I was talking (ok…emailing) a friend of mine today and it reminded me about some questions I’ve been struggling with lately. Can switching to green actually have a negative impact on the environment?
Take for instance babies. I now have a 4 mo old baby (Lil’ B) who is getting many of my son’s baby gear. He’s 6 yr old and I wasn’t quite as green as I am now. Some of the items I’ve saved aren’t exactly eco-friendly. So here is a list of the items that if I were to buy them today I would make a different choice than I did 6 yrs ago.
- Crib mattress. I would buy an organic cotton mattress if I bought a new one today.
- Baby bottles. I would buy BPA-free bottles and storage jars for my breast pump.
- High Chair. I would buy a nice wooden high chair today instead of the plastic bulky one I have.
And what about the baby gifts you receive. What if you receive items that aren’t eco-friendly? Like baby soap, lotion, disposable diapers & wipes, and plastic toys.
So here is my question (ok many questions). Do you buy new or reuse what you already have? Do you keep what you are given or exchange/giveaway gifts that aren’t eco-friendly? At what point is buying new more damaging than keeping what you already have? As long as the product I saved hasn’t been recalled due to some safety issue, what is the harm in keeping it? And if I did feel strongly about the new issue (like paraben free soaps and lotions) what do you do with the item you are replacing? It’s obviously still usable but not up to your standards. So do you donate it or dispose of it? If you donate it aren’t you then putting someone else into danger that your feel strongly about? If you purchase a new product aren’t you then doubling the impact of producing that item? And if you used that product on your first child and they are still ‘fine’ than what’s the harm of using it again? But if you don’t replace it are you knowingly putting your next child in danger?
As if moms don’t have enough mommy guilt to deal with! Me personally, I’m still using the majority of the items I used with my son. It’s only as I purchase new items that I am replacing them with the newer, more eco-friendly products. What about you?