Friday, November 19, 2010

Green Pregnancy by Cherubs

Tips on how to have a “GREEN” PREGNANCY brought to you by Cherubs

Now that you’re expecting, your immediate environment is more important than ever. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, your desire to keep yourself and your child as healthy as possible kicks into high gear. That means eating a balanced diet, exercising sensibly and making your surroundings safe. Whether you're already conscious of the environment, or if you're new to green, join us for a journey through what it means to be a green parent, and how to be the very greenest parent that you can be.
Being pregnant is wonderful, beautiful, magical and also downright confusing. One of the first things you can do to give your baby a good start in life is to limit the amount of chemicals and pesticides that you expose him (or her) to in-utero by making some lifestyle changes before or during your pregnancy. And you can protect your child's future by taking care of the environment at the same time.
Fathers-to-be can support and encourage pregnant mothers by making these lifestyle changes too.

Eat organic
At the mention of organic food most of us think of fruit and vegetables. But during this essential period of your baby's development, take that even further. Meat, dairy, grains, even tea and breakfast cereals now have readily available organic options. Go for quality and grow your baby with nutrient rich foods that aren't laced with dodgy chemicals.
Clothe your bump in sustainable maternity wear
Trying to find eco-friendly maternity wear may seem tricky at first, but it's not. Firstly, the greenest maternity wear is second-hand maternity wear. If you have friends or sisters who have had their babies and are happy to pass on their maternity kit, lucky you. If you don't, stop in at the nearest charity shop or dress agency and see what they have to offer.
Pamper yourself
There's no time in a woman's life where she deserves more pampering and kindness than during the long months of pregnancy. It's a tiring business growing a baby and uses up your energy reserves. Recharge yourself by getting plenty of rest, and stay comfortable in bed with an organic maternity pillow (which will come into its own again once your baby is born for feeding support). Get your partner to give you a relaxing massage with organic massage oil, and treat your skin to some extra moisture to help keep the stretch marks at bay.

For the first few months, you don't need plastic, plastic and more plastic to ensure that your baby gets fed. Boobs are just the thing to keep babies happy and full, and they don't require sterilising or special preparation. Baby food, at the right temperature, no matter where you are is one of the biggest advantages of breastfeeding. Another one is that you're not propagating the manufacture of zillions of plastic bottles and other bottle feeding accessories, and creating loads of feeding paraphernalia waste to end up in landfill. Breast is best for baby too, with loads of health benefits. Oh, and as I mentioned before, you can reuse your maternity pillow as a feeding cushion to keep you and your baby comfortable while you feed. It's so important for dad's to really get behind breastfeeding too and give their support. Starting breastfeeding can be harder than you think and supporting mom's through the tricky bits is a great way for fathers to make a contribution to early feeding.

Getting around
You don't need two different types of prams and three different car seats for various stages of your baby's development. With a bit of careful consideration you can minimise equipment and still get around easily. To start with and if you have a car you will of course need a car seat. It's not recommended to buy these second-hand for safety reasons, so instead buy a seat that will last from newborn (with a newborn insert) to age 4. You just don't need one of those car seats with a carrying handle if you have a baby sling, and your back will thank you. Slings are great because they're such a natural way to carry babies, they don't include large amounts of plastic (which will end up in landfill) and they're quite affordable, whether you buy one or make your own.

When you're pregnant you're a marketing opportunity. Every time you turn a corner there'll be an enterprising somebody trying to sell you something to make your life as a parent easier. And we know that parents need all the help they can get, right? Wrong. The truth is that you just don't need half of the paraphernalia that they're going to tell you is indispensable.
So what do you really need? You need somewhere for your baby to sleep, something for your baby to wear and something to feed your baby. Keep it simple, and then add on extras when and if you need them, you may just find that you don't.

Some GREEN tips:

