Welcoming a new baby into one’s home can cost a pretty penny. Baby gear can quickly take over one’s home. Stores market a whole lot of cute, color- coordinated things that we become convinced baby needs. We want our children to get off to a great start, but do we really need all of this stuff? The answer is no. And, two Oregon moms, Joy Hatch and Rebecca Kelley, have written a new book to help parents save money by parenting the green way. The book is called “The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down to Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet.”The authors focus on reduce, reuse, and recycle in a writing style that is humorous and straightforward. The safety and happiness of one’s baby top Hatch and Kelley’s agenda as they offer tips on shopping for new and used green goods, blending homemade organic food, and limiting the piles of baby gear that threaten to overtake the living room.
Here is but a sampling of the money and planet saving ideas in the book:
– Switching to cloth diapers will save you between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on how many children you have. Plus, for every child you swaddle in cloth, you’ll be keeping a ton of waste out of the landfill.
– Try a “secondhand” baby shower. If almost everyone you know has had babies in the last few years, a secondhand shower can be an entertaining way to pass belongings from one family to another.
– If you’re planning on having more than one child, consider buying gender-neutral clothes for your first baby. You’ll be able to reuse everything with future children and can easily “accessorize” with hair bows or high tops if you want people to know your baby’s gender.
– Making even a portion of baby’s meals from scratch will save you money. Homemade purees cost much less than jarred food—and there are no containers to dispose of.
Hatch and Kelley also have a website, www.greenbabyguide.com , where they blog about their adventures in green parenting and provide more tips and informative articles.
### Erika Weisensee, a writer and native Oregonian, lives in Milwaukie and teaches journalism and communication courses at the University of Portland.