We, the co-editors of The Green Baby Guide, have been friends for over fifteen years. When we found ourselves pregnant at the same time, our lackadaisical correspondence turned into a flurry of frantic emails. Am I insane for considering cloth diapers? How will I manage to use this scary-looking breast pump between teaching English and social studies to unruly seventh graders? Will my baby suffer if I don’t buy her a vibrating bouncy seat that lights up and teaches her the alphabet?
Far from trying to achieve perfection, we discovered that there are several small choices we can make to balance saving the world and preparing for our newest family members. Now that we know the insider secrets of cloth diapering, home-blended baby food, and hunting for secondhand gear, we want to share them with other families who may feel just as intimidated and overwhelmed as we did.
The Green Baby Guide isn’t just a website; now there’s the book version! The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet hit bookstore shelves in March, 2010.
Joy Hatch learned green parenting first-hand from her mother during the environmental movement of the 1970s. Joy’s mother drew from her Midwest background and depression-era parents to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Sustainability was a way of life on the family farm, and, as such, her mother learned to can her own food, sew her own clothes, and clean using common household ingredients. While Joy doesn’t pretend to pickle or sew oven mitts, she appreciates the down-to-earth skills the previous generation passed on to her and wants to share that wisdom with other new parents.
Frugality motivates Rebecca Kelley to scour thrift stores and plant her own zucchini—practices that have an added benefit of helping the environment. She has done her part for the conservation effort by never failing to print on both sides of the paper, fashioning baby wipes out of old T-shirts, and turning odds and ends from the refrigerator into edible—and surprisingly delectable—concoctions.