Since the advent of Earth Day in April 1970 and its spread to international recognition in 1990, the movement to go green has become much more than a trend—it’s an ever-increasing shift toward a more sustainable way of life. And as a caretaker of one of the newest additions to the population, you have the biggest reason for jumping on the bandwagon: You’re raising part of the next generation to call this place home.
Mothers and mothers-to-be are proving to be a definite driving force behind the crusade to go green. Every eco-friendly purchase you make for your baby, yourself or your home is a vote for environmental responsibility. As those votes increase, companies and corporations start to pay attention. Moms have more choices available to them now than ever before: organic, biodegradable, recycled, upcycled—you name it, you can find it.
So why are mamas going gaga for green? They’re doing it for their health, their kids and their planet.
Good for your health
Seeing that first grainy black and white ultrasound image can be a wake-up call. It changes your frame of mind from I’m pregnant to I’m having a baby in a single glimpse. And with that shift in thinking comes a realization: The choices you make will directly impact that tiny person. It alters the way many moms think about everything from the food they eat to the products they use to clean their sinks. “Being pregnant makes me much more aware of the things I’m putting into my body,” says Rebekah, mom of one in Decatur, Georgia. “It’s been eye-opening to see how high my standards have risen now that I’m in charge of nourishing someone other than just myself. I’m far less willing to compromise on what I know is best for us both.”
Good for your kids
It may be awhile before your baby appreciates it, but making earth-friendly choices from the get-go can instill a lifetime of green habits. Ryann, mom of one in Greenville, South Carolina, would have called herself eco-conscious long before her daughter Lohi was born, but recognizes how the transition to motherhood has further intensified her feelings on the matter. “I consider my most important job to be to keep my daughter safe and healthy, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than to stay aware of what we eat, buy and discard, and make sure that our choices in all those things are good both for us and the environment.”
Concerned moms are also making sure to adopt a deliberately earth-friendly parenting philosophy to ensure they teach their children about the importance of responsible stewardship of the earth. “I look forward to the day when Lohi can join me in tending our backyard vegetable garden. Digging in the dirt, picking the vegetables, and eating them together will be an enjoyable and easy way for me to show her the importance of taking care of the earth that takes care of us,” says Ryann.
Good for your planet
There are countless decisions to make once you learn about your little one on the way, and green moms-to-be are finding all kinds of ways to consider the planet as they prepare to bring home their baby. “I decided to breastfeed my daughter exclusively until she was 6 months old, avoiding the environmental impact of formula production and packaging waste, and used a hand-me-down activity bouncer when she was a little older, waving the environmental cost of producing and disposing of a giant hunk of plastic,” says Rachel, mom of one in Davis, California. “I also chose to use biodegradable hybrid diapers instead of disposables because they can be flushed down the toilet. It was a green choice, sure, but also kind of a no-brainer. There’s no trash produced for the landfill and also no smelly diaper pail—a win for the planet and a definite win for me!”
The choices moms are making are helping companies see that there is a way to be savvy with their advances in sustainability. Products and policies are evolving to meet demand, and the demand is clear: Today’s moms want lots of love for Mother Earth.