Trying to get a greener footprint... Pic from Treehugger
I never thought I'd be the type of person who'd care about where her products came from, how they were made or what ingredients they include. But all of sudden, I do. As bad as it sounds, it wasn't the environment that bought this on. The completely superficial side of my newfound green love was the fact that every item of clothing I'd lust over for my babies was organic. Pretty much every organic range I've seen has a subtle palette, the prettiest prints, cool slogans and exquisite style. Obsessed with Purebaby, I read up about them and actually let the environmental awareness side of it all sink into my brain instead of just bypassing as I usually do when I'm not 100% interested in something.
The main clincher, though, was Zak. From day one poor Zakky was slapped with the sensitive skin stamp and we spent a lot of time trialing product after product to find the right ones for him and his eczmea. And still he itches and scratches like a crazy dog when it flares up, which at the moment, is often. He's awaiting allergy tests, but until he gets this done (it can take months to get in), what to do? I'm desperate to know what's causing his itch: is it something he's eating? Something he's wearing? The weather? Something in the air? WHY are there so many damn allergies and conditions with the newer generations? Things just aren't the same, are they? We have BPA in our plastic bottles, formaldehyde in our clothes, pesticides and tar in our food...
If that's not enough to worry about, it now appears I have the peanut allergy to contend with too. This was one allergy I didn't get - I'd never heard of it up until a few years ago so didn't really believe it was as bad as it's turned out to be. But then Zak ate a peanut butter sandwich and broke out in hives. Antihistamines fixed him up, but another slip-up involving him touching a peanut butter sandwich resulted in the same. Again, fixed. Then a few weeks ago, I had to call an ambulance when an innocent-looking rash resulted in his eyes closing up, face swelling and throat closing. We were at a new-baby group at the clinic when I first noticed the rash. The mother of the little boy he was playing with swears he didn't have peanut butter that day. So what was it? Is his allergy to it so bad he can break out via secondary touch (which is terrifying as the reactions can get worse with each exposure, and seem to be in Zak's case even though the actual exposure is less) Or was it the new jumper he was wearing that I hadn't washed yet?
The latest incident has made me a bit more cautious. Until it's determined exactly what his allergies are, I'm all for trying to live a little greener in the hope that may prevent some reactions. So if it means being stricter on the foods I buy and prepare, the fabrics I buy and the products I use, then so be it. I'm certainly not going to change my entire way of living in one step - and I know I won't stop buying things I love just because it's not organic or environmentally aware, but I will think a little more with the day-to-day.
Happily, this is a relatively easy thing these days: we've come a long way from when you were deemed a hippy if you even said the word "environment" or knew what organic meant. There are plenty of greener options and they're almost surprisingly prettier, softer and sometimes cheaper than their more common cousins. I thought I'd share a few bits and pieces with you in coming posts, starting today with my current faves and latest purchases. Because it's really quite easy being green when there are baby and environmentally-safe products as great as these ones...
My fave label: Purebaby muslin wrap, $16.95, Purebaby
Layla practically lives in this label, but this suit I bought as a baby-shower gift for my friend Nadine, who is due in a few weeks. The perfect gender-neutral: greys and blues for boys, birdies and lemon for girls! Side Open Grow Suit, $29.95, Purebaby
Could these be any cuter? Gaia botties, $19.95, Organic Babe
My fave nappies and wipes, Nature Babycare. Yes, they nappies are disposable, but a much better kind made partly from maize. From supermarkets
No BPA, PVC or Phthalate, but heaps of style! Zak's flash new drink bottle. Boon fluid no-spill toddler cup, $14.95, from Minieco
I also bought this fitted sheet yesterday: even prettier than Dwell, but made with organic cotton. Q Collection Junior Fitted Cot Sheet in Galileo, $49.95, from Minieco