Green Days: Day 3 Tips & Giveaway

Green trees

It’s Day Three of Green Days – 3 days of green tips and giveaways on Mom365 (see Day 1 and 2 tips and giveaways here). Today, we’re giving away an organic crib mattress  –  probably the most important organic item for a baby or toddler given they spend close to 50% of their 24-hours day sleeping on that mattress, breathing it in. Read on to the end to learn how to enter.

For our green guidance, we asked Honey Berk, a freelance writer who’s been specializing in sustainable living and green building for more than 10 years, to offer her ideas.

Day 3. Turning Junk Into Fun

The sheer volume of stuff you’ll acquire while raising your little one is simply staggering. Many of these items can be recycled; but even though recycling products requires less energy than manufacturing products from scratch, the process still requires energy. So instead of reflexively reaching for the recycling bin the next time you have a baby item to dispose of, try some of these ideas for creative reuse.

Baby Wipe Containers

Baby wipe refill packages are fairly easy to find now, but sometimes you’ll still end up buying a new container –  and you can use your empty baby wipe containers for storing all types of things around the house: art supplies, makeup and hair accessories, smaller toys for older kids, even to hold an emergency first-aid kit. But for something a little more fun, try removing the covers to make sand castle or snow molds, or poking holes in each end and running a string through 5 or 6 containers to make a train.

Baby Food Jars

Baby food jars can also be used to store things around the house, like hair ties and barrettes, nuts and bolts, spices and potpourri – even non-toxic paints for your budding artist. Biut if you’re a little crafty, baby jars make adorable little snow globes. Just glue a little figure to the cover, fill with water and a big spinkling of glitter, and shake up a little magic.

Diaper Boxes

Though buying disposable diapers in bulk saves you money, it does add an additional layer of packaging. You can add those cardboard boxes to your paper recycling; but a little glue and wrapping paper will let you create great-looking storage bins for the nursery or playroom to hold wayward toys, stuffed animals or books.

Diaper Pail

Though it may seem a long way away, your baby will one day learn how to use the potty and that diaper pail can go green with a new life as an indoor compost bin or even an extra bin for recyclable bottles and cans.

Baby Bottles

Although your baby may be too old to drink from a bottle, you can be sure your local animal shelter always has a few puppies or kittens on premises that need to be hand-nursed. (Animal shelters also take donations of old blankets and towels to help sick and recovering animals feel a bit more comfy.)

If you can’t think of a way to reuse other baby-related items, whether or not they’re recyclable, try donating to thrift shops or swapping with other parents through community organizations or online; and look for specialized programs like this baby food pouch upcycling campaign.

To enter to win a Coco Mat (retail $399) by Natural Mat, tell us about your recycling routines or comment on Honey’s tips in the comments box below. We’ll pick a winner on May 7.