Life in the Green Lane

Environmental journalist Candice Batista shares video clips and eco-savvy advice from her TV show, A Greener Toronto.

Moms and dads listen up, it's time for the ABC's on greening your nursery. First, diaper duty...did you know one baby uses approximately 6,000 diapers before potty training and to make matters even worse, petroleum-based disposable diapers take between 200-500 years to decompose. Cloth diapers are a better alternative, but aren't easy on the environment either, overuse of water, energy and chemicals are one thing, not to mention the time factor for you. Luckily, today there are biodegradable alternatives, you can wash the outer shell and flush the lining, which is plastic free and breaks down in less than 3 months, and the best news is, you can compost these as well. Pick them up at the Big Carrot Natural Food Market. Feeding time is the most important time of the day. Throw out your plastic bottles altogether and go for glass. Conventional baby bottles contain bisphenol A, a harmful chemical that has been linked to a variety of serious health problems. In fact, Canada recently became the first jurisdiction in the world to consider designating the chemical as hazardous to human health and the environment. When it comes to the food, go organic, you'll want to reduce your babies exposure to harmful pesticides and genetically modified foods as much as possible. The same principle applies to your baby's clothes, organic cotton and bamboo are excellent choices as they are produced using sustainable methods. The best choice for duds though is the hand me down. For bath time avoid products that contain phthalates, parabens and sodium laurel sulphates, these ingredients have been linked to developmental disorders and cancer. Most health food stores carry natural alternatives. If you have a baby you know everything goes into their mouths, so avoid plastic toys, they usually contain toxic chemicals. Go for solid wood toys from HABA, organic cotton ones work well too. Baby on the Hip on Queen Street East has some of the best eco baby choices in the city, and Kol Kid on Queen West will also help ensure you start off your childrens' lives green and healthy. Image courtesy istockphoto.com/jaroon