Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Wow. Babies are virtual planet destroyers. With all the stuff that comes out of them and how little time new parents have in between feedings, burpings, diaper changes and laundry washing, it’s hard to sometimes think about being entirely green. But being a new mom and concerned about all the products and stuff that babies seem to consume, I thought I’d do a little posting on some of the things I’ve found to be helpful and are responsible choices.

You’ll also want to read this posting because there is a treat at the end of it!


This is probably the biggest concern area for many parents. I know it was for me. But in my research, I have come across some interesting measures that reduce environmental impacts.

Disposable Diapers
Yes, we use these unfortunately. The convenience of them is hard to beat but we try to choose disposables that are at least green in some regard and have chosen the President’s Choice Green Diaper. They’re more expensive than the regular diapers that are currently on the market, but we do like how well they work and the materials they are made out of. The PC Green Diaper is chlorine-free, fragrance-free and made out of wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. There are plastic components in the diaper, however the packaging states that they are looking into plant-based polymers instead of petroleum-based ones. Even though the diaper is made mostly out of renewable products, it still doesn’t mean that it breaks down in the landfill.

For a no nonsense review, you can go here to Northern Baby.

Cloth Diapers
And we use these as well when we are at home, which is the bulk of our time right now. When looking into cloth diapers before Finley was born, I stumbled across diaper services in Vancouver. What a novel idea……cloth diapering without having to deal with any mess! This was very exciting to me and we signed up immediately with Diapers Naturally, based out of Burnaby. They have a variety of services, it’s easy to order, the customer service is excellent and you can adjust your order at any time. We are currently using the contoured cloth diapers with 5 of  the Bummi’s diaper covers. I do find however that they leak quite a bit into the cover whenever Fin has a blowout. Diapers Naturally also gives a large pail with a deodorizing disk to their clients but I find this difficult to deal with as the smell from the pail is overwhelming midweek and even though you aren’t supposed to clean then perse, I have found that mold can develop fairly quickly, which could damage the cloth. Pick-up of dirty diapers occurs once a week at which time, new ones are dropped off on your door step as well. It’s a simple process and so far we have been quite pleased with it. And best of all, it’s cheaper than buying disposables!

Diaper Free Baby
Now this you might shake your head at or embrace as an incredible opportunity to get your babies out of diapers faster than you can blink. It’s called the diaperless baby, diaper free baby or elimination communication (EC) for those science-y types. I learned of this method from my husband a few years back who had a few friends in Winnipeg that had immense success with this.

The premise is this ~ as a parent, you may become aware of the moments that your child is going to the bathroom. There are particular cues from the baby that lets the caregiver know that it is passing a bowel movement or peeing into the diaper. At these moments, the caregiver makes a particular noise that the infant will learn to associate with the act of elimination to eventually be able to go potty on cue with that same noise. Apparently, babies are keenly aware of their elimination moments and don’t like to sit in their own waste. Would you? And this method also creates another way to be in tune with your baby’s body and reduces waste greatly.

The book I am reading is called The Diaper Free Baby written by Christine Gross-Loh. She explains the history of diaper free baby (namely other cultures that cannot afford the luxury of diapering) and the process to get to success. It is ridiculously simple. Caregivers can practice it consistently all day or part-time. Either way, the outcome will be a toilet trained child well before the age of 2 or 3.

I will be starting this practice as soon as Finley settles down a bit more. It’s difficult dealing with a colicky baby as it is. The great thing about EC is  that you can start it at any point ~ as early as 3 weeks to 2 years of age. And there is really nothing to loose by giving it a shot. Wouldn’t you want to toss out the diapers altogether sooner than later? I sure would….

A lot of these get used as well. Right now we are using the Teddy’s brand which is isn’t green but I have found a variety I would like to switch to from Broody Chick Natural Products. It’s an unscented, chlorine free and compostable, which is pretty neat. The price of these is twice as much compared to conventional wipes, but I think it will be worth it. Diapers Naturally also provides wipes that can be picked up once up a week with the diapers.

The Broody Chick also has a lot of other great looking products that are produced in Sidney on Vancouver Island.


When I started looking at all the things we would likely need for our new addition, I began to realize that a lot of things that are “needed” don’t have to be that fancy or expensive or are even necessary at all. Since I am all over the recycling of “stuff”, here are a number of resources to check out for the new little guy or gal in your life.

Love Craigslist. I love Craigslist so much, I will just hop on to see what’s out there for stuff I don’t even need. You can find anything here and this was where we bought our Chariot stroller for a very good price with a number of attachments (the jogger wheel, the stroller wheels and the bike attachment). Buying used from forums like this not only helps out the seller but could also help you out with items that are as good as new for a cheaper price.

