Creating a Healthy, Green Nursery: Back to the Basics Part II

Operations director Sherry Azimi recently went in depth about why new parents should create a healthy, green space for their little ones. Here, she expands and gives you a few tips on how to do that!

First: Love your baby’s sleep

I’m not a mother yet, but I am an older sister and have lots of friends with babies. You don’t need to be an expert to know that every parent’s ultimate dream is that their baby sleep, Sleep, SLEEP!  Sleep is good for babies and their parents. Newborns spend most of their time asleep or lying on their cribs and bassinets. Toddlers also sleep a lot. In fact, we adults also spend much of our time on our beds (forty-percent of our lives are spent on our beds, as any mattress seller will tell you).

We’ll be honest with you, not everything in your baby’s bed has to be organic for it to be safe, but it should be natural. This is why we never push customers towards organic bedding. As long as your kid’s bedding is made of 100% cotton (or other natural materials), is lighter in color (less harsh dying process) with no finishers, we think you have met the safety requirements.

But mattresses are a whole other story. We always tell customers that a healthy crib mattress is the most important immediate action you can take for creating a less toxic world for your baby. Most mattresses in the market are toxic because they are made of petrochemical based materials.  PVC is used to create water-proof layers and toxic flame retardants end up doing more harm than good.  Our non-toxic mattresses are made of natural latex, organic cotton and wool. Wool is a natural flame retardant. Organic mattresses can also be made of horsehair, coconut husk and other natural ingredients.

Second: Color that breathes non-toxic air

Painting your nursery with non-toxic paint is one of the cheapest, easiest steps to bring health to your child’s environment. The Green Painter offers the most affordable line of non-toxic paints, beating other paint stores in price and number of toxins.  Our prices are competitive with Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore and we offer a special “color mixology” service, featuring experts in color selection and matching.  Don’t forget to remove any old paint containing lead. Lead is extremely toxic!

Third: Clean right

A report conducted by the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, MA and published in the online Environmental Health Perspectives journal revealed chemicals linked to asthma and hormone disruption in 200 common household products.

There are two ways to avoid these chemicals when cleaning. One way is to do what our grandmothers did by using vinegar, soap, and water. Or if you are like most moms today, there are a lot of non-toxic and healthy cleaning product alternatives out there. We recommend Austin-based Branch Basics because it’s the closest thing to your grandmother’s mix. A powerful organic solvent that is made from the fatty acids of edible and seed-bearing plants, Branch Basics concentrate is extremely multi-purpose. The company offers directions on different measurements of water to mix with for different cleaning purposes. It is said to even be OK to use on your teeth!

Fourth: Clear the air

According to the EPA, indoor air is about 200% more polluted than outside air.  Babies will rest better, feel better and be healthier if they breathe clean air. We recommend Austin Air cleaners as our top choice.

Look for air cleaners with both HEPA and Carbon-Zeolite filters for best results.

Fifth: Purifying the water in the tub

After sleeping, children spend the rest of their time being washed and bathed. I still remember the tub parties I had with my friends, where my mom would fill up the tub with water, give us some toys and we would play for hours. Water is an essential part of the day and play for kids.

Whole house water filters can be expensive, but they are a long-term investment for your family that will benefit you well into the future. At New Living, we sell and install whole house water systems that are designed and made specifically for Houston’s water. In fact, we are currently working on introducing a new, affordable system to the market, which might just make having clean water in Houston an affordable luxury.

Sixth: Safe floors

Changing your floors can be an expensive project, but do consider various safe options such as marmoleum, hard wood, and cork. These days green experts recommend solid wood as the best alternative for the nursery. Be very careful with carpets as they can contain a lot of chemicals. For carpet or rugs, untreated wool can get in their mouths if it sheds, but it is nevertheless safe for babies to navigate on.

There is always more to add to the list, but we think these six steps cover the basics. We hope to continue to grow our product offerings and knowledge of what your needs are, so please share your feedback and ideas with us.

After writing this blog, I think I will dream of my grandmother tonight. She in fact never left the basics behind.

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