Reducing your baby’s CO2 Footprint
There’s a number of ways to reduce your baby’s carbon footprint before he ever starts making any decisions for himself. And thankfully, when you’re reducing your carbon footprint it’s also saving you a lot of money.
Breast Feeding over formula
It’s estimated that approximately 4,000 liters of water are required to produce EVERY kilogram of powdered infant milk. And there’s so many benefits of breast feeding, like
Nutrition- high in protein, low in sugar, and loaded with beneficial compounds;
Antibodies- helps your baby fight off viruses and bacteria;
Reducing childhood disease- https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/about-breastfeeding/why-it-matters.html
Not to mention all the mommy baby bonding that comes with it. Sometimes breastfeeding isn’t always possible, whether
The baby has an allergy to mommy’s milk,
The mom has a medical problem, or
The family support isn’t there.
But there are some wonderful programs in Aruba like Pro Lechi Mama (https://www.facebook.com/prolechimamaaruba/) where it’s a great community of caring mothers that help and support each other with breastfeeding problems and ideas as well as Wit-Gele-Kruis-Aruba (https://www.facebook.com/Wit-Gele-Kruis-Aruba-147505051958463) . Your footprint (as well as your child’s health and your wallet) will see a huge impact in this area.
Buy second hand
It’s your first child, you want everything perfect and brand new for that little ball of joy and hope that’s coming in the next few months. We get it. But the truth is, a lot of the clothes and baby equipment that you buy, will never get used or only see one or two uses. Babies grow SO fast. Ask any parents how many times they used an outfit for their babies. Very few of them see much wear, and with a lot of cute outfits coming in at 20+ fl each, that can take a large chuck of money for something they barely wear. And let’s face it, by the time a baby is 3 months, we usually keep them in just diapers anyways. Opt for at least a few second hand options, chances are they’re lightly used by the previous baby. And remember to send them on to other mommies or donate them to one of Aruba’s many thrift stores (https://arubazerowaste.com/buy-household-items/ ) when your baby outgrows them.
If you don’t know the cost of diapers in Aruba, you’re going to learn that a huge chunk of your money is going to be reserved for this. But there are other options. In older days, people used cloth diapers, which consisted of a piece of cloth and a safety pin that at some point ended up coming undone and stabbing the baby. Thankfully, technology has advanced greatly in this area. You can now buy cloth diapers that look more or less like a normal diaper, and use either snaps or velcro to hold it in place. Another great perk of these? A lot of times they grow WITH the baby, so you may only need to buy one type for the entire time your baby is in diapers. Although the initial investment can be a little high (between 60fl-400fl depending on if you’re getting new and used and how many), you’ll very quickly see the savings in this. Places to find them? Plastic Beach Party, Zero Waste Aruba, and Baby Palace.
This is another place where getting hand-me-downs and buying second hand helps a lot. Kids don’t need toys with lots of lights and sound to have fun. They absolutely love using their imagination with anything that’s around them. Don’t believe me? Try it. Give them a box and something crinkly and they absolutely love it. And you don’t even need the specialized crinkly blankets that you can buy online and in stores. I used old chip bags for my son. Just wash it out and cut it into a more manageable size. He loved those pieces from around 3 months until 9 months. Boxes are good at ANY age. When they’re learning to sit up, put them in a box. When they’re learning to crawl, walk and explore, set a box on the side for them to crawl into. When they get bigger, get a bigger box (think washer or appliance sizes and get ones from stores that throw them out) for them to make a house out of. I did this for some little girls that I watched, and gave them highlighters, markers and old bits of cloth to decorate with. The fun lasted 3 years. Use old formula can, coffee cans or anything metal (not sharp) and some wooden spoons and they can learn about sound and bang on drums. There’s a host of DIY toys out there for kids, and a lot of it can be done using recycled materials. Kids don’t even need you to figure something out, they’re little exploring geniuses on their own.
Neighborhood park vs Theme Park
Kids (especially when they’re under 5) don’t always need to go to Disneyland. They’re so happy just to get time with you, so don’t feel like you need to work and save really hard to take a 1 week vacation in another country to go to a theme park. There are a lot of playgrounds and beautiful things all around Aruba and if you’re there, it’s just as amazing to them as any other place. Some ideas can be Neptali Henriquez Park, Parke Curazon, Eagle Beach Playground, Dyon Center and Baby Beach.
Thanks for providing so many references on Aruba. With so much misinformation and past habits it’s good to know where to find help when trying to raise a child in a cultural positive place.