From The County Zero Waste Team:

Know someone expecting a baby? There are dozens of ways to welcome a new baby into the world while minimizing your impact on the planet.

Go second-hand. Give baby items another life by using them again! Many items can be washed and sanitized in the dishwasher or washing machine.

Websites like encorebabyregistry.com help you prepare for baby’s arrival by registering for previously used items. Many women have received all of their needed accessories (crib, stroller, high chair, clothes, etc.) second-hand!

Think “reduce & reuse.” Buy-nothing groups on Facebook or Nextdoor are a great way to get the things you need while helping others clear out no-longer-needed items.

Yard/Garage sales or their online counterparts (FB, other) are a thrifty and eco-friendly way to find clothes, toys, books, and other baby and child needs.

Ask! Many mothers are happy to “pay it forward” by lending or giving you items they don’t use anymore (maternity clothing, baby gear). Be sure to clarify if it is a loan or a gift, and return clean if borrowing.

You can rent maternity wear from several online shops including Rent the Runway, Mine for Nine, Le Tote, Motherhood Closet, and Borrow for your Bump.

BUY LESS! Baby doesn’t need 50 toys, baby needs 5. Your child will be happy with what s/he has, and you will be happier without the extra clutter. Block sets from when you were a child, stacking cups from a neighbor, a rubber ball, or a teddy bear: these are simple items that will become beloved over time. Prioritize wood over plastic.

Consider the impact of all that shipping (money, packaging, and gasoline) from giants like Amazon, Target & others. Aim to obtain locally.

Try having a Zoom baby shower! This will eliminate travel during a pandemic, not to mention expensive and carbon-heavy plane tickets. Send invitees an envelope with activities or an index card to send back to you with parenting advice or well wishes. If everyone is in the same town, purchase goodies from a local business and deliver to everyone so they all get a special treat (cupcake, cookie, etc.) like they would at a party.

Baby shower idea: instead of a card, ask for a children’s book with a dedication in it. You will use this book much more than the card, and it will be a special reminder of the person who gave it to your child.

Best wishes to you and your Green Baby from the Zero Waste Team!