Giving Green Baby Gifts

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A new baby is a great opportunity to introduce your friends and family members to the many changes, big and small, that we can make to be "Greener" consumers.
Baby gifts are a wonderful way to introduce new parents to Green products, and, who knows - they might stick with them! Giving green gifts is increasingly popular, as it provides an opportunity for your gift to stand out from the crowd and make a positive impact on the Earth.
Green gifts are constructed of organic or recycled materials, or at least have a minimum impact on the Earth.
The packaging of the product should be minimal to reduce waste.
Seek zero packaging when possible, but if necessary look for recycled paper packaging.
The least desirable packaging is plastic, which takes significant energy to produce and is difficult to recycle.
If the only option is plastic packaging, seek minimal amounts of plastic, or purchase carbon offset credits to make up for it.
Gifts for Getting Dressed Your options in buying green baby clothes are many and increase almost daily.
Today you can find organically-grown cotton clothing fairly easy.
Even some of the large chain stores like Target carry certain items made of this fabric.
Organic cotton is grown with natural fertilizers and is free from toxic chemicals.
A field must be pesticide-free for at least three years to qualify as organic, and the cotton must be processed based on International organic standards.
Bamboo is also an excellent choice for baby clothes, as it is both eco-friendly and softer than even the softest cotton on the market.
Bamboo fabrics have a natural sheen and are frequently compared to silk and cashmere.
Another great benefit of using bamboo fabric for baby clothing is its naturally-occurring antibacterial properties.
Gifts for Bath Time Avoid the commonly-available plastic bath toys and focus instead on healthy, safe and eco-friendly options for the bath.
For example, if you are looking for cute towels, you can find many options in both organically-grown cotton and bamboo.
Although it may sound strange, bamboo fibers make amazingly soft, silky fabrics.
In fact, many people choose bamboo towels based on touch alone, without even realizing they are choosing a sustainable fabric.
Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that grows without pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals.
It does not destroy natural forests or take an undue toll on the Earth, thus making it an excellent option for eco-conscious consumers.
As for baby-washes and lotions, all those petroleum-based products can be skipped for more eco- and body-friendly options.
The chemicals used in most cosmetics and toiletries range from toxic to dangerous, and everything in between.
Some major things to look out for include shampoos and conditioners containing petroleum products, hair dyes with carcinogenic coal tar, deodorants containing aluminum, hairsprays and hair gels containing petroleum derivatives, formaldehyde, phthalates and synthetic fragrance.
Also look out for cosmetic and toiletry products that were not tested on animals.
Not only does this mean that you are not testing your ethics, but often products with the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) label also happen to meet the above criteria and are therefore better choices overall.
Gifts for Playtime Most toy aisles are filled with plastics, which are energy-intensive to create and slow to decompose in our landfills.
Instead of adding to the waste, seek green alternatives to baby toys.
For example, there are many super-soft and amazingly beautiful stuffed toys made from organic fabrics and stuffing.
These items are often checked more thoroughly for safety than typical toys, since they are catering to a high-end market.
Also available are wooden toys created with green-certified hardwoods and fast-growing woods.
They have all-natural finishes, paint and stains, making them safe for baby, and also safer for the world.
Whatever you choose, by seeking a green baby gift, you are helping one more person in the world learn about the beauty and value available on the green market.
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