the eco-nomical baby guide (and giveaway)

The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planetthe bloggers behind the green baby guide (joy hatch and rebecca kelley) just published their first book, the eco-nomical baby guide, and i was pleased to receive a copy for review.

this is not your average baby book.  its main purpose is to provide "down to earth ways for parents to save money and the planet."

as any new parent can attest, babies seem to require a lot of stuff.  expensive stuff.  stuff that's only used for a short time.

those perfect tiny baby feet can leave a staggering carbon footprint.

in the excitement of pregnancy, it can be easy to get carried along the consumerist current.  we all want our kids to have nice, safe things.

but must they always have new things?

this book is not a compilation of spendy, "green" must-haves.  after all, buying lots of stuff--even eco-friendly stuff--is not very green.  they challenge many of those items babies r us will tell you are necessities, and they provide plenty of ideas for finding deals on quality used baby gear.

they do offer listings of environmentally responsible companies offering things like organic mattresses, well-made toys, and cloth diapers in various price ranges, but the book leans more toward reuse, recycle, and DIY than "buy green."  they argue that saving money along the way may open up funds for a select few well-considered earth-friendly items for baby.

the authors compiled a wealth of great information on cloth diapers and disposables, including eco-friendlier brands, and it's a great place for moms to learn what kinds of options are out there and to unscramble the jargon.  after reading their suggestions, i've started using less water (and energy) to wash our diapers, and so far so good.

the chapter on baby food shows how the author saved hundreds making her own baby food--even using organic ingredients--and i know i'll be taking some of their advice with james before too long.

the eco-nomical baby guide is a great resource for any mom-to-be who is interested in simplicity and natural living--even just a little interested.  the authors aren't out scare you with toxins lurking around every corner or make a mama feel guilty.  it's helpful without being preachy, suggesting easy things anyone can do to protect the earth, provide for baby, and save money in the process.  what's not to love about that?

i'm giving away my copy to a lucky reader.  (US addresses only.)  just leave a comment telling me one change your family has made to take better care of the earth, with a way to get in touch.  want another entry?  follow my blog or subscribe, and leave another comment telling me you do.

you can also win copy of the book (and a bunch of other green baby goodies) over at the green baby guide.

good luck!  i'll choose a winner on monday march 8.

i received a book from the publishers but was not otherwise compensated for this review.


Amy from Occupation: Mommy said...

This sounds like an interesting read. I like that you pointed out that the authors are not out to impose more mommy-guilt. Because, really, there are some things I am interested in doing and other things are just not going to happen in our house.

As far as being more green, I try to buy more eco- and child-friendly cleaners, and use reusable bags when grocery shopping if I remember to put them back in the car. I also recently bought my big girls metal water bottles for their lunch boxes instead of sending them with plastic bottles every day. Baby steps, right?

Jenney said...

That sounds like a great book! I bought "Organic Baby" when Jack was born and it scared the daylights out of me. Plus, I really can't afford everything they thought I had to have.

Being green we...
*use cloth grocery bags
*cloth diaper
*use biodegradable cleaners
*no VOC paint
*use 90% hand-me-down clothes
*Sell and give away all of our used clothes

I'll have to check the book out at the library if I don't win!

Blogless A.R. said...

I'm excited about this book!

We're expecting our first little one in about a month and have been very fortunate to buy almost all of our furniture and baby gear used (and much was given to us). We're gearing up for cloth diapering, too, and I sewed my own burp cloths and baby wipes to save money over buying new.

As far as pre-baby greenness, we've started keeping rags near the kitchen so I don't have to use paper towels to clean up floor spills. We're also letting the "yellow mellow" to flush less often and Freecycling our used fixtures, hinges, windows, and random home renovation leftovers rather then tossing them out with the trash (side benefit--it makes other people happy!).

Kelly Miller said...

Well, I'm out of the baby phase, but we did use a glass bottle instead of plastics or disposables. That bottle is now holding paper flowers in Bella's room as a keepsake.

I have a friend who is newly pregnant and would love this book, so I hope I win!

Kelly Miller said...

And you know I'm a follower! :)

kricketts said...

I agree - sounds like a worthwhile read. I started using cloth diapers w/ my daughter when she turned 8 months old, and intend to use them with my newborn daughter through potty training. I am planning on making and using my own laundry detergent and am always interested in learning how to do things better, for our checkbook and our earth. : ) I want to be a good steward of what God has given me. We also recycle, grow our own veggies in the summer, and reuse plastic bags for grocery shopping.

pinkdaisyjane said...

I'm happy to read your review. I heard about this book earlier today, but I am even more excited to get my hands on a copy now that I know it's not just a "what and where to buy guide."

With our second baby, I am making more than half of our baby food from fresh and local produce and frozen foods. We're also sharing big, bulky plastic items with friends and consigning to keep our baby's cast-offs out of the dump.

pinkdaisyjane said...

I just started "following" your blog. I'd love another chance to win this book!

Blogless A.R. said...

I'm a follower!

Stephanie said...

As a graduate student expecting #1, I'm always on the lookout for frugal ideas. Its a bit overwhelming, with all the baby stuff out there, to truly know what is needed and what will just take up space and money. Just as important to us, what will keep our little ones carbon footprint as small as her precious little feet.

Being constantly exposed to chemicals at school (I'm a natural product chemist), we have really tired to make our home life as chemical free as possible. With the help of another book, A guide to green housekeeping by Christina Strutt, we now make almost all of our own cleaning supplies. We have also gone chemical free in the yard by using a great natural fertilizer by North Country. We even have the greenest lawn on the block! Every time I see that TruGreen truck spraying chemicals into the air at my neighbors house, I run around shut all the windows and get my dogs inside.

Alison said...

We have used cloth diapers on our two kiddos-HUGE saving!

alisonDblanchard at yahoo dot com

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