"Green" is a modern day, catchall word for making the best, healthiest choices for your home and nursery. Deciphering the real meaning of "Green" can be daunting. The truth is, there are some basic, practical "Green" rules of thumb you can follow. Here are a 5 of them:
1. Stay away from harsh chemical fumes during and after your pregnancy - and keep your baby away from them too. House paints, for example, are something you may not think of, but they may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the toxic fumes that off-gas. Use low or no VOC paints and make sure your home and nursery are well-ventilated.
2. Choose a “Green” crib and nursery furniture. Young America has this category covered in three important ways. First, Young America cribs and nursery furniture are made in the USA, so our products have a much smaller carbon footprint than their imported counterparts. Second, our furniture is GREENGUARD certified to minimize indoor air pollution. Third, we offer furniture that’s Built To Grow for longevity and sustainability. Bottom line: Young America nursery furniture is a “Green” choice. It’s local, non-toxic, and will not end up in a landfill any time soon.
3. Allow a new crib mattress to air out (off-gas) before your baby sleeps on it. This important step will help release toxic fumes and prevent allergy symptoms ranging from puffy, red, and watery eyes to a runny nose, congestion, coughing, and asthma-like symptoms. Off-gassing can also cause skin irritations like rashes, itchiness, and hives. Choose bedding that has NOT been treated with polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). These chemical fire retardants accumulate in our bodies and have been shown to affect human health adversely.
Check out Healthy Child Healthy World’s "Make a Safe Bed" Checklist" for more helpful healthy bedding guidelines and tips.
4. Avoid wall-to-wall carpets. Carpets can harbor dust mites and allergens, and new synthetic carpets can off-gas VOCs. An area rug is a healthier, easy-to-clean choice. If you insist on wall-to-wall carpet, go with one made of natural fibers such as wool, cotton, hemp or jute. Look for natural rug underlays too.
5. Keep it clean. “Green” cleaners are safer for your nursery and whole house. Harsh chemical cleaners can irritate eyes and lungs, and companies are not required to list all ingredients on their cleaning products, so you don’t know exactly what’s in them. Make an effort to choose non-toxic, green cleaners or go ahead and make your own from items you probably already have around the house, including the old standby: white distilled vinegar.
Kermit The Frog famously sang “It’s Not Easy Being Green”. Follow these “Green” guidelines and you may find it’s not so hard after all.