I went to my first one at the Bonsor Community center in Burnaby a few weeks ago and was floored. A swapmeet is where parents who want to sell items they no longer need, rent a table at the venue and sell their goods. This particular one was gigantic with at least a hundred tables selling anything from baby clothes to toddler games. And it’s dirt cheap! This is an excellent place to stretch your bartering skills if you would like, but most of the items are so cheap anyways, there is no need to.

These are all the cute little shoes I got at the Bonsor Swapmeet. Cute, right?

Friends and Family
Chances are you’ve got quite a few parent friends in you life with babies at different stages. This is another great way to share items on the cheap. My good friend Emily has been wonderful in sharing her newborn clothing with me as well as some other items. My crib is borrowed from my cousin. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for an item if you know they might have something they aren’t using! Moms get it I have discovered and sharing things is pretty much a normal part of the process. Take advantage of this because those close to you really do want to help out!

Value Village
I think if I could choose a second home, Value Village would be it. I love shopping here for unique things and once in a while, you really do come across an amazing gem. Thrift store shopping is key for the little ones since they grow so fast and brand new clothing can start getting expensive.

Other Interesting Things

Natural Toys

Another forum I love is Etsy. I am all over supporting small cottage industry types of businesses that are not a part of the regular commercial sector. And one of those that I have found is Eco Tot Toys which are handmade wooden toys and teethers for your kids. Something I would like to try to do as Finley grows into a toddler is limit the amount of plastic items he plays with and opt for toys made out of more natural materials.

Some other sellers on Etsy that I like (and not necessarily wooden toys)…

Woman Woodworker’s Natural Wooden Toys
Floats Your Totes Ring Stackers
The Sewing Bee (felt food and stuffies)
Love Monkey (wooden disc memory game)
db by Design (matching memory game cards)


I like to read magazines because they are easy to get through in one sitting, especially nowadays. I never thought it would come to this, but I am finding myself reading “mommy” magazines for interest sake. I came across this new magazine called Urban Baby and Toddler at my Lactation Consultants office a few weeks ago and really enjoyed reading it. There are often green articles in it and adverts for local businesses.

The Treat!

Now I’ve waited until the end for this. I want all of you Mom (or Dad!) readers out there with 3-year-olds or younger in the Greater Vancouver area to tell me your green baby ideas or practices by commenting here and the one I like the best will receive a free hour-long baby portrait session! I’ll leave this open for a bit to get as many responses as possible. So drop me a comment on how you and your baby are going green!

What everyone says about newborns is true ~ you don’t get any sleep, your life is turned upside down and your heart melts every time you look at the little tyke’s face. I never really imagined myself with my own child and was never really sure I even wanted my own but now that I have one, I can’t imagine life without him.

Yes, the first week was hard and there is no way to prepare for having a newborn in the house. And I’m expecting a few more weeks like this too.

And so begins the barrage of photographs of my son, Finley. He’s a tricky model and we’re still figuring out the best way to take some posed photos of him while in a deep sleep. No real success on that yet.

Enjoy and Happy Easter weekend!

Another unseasonably warm winter day in Smithers means good times for a little out of doors family photoshoot. I have been talking and making arrangements with Kristie of Kristie Larsen Photography for a little while now to do a session trade ~ a set of outdoor family portraits for a studio maternity session for myself later next week. It’s really neat to be able to network with other photographers and always a privilege (and perhaps a little intimidating!) to shoot for each other. I had a great time meeting Kristie and her little family, even though the wee one was getting a bit cold and tired it seemed, but a trooper nonetheless. It’s tough work being cute like that for the camera!

I had been meaning to work on these for a very, very long time but when things get really busy, it’s easy to let photography for fun slide a bit. But now I’m getting to that to-do list (one of many!) and am happy to present them to my friend who has been patiently waiting since, oh….well, let’s just say a while.

These were taken in one of the most wonderful summer spots in Smithers, the hayfields en route to Malkow Lookout, a popular summer/winter trail minutes from town. Actually, I’m not entirely certain this particular field gets hayed, but others in the area do and where there are hayfields, there is Indian Paintbrush, tall grasses, weathered barn buildings and lots of beautiful light on a late sunny afternoon. Lisa is a photographer as well and it’s always a good time to get together with other folks in the business to practice some new skills or share ideas. She, her family and her business, however picked up and moved to Kamloops at the beginning of September (which made me very sad) where she is now forging ahead in a new location in a new year. She’s got some exciting things coming up this year and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in 2010! To check out her work, you can visit her website at Aspect Arts Photography.

Here are some photos of her zany kids and Schnauzer, Maia, as we played in the summer sun. And gives me hope that summer will come around again soon!

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