A “Green” Beginning: Setting up the Affordable Nursery
by Amy Lignor
As all of us know, or at least 99.9% of us, setting up a nursery for the baby on the way can become beyond expensive. It gets even pricier when deciding on how to put together an ecologically-sound nursery that will not only be perfect for the baby as far as décor as concerned, but also perfect for the parents as they try not to break the bank.
When it comes to being “green,” a baby nursery requires everything from flooring to paint to furniture. To begin, if renting a property or having a home that needs to have floors cleaned and repaired, there are many stores and places on the Internet where you can buy recycled flooring, such as flooring made of bamboo that is not only strong but durable. This type of flooring lasts for a good, long time so the baby can grow and play on it without worrying about toxic chemicals. Recycled plastics are being used to produce carpets as well as throw rugs for the nursery nowadays, and any of those purchases will help save the planet.
When it comes to furniture, tag sales and garage sales are some of the best places to search for products and décor for the nursery. If needing or desiring new products for the baby, however, the crib should be thought about first. The newest cribs that are “green” come in four-in-one designs. Example: There are cribs that are functional and stylish that can transform from a baby’s crib to a daybed to a toddler bed to a full-size bed as the kid grows older. And inside that crib you will want to invest in a non-toxic, organic crib mattress. These mattresses are necessary for babies seeing as that their skin is extra sensitive to chemicals, and the need for a waterproof mattress is necessary.
Swaddle blankets, colorful, hand-braided throws that are machine washable, as well as the trusty baby rocking chair, are things all nursery’s should have. There are rockers that can literally be tripped over at tag sales – some are even antique pieces that can be brought back to life by a true craftsman’s hand. Second-hand furniture, such as those tag-sale treasures, are perfect when dealing with a low-budget. And before believing that these items are not “green” because of their age, you must remember that toxins leach out of wood as pieces age. So in addition to the rocking chair that can be resurrected, natural wood highchairs can be re-finished to become family heirlooms.
Choosing to paint the room is the easiest way to clean it up for the baby. There are companies that create completely non-toxic paints that are free of volatile organic compounds. It is important to paint the nursery at least two months before your due date, which allows ample time for any fumes to subside before bringing the blessed baby home. To make certain that the baby breathes only pure, clean air, investing in an air purifier is also a good buy.
Need a toy box? This is one item, like a crib mobile, that you can make on your own. Using eco-friendly rubberwood, formaldehyde glue and finishing up with non-toxic paint, you can give your child something unique and perfectly “green,” at a low cost.
When it comes to storage space for all the clothes, toys, etc., having open bookcases in the nursery is better than burying things in closets, because the things you need will always be easy to reach. Just like other items listed, “green” bookcases are easily created from pine found at the local lumber store.
The one thing that should always be purchased new, that cannot be created by a craftsman’s hand, is the car seat. There are too many things that could have occurred with a car seat, so when you see these particular items at a tag sale, think again. With car seats, there can always be hidden damage. So always get a new car seat, take it out of the box to release any fumes and let it sit in a garage for a couple of days before using.
These are just some helpful hints when it comes to bringing that child home and starting him/her out in a “green” world that is healthy and safe…without having to break the bank.