in celebration of this new life. Here is where reusing can be such a blessing. It not only allows you to minimize waste and your baby’s first footprints but it lets those who love you give. So RECEIVE. Say yes to hand me downs, and strollers and baby books and toys. Be part of this cycle of generosity that experienced Moms know so well and us newbies are just getting to glimpse. RECEIVE, then GIVE, then RECEIVE again. And don’t forget to take a look around your own home. Or visit your favorite thrift stores to find that special piece that will make your nursery both lovely and green. In our case, my old desk became the perfect changing table and our yellow vintage pantry became shelving for baby clothes. My favorite spot for furniture finds you can transform with a little TLC here in Miami is the Bargain Barn in Wynwood (2233 NW 1st Ct).
- RECYCLE- Baby gear often ends in landfills. As so perfectly expressed by the people at Baby Earth “landfills are icky”. So take advantage of their hassle free baby gear recycling program or research similar ones in your area. Another big way to minimize your impact is to choose a recycled diaper, or better yet go with cloth. We did a combo and fell in love with Charlie Banana Organic Cotton Wipes, Bambo Nature Diapers and OsoCozy Better Fit Unbleached Prefolds.