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Archive for the ‘Babies’ Category

With this great spring weather we’ve been having here in the frozen north, it was time to get the bikes back out and try to get back to leaving the car at home for short trips.

Yesterday was sunny, warm and all the streets were clear for a quick six-minute trip to one kids’ preschool. It was so nice to be back out on the bike with a baby who actually likes riding in the back (unlike last summer with the non-stop screaming.)

I was happy to see that the city of Montreal estimates that leaving your bike at home one day a week instead of commuting to work will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by 232kg per year.  You can read more here.

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breastfeeding.gif

As I was breastfeeding my toddler for what felt like the umpteenth time yesterday, I started to try to think about the postive aspects of nursing forever and ever amen. This is what I am going to try to focus on instead of trying to figure out why this baby just does not want to be weaned. (Her favourite thing seems to be chanting “na na na na” while trying to jump onto my chest from the floor.)

Here are five reasons breastfeeding is good for the planet:

1. It produces no garbage.

2. It doesn’t have to be shipped from a factory, burning fossil fuels and creating greenhouse gases.

3. It doesn’t require the production of bottles, bottle liners, nipples, or formula containers.

4. Breast milk is a renewable resource.

5. It requires no energy (except for what the mother’s body uses to make all that milk, but hey all those calories burned by breastfeeding help that pregnancy weight come off!)

I feel like I’ve been nursing a baby forever — well, for a good part of the last eight years anyway. Since my first baby was born, I’ve noticed that more and more women breastfeed, and they do it publicly without having to drape themselves in sheets and blankets to hide what they’re doing. Although my hairdresser still tries to get me to go into a different room to nurse the baby if she wants a snack while I’m getting a haircut. It seems some of the older customers aren’t so into breastfeeding in public.

This week, a Montreal neighborhood began handing out stickers to local businesses that welcome breastfeeding mothers. I hope that means an end to places that expect women to nurse their babies in the bathroom. How gross is that?

You can read more about the new stickers — like the image you see above — in a story from La Presse here.

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This story by my colleague Michelle Lalonde at the Montreal Gazette had me rounding up our plastic sippy cups and the kids’ drinking cups and checking their bottoms for the right recycling symbols – if it has a 7 inside that little triangle, there’s a good chance they contain the dangerous chemical bisphenol A.

Here’s what Environmental Defence had to say this week about its new research on baby bottles and bisphenol A:

A new study by Environmental Defence shows that a harmful chemical, bisphenol A, leaches from popular brands of plastic baby bottles found on Canadian store shelves. Bisphenol A, is a known hormone disruptor and is associated with adverse health effects, including breast and prostate cancer, early puberty in girls, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and obesity.

From Toxic Nation, here’s a list of safe plastic baby bottle alternatives.

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It’s the first day of the year, fresh with possibilities.

I’m reading a book called Raising Your Baby Green, and liked this line from the introduction: “Raising your baby green doesn’t require a revolution in your lifestyle or creature comforts. Do as much or as little as you want.”

Doing something greener seems to be on the mind of many Canadians this year. According to a poll conducted in the week before Christmas, being more environmentally conscious is the top New Year’s resolution for many Canadians, beating out exercise, paying off debts and swearing off red meat.

Here’s what the Environics poll found:

Top Ten 2008 New Year’s Resolutions

Environmental protection tops list of New Year’s resolutions for 2008, VoxPop poll finds
Toronto, December 31, 2007 –  You say you want a resolution? When it comes to personal New Year’s vows for 2008, Canadians are throwing self-centeredness overboard and resolving to take action on what they care about most – protecting the environment, healthier lifestyles and strong relationships.

Among the 34 percent of Canadians who have made New Year’s resolutions, more than seven in 10 (73%) have resolved to be more environmentally conscious in 2008. And a clear majority have vowed to pursue healthier lifestyles involving regular exercise, better diet and less reliance on their cars.  Those findings come from to a national poll from VoxPop, a campaign by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) to give voice to Canadians and encourage participation in opinion research. The MRIA governs and represents Canada’s survey research industry.

“The emergence of environmental protection as the dominant New Year’s resolution for 2008 speaks to how deeply concerned Canadians have become about the environment,” says VoxPop spokesperson, Brendan Wycks, Executive Director of MRIA. “In particular, people seem to have bought into the idea that direct, personal action can make a difference in protecting the planet for future generations.”

Not far behind Canadians’ resolve to be more environmentally responsible is a self-improvement focus on lifestyle and relationship issues. Nationally, seven of the top 10 resolutions, including the top three, involve protecting the environment, activities designed to improve physical fitness or taking steps to strengthen relationships. Other Top 10 priorities were building net worth, reducing debt and saving money.

Did your New Year’s Resolutions make VoxPop’s Top 10 list? Here is the ranking

1. I will be more environmentally conscious in my purchase and resource usage decisions

2. I will exercise regularly to improve my physical fitness

3. I will drive less and walk and cycle more

4. I will save significantly more money by reducing my spending on non-essentials

5. I will focus on paying down credit card debt

6. My resolution is to significantly improve my net worth

7. I will pay more attention to my friends, so they know they are valued

8. I will eat less red and processed meats and more fish and vegetables

9. I will be more sensitive and caring towards my partner

10. I will try to be significantly more focused on helping others

(more…)

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