Obstetricians consistently stress the importance of drinking fluids during pregnancy. But concerns about lead, mercury and other potential contaminants lurking in your water may have you thinking twice before reaching for the tap.
Therefore invest in a high-quality water filter. “The filter will remove lead, chlorine, mercury and other chemicals And, even if there are no problems with your tap water, filtered water tastes better and it might make you drink more.”
Breathe-Easy Tips
Increase ventilation whenever possible
Keep windows and doors open to release pollutants whenvacuuming, dusting, frying, painting or folding clothes.
Use household products according to manufacturers’ directions and never mix products unless directed on the label.
When entering your home, leave shoes at the door; they track in harmful chemicals from the outdoors.
Try to limit the amount of time you spend inside the car (some pollutant levels can be higher inside vehicles than outside) and in traffic-heavy areas; look for less-traveled routes.
Hold your breath or turn your head when you see exhaust or while putting gasoline in your car.
Rather than worry about every potential exposure that may or may not affect your baby, focus on avoiding the following proven hazards:
    • Tobacco smoke
    • Pesticides
    • Paint fumes
    • Improperly maintained stoves
    • Solvents
It time for us all to turn slightly green. And this has nothing to do with the nasty envy but everything to do with eco-friendly. Yes, yes, we keep harping on about this – but the world is finally waking up and it’s almost too late. Really. We, as parents, have just about the greatest responsibility here – because we need to think about what kind of a world we are leaving to our children.
Why go organic?
Organic living is becoming an increasingly obvious choice. People today are more aware of the damage caused by the pesticides used in agriculture. Whilst pesticides are initially very effective, soon the pests can become resistant and stronger pesticides are required to achieve the same results.
Pesticides don’t only harm the earth. By eating or absorbing pesticides you are exposing your body to its effects. The chemicals used do not always fully wash out, so any non-organic foods you eat place traces of these chemicals directly into your system.
In contrast, organically produced foods and clothing are grown by working more in harmony with nature. Living an organic life is most certainly about being healthy, but it is also very much about re-creating a healthy planet for the future.
Children and Pesticides
Preschoolers are more heavily exposed to pesticides than adults because they eat more of certain foods that are sources of pesticides: 30 times more apple juice, 21 times more grape juice, 7 times more orange juice.
The least contaminated fruit are watermelon, bananas, kiwi, pineapple and spanspek, but organic food, grown without the use of chemicals, is the safest choice of all.
Young children pick up pesticides not only in their food but also playing on the ground and floor – increasing their risks.
Here are some things you can do to reduce your child’s pesticide exposure:
Buy organic food and products wherever possible.
Don’t let your kids play on lawns treated with pesticides
Remove shoes, Japanese style, in your home. Pesticide residues cling to shoes and are transferred to your   carpet where kids and pets play.
Keep any pesticides used in and around your home in a safe place, or better yet, switch to non-chemical ways to handle household pests.
Babies and children are at particular risk as their livers (which acts as a filter for toxins) are underdeveloped and therefore not able to cope as well with an onslaught of toxins on a daily basis. Another important thing to understand is that children, being smaller, have a bigger total skin area (about 2.5 times greater than adults per unit of body weight) – obviously this means that exposure is more problematic for children

We are all exposed to millions of man-made chemicals on a daily basis. It is in fact almost impossible to escape exposure – our water is contaminated, the air we breathe is far from clean, the food we eat (if not organic) is laden with toxins, and the products we use for personal and household cleaning contain synthetic chemicals too.
We can, however, reduce our exposure by becoming knowledgeable and making educated, informed decisions!
Organic baby products...
Why choose organic baby products?
60% of what you apply to the skin can be absorbed so if you are careful about your baby’s food, you need to think about your other baby products too
Young children are especially sensitive to allergies caused by synthetic fragrance
Most baby products contain Parabens, Synthetic Fragrance, and Mineral Oil, which are not good for your baby’s skin,
We are sold numerous products which claim to be best for our children’s skin, dermatologically tested, paediatrician tested, kind and gentle on the skin. Too many children suffer from eczema and skin problems often exacerbated if not caused by the products we use.
Using organic baby products limits the amount of toxic chemicals your baby’s tiny body is exposed to
No one knows for certain what the long term effects of using these products are.
With the exception of organiclly grown products, there is currently no third-party system in South Africa for the verification of 'environmentally friendly' claims and consumers have to rely on the information provided by manufacurers/retailers.
Eco friendly wipes:
Cherubs baby Wipes have a fabulous new look planned for their original flushable and biodegradable variant and are launching another brand new eco-friendly variant with Aloe Vera and vitamin E for delicate care.
Cherubs eco-friendly baby wipes are also 100% biodegradable so they help look after our environment!
Buy Eco friendly nappies and try to avoid disosables – there are quite a number of eco friendly nappy brands available
Disposables are made mostly of soft, fluffy pulp which is produced by chemically treating wood fibres. The pulp undergoes a whitening and softening process when it is exposed to chlorine-based bleaching agents. This produces a multitude of toxic chemical by-products which are released into the environment during manufacturing.
Another chemical found in “disposables” is sodium polyacrylate. This substance is what turns your baby”s urine into gel. Sodium polyacrylate can absorb 100 times its weight in liquid and makes for a very absorbent nappy! However, it has been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome in tampon use and is no longer used in their manufacture. It is still used in disposables though. Moreover, as much as clever TV adverts would have us believe that this astonishing absorbency and resultant “dryness” makes for a better nappy, this is simply not true.

