Recently, I joined a pregnant friend of mine as she registered for her upcoming baby shower. What I thought would take 30 minutes took 3 hours and she summed it up best by asking, “How can one little person need so much stuff?” The baby industry is a billion dollar one in the United States and only recently has this buying trend taken an eco-friendly turn, seeking out sustainable and renewable resources. The versatile bamboo plant does not fail to deliver in this area, offering choices for all your baby needs from fabrics to furniture. (Actually adults can take advantage too with a wide selection of bamboo clothing and bamboo bedding available!)
There are many qualities that make bamboo an ideal choice for baby fabrics. Because the fast-growing bamboo plant does not require pesticide or herbicide use, it is an excellent organic choice for your baby crib sheets, blankets, clothing and even diapers! The bamboo plant is extremely absorbent which gives bamboo fabric an excellent wicking ability (think of how wet your babies can get) and bamboo also has hypoallergenic qualities that are terrific for babies with irritated skin conditions.
Think about looking into the following bamboo products for your little one:
- Baby Diapers – Every year, we put 18 million disposable diapers into landfills, making them the 3rd largest source of solid waste in landfills. Keep in mind that these diapers have already used up 82,000 tons of plastic and 1.3 million tons of wood just to be manufactured. Take advantage of the wicking power of bamboo and look into using bamboo diapers. One recent brand I found was bum genius that offered adjustable fit bamboo diapers to fit your quickly-growing baby as well as bamboo diaper wipes.1
- Baby sheets & blankets – Because the bamboo fiber is naturally smooth and round without chemical treatment, there are no spurs to irritate your baby’s delicate skin. It’s also an excellent material choice to avoid allergic reactions that babies might have to cotton materials. Visit Green Earth Bamboo to see a variety of crib sheets and blankets available for your baby.
- Baby clothes – Bamboo fabric is able to take bright dye colors well which opens it up to cute and colorful baby clothing. All of the baby clothing is made from Azo-free dyes and free from chlorine and formaldehyde. From cute baby tees with matching baby pants, Green Earth Bamboo offers coordinating baby accessories to go with these adorable outfits.
- Baby Shampoos & Soaps – In February of 2008, ABC News released a report on phthalates, a potentially harmful chemical found in baby products ranging from soaps to plastic toys. Researchers were concerned that exposing babies to these chemicals would hurt their ability to reproduce later in life, and while they found no cause for recalls, research is ongoing about the effects of this chemical on babies2. Keep in mind that your babies with their developing livers will not be able to process toxins as quickly as adults so exposure is more harmful to them. Green Earth Bamboo carries natural bamboo powder baby soap for your bath time needs.
- Baby Furniture and Toys – The phthalates mentioned above are not just used in soaps but they also aid in the manufacturing of plastic with the role of making the plastic more flexible. Combine this knowledge with the great China toy & crib recall of 2007 and that is more than enough reason to check out bamboo products for your baby furniture and toys. Visit www.2modern.com to see a variety of bamboo baby furniture and for recommendations on handmade bamboo toys, visit www.handmadetoyalliance.com.
If you need further proof that choosing organic and sustainable resources is the best choice for your baby, type this into your internet search engine: The Girl who silenced the UN for 5 Minutes. In 1992, 12 year old Severn Suzuki visited the UN to shame the leaders of the world for their lax stance on environmental issues. She challenges adults world-wide to “please make your actions reflect your words.” If we, as responsible consumers, are to take that challenge, what better way to start than by making the choice to use the sustainable, renewable resource of bamboo to welcome our next generation into this world.
1. McConnell, J. (1998). The Joy of Cloth Diapers. Mothering, 30-32.
2. Childs, D. (2008, February 4). www.abcnews.go.com.