7 tips to create an eco-friendly room for your baby

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If it’s time to decorate your nursery, how about opting for something that’s beneficial for your baby and the environment?

Did you know that the air indoors is up to three to five times more polluted than outside air, owing to harmful chemicals and other materials? And when you consider a baby’s immunity is still developing, and the amount of time they spend indoors, perhaps there’s a gentler way of equipping and cleaning our homes that’s better for our health – and the environment.

With the rise of “eco-awareness” and the consciousness of plastic consumption, green is becoming the new black, and we predict that this care of the environment will continue to move into our homes, and particularly baby nurseries.

If you’re looking to create a greener and less toxic space for you and your baby, just start, says Dr Romy Levy, a Johannesburg mother of five, and a homeopath, who along with her husband Avin, created SoPure, a range of chemical-free home and body products. Romy is committed to gentler cleaning and living spaces, and advises people not to be overwhelmed when making eco-friendly changes.

“If you’re starting out, try cutting out some chemical-laden products such as bleach and laundry detergent. Buying things like wooden toys, chemical-free paint and furniture that can be repurposed are significant and doable.”

“We think that small steps that are sustainable are more meaningful than trying to many changes that you can’t stick to,” says Romy. “If you’re starting out, try cutting out some chemical-laden products such as bleach and laundry detergent. Buying things like wooden toys, chemical-free paint and furniture that can be repurposed are significant and doable.”

Romy’s 7 tips for setting up an eco-friendly nursery:

1. Repurpose furniture

You might have an item of furniture gathering dust that with a lick of paint could make a good addition to your nursery. Or you might have a single sofa that could be used as a feeding chair, and it just needs re-upholstering (remember that lots of comfortable chairs can be used for feeding). You’ll save money this way, and there’ll be a “history” to your baby’s room.

2. Paint safely

Lots of paints contain harmful chemicals, the worst of which is volatile organic compounds (VOC), which has been linked to cancer. Before you paint the walls or furniture, check what’s in it and opt for a kinder variety with low- or zero VOCs.

3. Natural cot mattresses

Most of our time goes towards choosing a beautiful cot but the mattress is just as important. Ensure that your mattress doesn’t have plastic, fire retardants, vinyl, foam or other harmful substances. When choosing a mattress, look for one made with wool, cotton or other natural fibres.

4. Check the furniture

While most of us want the Pinterest-perfect nursery, we should be cautious about what’s in some of that pretty furniture. Formaldehyde is often found in cheaper furniture materials such as plywood, and it can cause allergic reactions, coughing, and eye, skin and nose irritations. Try to use solid wood such as maple, oak and pine, which doesn’t contain any formaldehyde.

5. Limit harsh cleaning products

Chemical-based cleaning products, including dishwashing liquid, washing powder and most fabric softeners can be harmful, and release toxins, putting us at risk of illness, allergies and disease. We’re not saying don’t clean, but rather use natural or plant-based cleaning products, which work just as well as traditional cleaners, but are far safer.

6. Go bare floored

While they might seem warm and cosy, carpets harbour allergens and dust mites, and synthetic carpets contain harmful toxins. If you can, choose a wooden, cork or natural linoleum floor. If you want to incorporate a rug, ensure it’s made from sustainable materials, is undyed, and easy to clean.

7. Buy better toys

Check that the toys you buy don’t contain harmful lead or BPA, which is a common plastic additive, as babies tend to put all toys in their mouth, A great option is wooden toys – they’re sustainable, durable and long-lasting, and timeless. Also look for toys that are battery-free, made from recycled plastic and wood, or organic cotton.

SoPure Laboratories is a Health and Wellness company that passionately researches, develops and manufactures high-performance disinfection, allergy prevention and cleaning products using the latest cutting-edge technology. Their products are pure enough for you to keep your whole family protected from germs and mosquitoes

Also read:

Tone down the nursery with monochrome
14 small, easy ways I’m being more environmentally active