Your pregnancy may be a time of immense excitement and anticipation for you and your family. From gathering all the supplies for your little one’s arrival to decorating a nursery, it is truly a memorable experience.
However, with the growing awareness about the environment and the need to conserve it, many expecting mothers wish to opt for an eco-friendly pregnancy. It could involve reducing wastage, decreasing resource consumption, recycling, and much more.
If you are a mother-to-be who wishes to help the environment but doesn’t know where to start from? Worry not! Let’s explore some effective ways you can have an eco-friendly pregnancy.
How Pregnancy Can Negatively Impact the Environment?
Increased Resource Consumption: During your pregnancy, you may have to consume resources and products more frequently than you would normally do. Buying and consuming them ultimately contributes to the depletion of natural resources and adverse effects like pollution and increased carbon footprint.
Waste Generation: Along with increased resource consumption, the wastage may also increase. As most products do not come in biodegradable or sustainable packaging and materials, they end up being dumped in landfills, thus adding to land pollution.
Medical and Healthcare Waste: Pregnancies also lead to increased medical waste. An expectant mother may need to visit the doctor frequently for checkups and tests such as blood sampling. The medical waste produced by hospitals may take years to decompose in landfills.
Energy Consumption: Your energy consumption may also vary during pregnancy and after childbirth. It may include heating or cooling appliances, more clothes for washing, and any other electronic devices.
Transportation Emissions: Vehicles are a top reason for pollution. Going for frequent appointments at healthcare centers or hospitals may lead to an increased carbon footprint in the form of air pollution. It is especially true if the trip is a long-distance one.
Consumerism and Overconsumption: The consumer market for pregnancy and baby-related products is vast. Most of these marketed products are not sustainable and take up a lot of resources for manufacturing, and also lead to overconsumption. It ultimately puts an additional burden on the environment.
Going for Organic Items
Taking care of your body is essential in routine life, but it becomes even more important during your pregnancy time. You might be used to commercial-based products (which are full of chemicals). However, choosing organic and toxin-free products can really make a huge difference in your well-being. Search for organic products like natural skincare items that will be both safe for you and the baby.
Adopting a Plant-Based Diet
You may not know this, but meat production and consumption puts a rise to the greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane. Not to forget, the steroids added can adversely affect you and your baby’s health. A diet that is more plant-based (rich in fruits and vegetables with low meat intake) is much safer and healthier. It provides your body with essential nutrients that are needed during pregnancy and even after giving birth.
Eco-Friendly Reusable Products
Most of the items that we use on a daily basis are disposable and may be used one time only. These items end up filling the already overflowing landfills and are usually not biodegradable. However, by making smart and conscious choices as a mother-to-be, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Examples include using washable wipes and reusable nursing pads.
Building a Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Nursery
Designing a nursery is a fun task where you can let your creativity shine. You can thus set an example and create a space that is safe for your baby as well as the environment. With the immense options available in the market, you will be able to find the best eco-friendly nursery items including sustainable furniture, friendly nursery items, green toys, non-toxic paint, etc. It may only require a little more effort on your part.
Reducing Energy Consumption When Pregnant
While you are trying to save the environment, it is essential to minimize your use of energy resources like electricity. A simple way to go about this is to ensure that you switch off any lights and appliances when you exit a room. Make sure you let ample sunlight in your space during the daytime and use as few artificial lights as possible. Additionally, consider opting for more energy-efficient lighting in your house, such as LED lights that reduce up to 75% of energy consumption.
As talked about earlier, transportation leads to very high levels of carbon emissions. So every time you use your own personal car to go anywhere, whether to see your doctor or for baby shopping, you are adding to the problem. The same goes for your regular life outside of pregnancy.
Consider opting for alternative options like public transport and carpooling, or even a hybrid vehicle if you can. Walking to nearby places is also a great way to reduce the negative impact on the environment and also stay active during pregnancy.
Supporting Sustainable and Ethical Brands During Your Pregnancy
While shopping for your maternity things and baby products, make sure you check the brands and labels. Only consider companies that are manufacturing their goods in a sustainable and ethical way. Brands with certifications such as B Corporation and Global Organic Textile Standard ensure that the products do not harm the environment. Supporting eco-friendly and ethical brands is a great way to bring about a change in the community.
Being eco-conscious, you not only have to be mindful of what you are purchasing but also how you are using it and disposing of it. It also involves only buying items that you really need to reduce unnecessary consumption and wastage.
Alternatively, you can also consider going thrift shopping or borrowing items that you temporarily need from a friend or family member. It will be cheaper and less harmful to the environment, contributing to your eco-friendly pregnancy. Recycle, reuse, and resell (or donate) your things so that they can be helpful to the environment and society.