One of the best things you can do for your children is raising them to be environmentally friendly. By starting them off at a young age they are more likely to adopt the principles and values of sustainability and green living. However for new parents sometimes you don’t know where to begin. Here are 3 tips for new eco-parents.

Ready the nursery

Creating a safe haven for your little bundle of joy starts with the nursery. New baby furniture can sometimes give off vapors like formaldehyde, which can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and even cause allergic reactions in little ones. Formaldehyde is found in pressed wood products made with adhesives; pressed wood is often used to make cribs, dressers, and even toys. Try buying used baby furniture because the vapors will have already been given off, and to select natural flooring for the baby’s room. The environmentally-conscious writer also suggests buying organic bedding and using low-VOC paints.

Solve the diaper dilemma

On average Americans throw away about 18 billion diapers a year (that also equals 3.5 billion gallons of oil and about 250,000 trees that go into making the diapers). Worse, disposable diapers contain carcinogenic dioxins, dyes and other synthetic chemicals that can cause diaper rash and potentially harm your baby. There are greener solutions such as disposables (if cloth diapers are out of the question) from Seventh Generation, Tushies or Nature Babycare. Greener diapers are chemical free, fragrance free, and chlorine-free.

Better baby bottles

Your baby may be drinking the toxin bisphenol-A (BPA) along with your breast milk (if you pump) or baby formula. BPA has been proven to cause developmental and neurological problems if it leaches from plastic…and can be potentially harmful for babies. BornFree, a leader in environmentally-safe baby products, suggests BPA-free containers. Whatever you store, heat and prepare food in for children should be BPA-free. Just be sure to do your research before you purchase!