Parents use environmentally friendly, money-saving methods

By Heather Meade hmeade@civitasmedia.com

March 4, 2014

DARKE COUNTY – Parents today are using environmentally friendly, cost-saving methods of raising children, including cloth diapering, breast feeding, clean eating and chemical-free cleaning.

According to a 2010 survey by the Organic Trade Association, the sale of organic products nearly tripled from 2002. An article on WebMD.com stated that “there’s no right or wrong answer for raising children in an earth-friendly manner,” so The Daily Advocate asked some parents what their thoughts were on the topic.

Some parents are making decisions based on what’s good for the environment, others are doing what’s good for the family budget, and it turns out, “green is good.”

Lerin Troutwine, a Darke County mother of four, said that she uses cloth diapers for her youngest, Sarah.

“We cloth diaper. For us, it wasn’t just about being environmentally friendly, but also economically friendly on our budget,” Troutwine said. “Sarah is only four months old, and we have already saved so much money.”

Other moms said they breastfed for economic and health reasons. Amy Ash said she breastfed for as long as she could with her little one, and even though it was only three months, she felt it was definitely worth it.

“It just felt like the right thing to do, and it helped not having to buy formula for a little while,” she said.

Samantha Hill, mother of 2-year-old Aurora, said she breastfed her daughter because she wanted to know she was getting the vitamins and antibodies she needed.

“I actually had a lot of difficulty with it [breastfeeding] in the hospital so I was unsure if I’d be able to continue,” Hill stated. “Breastfeeding was a love it and hate it thing. Painful, annoying, exhausting, but also healthy for us both, calming for me and an easy way to keep her from crying all the time. I nursed her for 21 months. She never even had a taste of formula. I guess cost played a big part into breastfeeding too. I would never have been able to afford the cost of formula.”

Hill went on to explain that, for more than just cost reasons, she made her own baby wipes out of paper towels, water, baby oil and hypoallergenic soap.

“I began making my own wipes when she was a baby after she broke out in really bad diaper rash often…we found her to be allergic to all baby wipes, even natural,” Hill said. “Instead I cut a roll of paper towels in half and mixed warm water, baby oil and hypoallergenic baby wash together and added the towels to it and voila, cheap, homemade hypoallergenic baby wipes!”

Along with that, Hill said she made her own baby food to save money, but also to be sure that she knew what was going into Aurora’s tummy. Another local mother, Cassi Rehmert, said she also makes homemade baby food for her 7-month-old daughter.

“I know who made it, and it’s not watered down, and is packed with nutrition, unlike jar baby foods,” Rehmert explained. “I don’t like the idea of chemicals, hormone-enhanced GMOs, processed or preserved foods. I make my own spaghetti sauces and mayo. The best part of doing all this is I know I’m not adding sugar or salts to our foods. Yes things like this are not convenient but I make them convenient for myself.”

Rehmert said she changed her family’s eating habits after finding out her son had definite signs of diabetes.

“I was scared and did diet re-haul on our household. I threw everything away, from canned foods packed with sodium to boxed convenience meals with preservatives,” Rehmert said. “People don’t realize what they’re putting into their children’s bodies. When I started Advocare I became educated about these issues. Now, I can’t keep veggies or fruits away from my family! Most of America is living off of convenience when they should be looking at what convenience costs…money and our health. Our bodies are a temple, we should honor it with putting good nutrition in instead of cancer, pesticides and hormones.”

Being a “green” parent can be challenging though, Hill explained.

“One thing negative about trying to be a semi ‘green’ parent is that I was terrified to take medicine when I was breastfeeding. I had bad postpartum depression and was not treated properly because I was terrified what the antidepressant could do to Aurora. It turned into full out depression and anxiety and I finally went to doctor, ironically on her one year birthday,” Hill said. “I was medicated and began feeling better than I had in my life. I kept kicking myself for not taking care of myself sooner all because I was worried of the affects on pills on Aurora. Which is still valid, but as I’m learning now as Aurora is 2 and a half, that I missed out on so much by not being happy and taking care of myself. I started the medicine after she started nursing less frequently. Sometimes you can’t be 100 percent clean.”

For more ideas on ways to parent that are good for the environment, good for the children, and good for the wallet, visit www.pinterest.com/dailyadvocate/ and look for the ‘Green’ Parenting board.