What Are Your Biggest Green Challenges Right Now?

Is the baby registry list making you dizzy?  Are you wondering how best to launder dirty cloth diapers?  Do you need baby food recipes? Have you had more than three hours of sleep in the last two days?   Are you trying to squeeze more organic produce into your grocery budget?   Does pumping breast milk at work seem totally overwhelming?

We’ve been there!  But now that our kids are older, we have to be reminded of just what would be helpful to our readers.  What are your latest victories and what are your biggest challenges? I’ve shared my weight loss dilemma this week, but there are bound to be issues of far greater consequence. (Like the critical goal of getting enough food and rest in those first few months!)  Please give us ideas for upcoming posts this summer and we’ll personally do our best to address your needs.

Babyfit and Sparkpeople: Free Weight Loss Websites for Moms

My weight loss efforts over the last postpartum year have felt largely experimental. When I’m sure I should be shedding pounds, my weight either stays the same or edges up slightly.  How could this be happening?  And how can I lose the weight without weird diet plans or gym memberships?

Luckily, I discovered Sparkpeople and Babyfit and began to unravel where I could be more effective in my eating and exercise.   Both of these sites are free online communities with tremendous support for people wanting to make a healthy lifestyle shift.  (Babyfit is specifically for pregnant and nursing mothers and Sparkpeople is for anyone wanting to lose weight.)  There are recipes, online chat rooms, videos, exercise plans and more.
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Three Tips for Dropping the Baby Weight While Saving the Planet

For the last year, my body has doggedly clung to ten pounds of baby weight.  I could blame it on nursing, but more likely it was caused by the stress induced eating habits and lack of exercise.  Now that it’s summer and I’m officially a SAHM, I have the time to make some major shifts toward a healthier lifestyle. This week’s posts are dedicated to the pursuit of green, budget weight loss!

  1. Eat whole foods.

Isn’t this totally obvious?   Maybe, but I seem to have to relearn this tip when life becomes hectic.  Food processing requires energy, packaging, and preservatives—adding a huge carbon load and calorie count to our meals and making our grocery bills far more expensive.  If we stick to foods fresh from our gardens, farmer’s markets or the produce aisle, we can slim down our bodies and our budgets.

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How Much is Eco-friendly, Budget-Friendly Wisdom Worth?

Our new book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, costs $13.57 on Amazon.  Is it truly worth that much when you can read our tantalizing posts for free?

Only if you want to save thousands on baby’s first few years.  Thousands?  Seriously?  How can that be?  Here’s a quick outline:

Nursery Gear.  If you use our tips for scoring quality, safe secondhand gear or repurposing what you already have, you’ll save several hundred dollars on nursery furnishings alone.  Plus there’s a directory of quality green products for your eco-splurges.

Diapering. Want to avoid spending nearly two thousand dollars on diapering per child?  Check out our tips on using cloth!  It’s easier than ever and your savings will accumulate without regular runs to the store to stock up on pampers.  When your second or even third baby arrives, you won’t need to spend a dime on new supplies. Plus you’ll keep several tons of waste out of our landfills!
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Ode to The Eco-nomical Baby Guide

You love your baby with your whole soul, right?  Well that is how Rebecca and I feel about our new book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-To-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and The Planet. (We love our actual children more, but this creative work is a close second…)   It has taken us years to write this gem and it may take us years to celebrate its arrival.  So bear with me for today’s adventure in substandard poetry….

Ode to The Eco-nomical Baby Guide

Oh manifesto of glorious green thriftiness
How I love perusing your pages
And deeply understanding
Every cloth diaper in existence.
Oh treatise of eco-frugality,
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Our Local Midwifery Birth Center is Open!

It’s hard to quantify just how much I love the Nurse Midwifery Birth Center here in Eugene, Oregon.  Their supportive and empowering staff helped my family welcome our two children into the world. Throughout my entire pregnancy and birth we never felt rushed but enjoyed long leisurely appointments that educated us and allowed us to make our own choices. 

I gave birth in the above room filled with antique furniture in a beautiful old craftsman home that had been converted to a birthing center.  What could be better? This!

The new Midwifery Birth Center opened its doors today on May 1st.   It’s situated close to the new hospital, in a stand of old trees, and is built to support ongoing natural birth.  It’s complete with a birthing tub for water births, a nature path among the old pines, and a classic interior.
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Did you have a natural childbirth?

While natural labor and childbirth are the ideal for many women, we know that sometimes the health of the baby or the mother dictates intervention.  Still, there’s so much pressure these days to opt for an epidural or a C-section that it’s nice when you are able to have support for your birth plan.  Did you manage to have a natural labor?  If so, did you have to fight for it or were your physician or midwife on your side?  Feel free to tell your birth story!  We love to hear them!  What would you tell someone who is right in the middle of her first pregnancy?  Any tips?

Spring “Paint Style” Giveaway and Natura Paint Product Review

Somehow the nine month gestational period of human life seems to require expectant parents to paint.  Whether you’re sprucing up the nursery or putting a fresh coat on all your walls, we often find ourselves with paint smudges on our swollen bellies in those last few months. And why not?  Painting is a cheap and easy way to change a room without a huge investment.(And as authors of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we love simple, inexpensive solutions for baby’s room!)

But what color should we use?  Should we attempt a mural?  Will we need a nap after just a few brushstrokes?  And what about those fumes?
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The Friday Question: Why did you go green with baby?

go green with babyWere you worried about environmental toxins lurking in the Lysol, baby’s dirty diapers filing local landfills, or blinking plastic toys threatening to take over your household?  Were you motivated by family and friends or did they challenge your attempts to be an eco-conscious parent?

We’re very interested in what makes expectant families go green because the lure of mainstream baby rearing with its hoards of innovative gadgets and convenient products can be hard to evade when you’re nervous about the transition to parenthood.  When did you decide that you’d like to be a conscientious consumer or even less of a consumer?

When we were both pregnant at the same time, Rebecca and I typed flurries of frantic emails to each other trying to figure out how to use cloth diapers and make our own baby food.  Everyone else thought our cutting edge environmental parenting was a bit kooky, but with the support of each other (a two person green parenting community that has now been joined by all of you!) we took the plunge.  It was far less adventurous and much more fun that we ever expected to be eco-friendly parents.
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Eating Well in Pregnancy, Part Three: Trimester Concerns (and What to Do About Them)

Today concludes Laurie Meher’s three-part series on eating well during pregnancy. (Here’s part one and part two.) Meher is a Holistic Nutritionist and Mom specializing in family nutrition.   She shares recipes and information on baby and toddler food on her blog: www.lkmnutrition.wordpress.com.

When you are pregnant it is important to remember that your baby will take all of its nutrients from you, Mom.   While it is comforting to know that your baby will always get what it needs, you need to take care of yourself.  Otherwise you will find that once baby arrives you will not have the basics of healthy nutrition to get you through some long nights, a few emotional days and many exciting times.
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