In addition to the notorious “landfill” stories that everyone has heard about, disposable nappies
 require more energy than cloth nappies to produce  use more non-recyclable materials  produce more solid waste and  need more land for growing the natural materials used in nappy production than cloth nappies do.
If you only use disposable nappies, your child will have used the equivalent of 45 trees worth of paper before it is 2½ years old.
From birth to toilet training, a child will use approximately 5400 disposables (at an average of 6 a day over 2½ years).
Here are some tips for you and your children. We will show how everyone can play a part in helping to protect the environment.
Teach your children about…
Litter and Waste
Making Your Children Aware
School-age children will undoubtedly be aware of litter control through playground ‘litter patrols’ and rubbish clearing, but this should be a lesson that is taught even before their first days in reception class. Pre-schoolers and very young children can be educated about not leaving rubbish behind and throwing things away responsibly - and of course, most toddlers relish the ‘responsibility’ of being given ‘grown up’ tasks to carry out!
Get Them Involved
A good way to start a conversation about the importance of reducing litter is on dustbin day. Small children are usually completely fascinated by the weekly arrival of the dustbin-men, so bin day can be a fantastic opportunity to start talking about litter and waste control.
Ask Their Opinions
Ask your children about the waste and rubbish they spot in the park or in your street. How do they feel about it? Do they think it spoils the neighbourhood? Why is there? Who drops it? By asking leading questions you can open up a whole dialogue about the problems caused by ‘litter-bugs’ and rubbish polluting our streets.
Why Is Litter So Bad?
Apart from looking awful and spoiling our streets, beaches and countryside, children need to understand the damage litter can do to wildlife and the environment, for instance, rubbish thrown into rivers and streams can kill swans and ducks and pollute the water for fish and other animals.
What Else Can We Do?
Educate and encourage. The simplest thing we and our children can do to reduce litter is to reduce waste and make sure whatever waste we do produce is disposed of responsibly in a dustbin or re-cycling provision.
The Ecological System
If the thought of teaching your children about ecosystems seems a bit of a challenge - particularly if science wasn’t exactly your favourite subject at school - help is at hand! As with all subjects breaking information down into digestible, age appropriate chunks is the easiest and most child-friendly approach, and illustrating your information-sharing with pictures and real-life examples can transform a child’s learning experience. Discussing a subject like ecosystems might not sound like the most exciting way to spend an afternoon, but combined with a walk in the park, woods, or even your garden, where examples of ecosystems in action are all around you, the subject can be totally brought to life. And who knows, you might even learn something yourself!
What is the Ecological System?
The ecological system, in simple terms, is the environment in which man; animals and organisms live and rely on each other for survival. Within the ecological system there can be many eco-systems that are made up of lots of different elements, for example, flora, fauna, lower life forms, water and soil. 
Climate Change and Global Warming:
Many people consider climate change and global warming the greatest environmental challenges facing the world today. These issues affect everyone in the world but the good news is that everyone in the world can be a part of the solution if they so desire. Make sure that you do your part by swotting up on climate change and global warming, and committing yourself to a lifestyle that reduces these concerns.
What are Climate Change and Global Warming?
Climate change and global warming are pretty much exactly what they say. Climate change is literally a change in the climate of a given area, including changes in its average temperatures, wind patterns and amounts of rainfall. One of the results of climate change is that temperatures are rising all over the world, which is known as global warming.
What Causes Climate Change and Global Warming?
While politicians around the world wrangle about the causes of climate change and global warming, scientists know that when greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere they contribute to the problem. The United Nations has attempted to limit these harmful gases with the Kyoto Protocol, a set of guidelines that asks countries to meet a target of reduce greenhouse gases to a level that will not interfere with the climate or cause further change.
What Can We Do to Limit Climate Change and Global Warming?
At home, turn off lights and unplug electrical equipment when not in use. Reduce the number of spray products you use for personal care, and recycle as many items as you can everyday. When you travel, try to use trains, boats or efficient cars and fly as rarely as possible to limit the carbon emissions from planes.
Climate change and global warming are serious issues affecting everyone on Earth. Educate yourself about climate change and global warming, and the ways in which you can reduce your own contributions, and then pass along all that you have learned. The world is literally depending upon it!
Harbouring love and respect for the earth and nature not only creates a new generation of earth friendly people but also provides our kids with a sanctuary that they can retreat to throughout their lives. Learning about the planet and about the cycle of life in turn teaches children to respect and nurture themselves, as it leads to an understanding of how things work. To treat oneself well, with as much care and love as we give to others must be one of the most vital gifts we can give our children.
So now you're well on your way to being an eco-friendly parent, you'll probably find the rest of the journey as easy as (organic apple) pie.

No comments:

Post a Comment