And so it was with a great deal of anticipation that I dug through their first book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down to Earth Ways to Save Money and the Planet.
The main message of the book is simple: buy less, buy used, and buy items with the health of your child and the planet in mind.
Their advice covers the entire spectrum of new parents, from those who are not (yet) concerned about environmental impact to the tofu-eating, prius-driving, straw-bale-home-living greenies. Their recommendations are practical, proving that you don't have to be rich to afford raising baby green.
They give the financial run-down of their own preparing for baby purchases, comparing their own spending with both the national average and the ever-popular Baby Bargains. Together, they saved an average of 85% of what the average American spends on baby gear, and 75% of what the average baby bargain shopper would spend.
Their common-sense approach does away with big-box store baby registry must-haves, and instead focuses on baby's real necessities (page 24):
- a place for baby to sleep
- a way to feed baby
- a way to diaper baby
- a way to keep baby warm
- a way to care for baby's health and safety
My thoughts towards baby necessities were very similar leading up to Liam's birth. We chose to simplify things as much as possible, and I don't regret any of those decisions. In fact, he still has more than he needs, despite our best intentions to make-do with less.
I wish that I would have had this book before he was born almost exclusively for the fantastic chapters on cloth diapering. I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper, but I had no idea what this would look like on a practical level. My online research revealed a bewildering assortment of options, everything from pre-folds to A.I.O.'s (all-in-one diapers).
This book goes through all of the options available today, stressing that cloth-diapering today is not only just as easy as disposables, it's also even enjoyable. They list the pros and cons of the different diapering options as well as the cost factors, including the facts about energy usage and laundering supplies and what to do about smelly diaper issues. They also give the run-down on the "green" disposable diaper options. They even include diagrams of how to actually use pre-fold diapers in a cover without pins or snappis. I had to figure out a lot of this on my own. These chapter's alone make the book a must-read.
That, and the words of wisdom by yours truly on page 72...
All of that said, I think the book is great. It's a great resource to have on hand and to pass along to inquisitive friends. Crystal, this book is coming your way :-)
The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down to Earth Ways to Save Money and the Planet is available on Amazon.