BeyondConsumerism

Providing tools and support to families, citizens, and activists to counter our consumerist culture and to create new social norms about how to have a high quality of life and a reduced ecological footprint.

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Baby Products

Parents want a healthy environment for their children: a safe home with nontoxic products and an unpolluted environment. Look for clothing, furniture, toys, food, and skincare that are gentle on your baby and the Earth.

Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bottles

BPA is a chemical found in some plastics and can leach into your food or drink, especially when heated. The National Toxicology Program reported some concern that typical low level exposure in babies and children can adversely affect behavioral development or even lead to early puberty in females. Use glass or BPA-free baby bottles to avoid health risks associated with bisphenol a. Look in the Green Guide for a guide to baby bottles.

Breastfeeding and Ecology

Nursing mothers are at the nexus of a surprising number of ecological issues: packaging and waste (of commercial breastmilk alternatives); environmental contaminants (and their presence in breast milk); cows and their effect upon the environment (while producing milk for infant formula); not to mention the power of corporations over human health (as their advertising in the developing world attempts to portray expensive commercial products as healthier for babies). Read a summary of the links between breastfeeding and ecology in "Nursing the World Back to Health" from La Leche League International, the support organization for nursing mothers and advocacy group for breastfeeding worldwide.

Natural Clothing, Bedding, and Furniture

Purchasing organic cotton, produced without pesticides, does not lead to harmful runoff and keeps residual pesticides away from your child’s skin.  Wood furniture should be made without formaldehyde, a common ingredient in pressed wood products and one that can trigger asthma and may cause cancer. No furniture should be painted with lead-based paints. Thrift stores and freecycle

Play

Every so often, toy recalls prompt parents to reconsider just what their children are playing with; concerns about lead in Chinese-made toys, for example, have prompted a closer look at toy manufacturing standards. Look for eco-friendly toys that will long outlast the latest fad toy and won't expose your children to harmful chemicals. Preferable materials for toys are: wood, organic cotton, metal (especially aluminum, which is easy to recycle), and fabric.

Organic Baby Food

There are now some great fresh and frozen options for parents who want their infants eating only organic, preservative-free food but don’t have the time to mess with a blender. Read suggestions from Consumer Reports and their case for organic baby food. Or you can make your own wholesome baby food.

Skincare

Healthy skincare products are important for expectant mothers as much as for their children, as toxins are transmitted via the umbilical cord. The Environmental Working Group has tested many commonly used skincare products for potential dangers and has a database of both safe and questionable products. Also check out SafeMama.com's Baby Skin Care Guide.

For more information on why natural skin-care products are important and to find even more resources, visit our personal care products page.

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