Posted on July 29, 2011 - by

FRESH Ideas for a Sustainable Baby

Photo: Sasha with her big sister Maayan

There’s a new member of the FRESH team! FRESH Director, Ana Sofia Joanes, just welcomed Alexandra Lise (aka Sasha) to her family. On this joyful occasion, since so many children’s products are laden with harmful ingredients, we thought we’d share some healthy and sustainable products for babies.

Cloth and/or Bleach-Free Diapers: Save money and protect the environment by using cloth diapers. An average child will use approximately 6,000 diapers before toilet training. The fact that disposable diapers take several hundred years to decompose is a compelling reason to choose reusable diapers. And, for additional motivation, you’ll save about $1,200 compared to disposable diapers, even more if you reuse the cloth diapers for several children. If that’s not for you, or for times when you need the convenience of throw-away diapers, be sure to get chlorine-free diapers. Chlorine-free diapers will protect your baby’s sensitive skin from toxins and reduce diaper rash.

Glass or Stainless Steel Bottles: Pick glass or steel baby bottles and sippy cups instead of plastic. Plastic bottles may leach bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting chemical that has been linked to serious damage to human health. Many alternatives to BPA are being tested for safety, but it’s hard to say if these are truly better. So, cut to the chase and avoid plastic altogether. In addition, if you’re using formula, buy powdered instead of canned formula to avoid BPA.

Toys: Skip petroleum-based plastics made with toxic chemicals (especially for young babies who still put everything in their mouths) and go for old-fashioned wooden and organic cloth toys. Avoid painted toys as well, since the paint can contain harmful substances.

Second-Hand Clothes and Toys: Kids outgrow their clothing and toys quickly, so look for second-hand outfits and toys from friends or thrift stores. You’ll save lots of money, and there’s no better way to protect the environment than to avoid buying new. When buying new, choose organic cotton whenever possible, since cotton is one of the most chemical-intensive plants grown.

Shampoos, Lotions and Personal Care Products: Children’s skin is 30% thinner than adults, so they absorb higher amounts of chemicals at the surface. Many personal care products contain ingredients that haven’t been tested for safety for kids, or at all, so choose products carefully for young skin. Browse the Environmental Working Group’s database for the best personal care products for children.

Did you find these tips useful? Do you have additional ideas on great sustainable gifts? Leave us a comment below!



We'd love to hear yours!

  1. Visit My Website

    July 29, 2011


    bob said:

    Congratulations on your beautiful new baby. I appreciate all your tips. I have one concern though, we as humans have a tendency and that is to worship that which we fear. I choose to worship God because of that reason. It’s been my observation that when somebody fears something it tends to happen to them in their lives. Why? I’m not sure and don’t have all the answers, I’m only suggesting that you find a balance of doing what you feel is right for you and your child without going to extremes. And if you belong to the Kingdom, just Bless everything you use each and every day. There just seems to be a fear of many things and products. I do think you have a lot of good information though and I Bless you and your family for getting the word out. I try to follow many of them but don’t fear anything.

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    July 29, 2011


    J said:

    I fail to see how bringing another mouth to feed into an overpopulated world is in any way sustainable. Doesn’t matter which diapers you use. You’ve just created another uber consumer.

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    July 29, 2011


    Jen B. said:

    Wow, “J”, your optimism knows no bounds, huh? Seeing that the new baby is here, I fail to see how your comment is constructive. In fairness, it was your chance to speak.

    Congratulations to you, ana, and your whole family! Thanks for sharing your ideas on making raising a family a more sustainable act.

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    July 29, 2011


    aldw said:

    Blessings to the new baby!

    So, if you bless the crack that you smoke, that makes it less harmful crack. Right? The tips only seem extreme because of the acceptance of extreme petroleum use.

    If one cannot change their ways with product selection, they themselves are are contributing to unsustainable practices.

    By avoiding toxic products and supporting sustainable products we can become a catalyst for others on the planet.

    New mouths to feed aren’t a problem if you feed them organic food and support them in a less toxic way. The earth supports massive amounts of animal life with no problems and it has the ability to heal itself just like us. It is up to us to live a productive, non-destructive lifestyle in anyway we can, and be good stewards of the environment because we live in it.


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    July 29, 2011


    Valerie Cookson-Botto said:

    New life is definately worth celebrating. A new baby spreads love, hope and joy throughout the family at large; and we can all use more of that.

    Ana, I would love to send you a gift of Miessence certified organic Baby Bottom Mist. It was so handy and helpful to me when my kids were young, that I’d love to share it with you. It is certified to international food grade organic standards, and comes from a GreenBizCheck gold certified company, Miessence. You can read up on the ingredients at

    If you would email me at to accept this gift, I will send it your way.

    Blessings to you and your family.
    Valerie Cookson-Botto

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    July 29, 2011


    Judyth said:

    I had seven boxes of beautiful and brand name children’s clothes that I wanted to recycle. I went to FOUR children’s resale shops and they all said the clothing was out of style. Since when do toddlers and young children need to be in style!? All I could think was how spoiled we are in this country if our children have to be “in style.” I ended up donating them to people who were not so “fortunate” to be so picky.

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    August 2, 2011


    Jenn said:

    How about only leaving POSITIVE statements here?!?!? “J”, if you have issues and problems, leave them somewhere else! Thank you very much! God bless all the new babies and everyone who is trying to live better, greener, healthier and productive lives.

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    August 15, 2011


    Larissa said:

    Below is a link to a site that explains how eliminate the need for any kind of diapers at all. My cousin has raised her child this way, and it is awesome!