With recent news stories about lead-tainted toys from China, many parents are wondering if there's a more natural route to go when it comes to buying essentials for their children. "I think parents are especially conscious about being eco-friendly and being natural," says Hartshorn.
That's where organic toys come in. There are many companies that are now marketing lead-free, eco-friendly toys. One line, Sassy, "is made of hard wood that's covered with a water-based stain," says Harshorn. The line can be found at Babies "R" Us.
Another new trend is recycled diaper bags. The Fleurville company is now making some of their diaper bags from a fabric called "reruns". The fabric is made of recycled water bottles. "It feels like soft canvas... but it saves ten water bottles from the landfill," says Harshorn.
Baby clothes can be organic as well. "It's an easy, inexpensive way to go organic," says Harshorn. Gerber's classic onesie celebrates it's 25th anniversary this month, and the company recently introduced new organic onesies to the line as well. "They cost literally just a little bit more than a regular Gerber onesie," says Harshorn. They can be found at most major retailers.
Baby Soy makes another organic clothing alternative; its clothes are made from soybean fibers. "They're so cute... and really soft," says Hartshorn. You can find these clothing items by visiting the company's website, www.babysoyusa.com.
Even strollers are becoming environmentally friendly. Baby Planet is now doing a stroller recycling program. "If your Baby Planet stroller is in good shape, they will help connect you to a charity that you can donate to," says Hartshorn. If your stroller is too worn out to be re-used, you can send the stroller back to the company and they'll recycle the parts. "They're hoping that other companies will join them," says Hartshorn.
For more information on buying eco-friendly products, or to find other parenting advice, visit the American Baby website by clicking here.
By Erin Petrun