12 New Tips For A "Green" Nursery

Vida Interiors

As a decorator, one of the first things I focus on when planning the spaces of clients' homes is health and safety in the quality of materials, air and light used. And well, I am currently living front and center of a baby making factory we'll call my social circle. My friends and family are just sneezing babies out one after another, so this topic is important to me. Haha, but it is Blanche! It is!

In doing research for my own personal detoxifying efforts, I found this clip by the awesome Dr. Sanjay Gupta that talks about detoxing the home which fit the bill for my rant today!

So what does being "green" mean? To put it simply, it is a way to create a healthy & safe environment that is as close to pure as possible by using organic (made free of toxic chemical) and natural materials. I went to a Green your Nursery workshop many moons ago at the Green Depot on Bowery (in NYC) and they were detailing a nursery... kinda important when you're bringing a fresh lil pair of lungs into this world. Wouldn't you agree? Apparently as New Yorkers (and I bet every metropolis in existence), we are living in an environment where our indoor air is more polluted than our outdoor air because of clutter and the toxicity built into all this "stuff", as well as poor ventilation throughout our homes.

Anywho, I found it very insightful!! So here are some of the key notes I took and some research I thought I'd share with you all, new Moms and Dads, those who are expecting, or just planting seeds of expectation!

Red Flag List:

FORMALDEHYDE is found in many products used every day around the house, such as antiseptics, medicines, cosmetics, dish-washing liquids, fabric softeners, shoe-care agents, carpet cleaners, glues and adhesives, lacquers, paper, plastics, and some types of wood products.

VOC's= Volatile Organic Compounds found in paints and can cause respiratory issues. Look for 0% VOCs in crib purchases, carpet glue, and when painting your walls. For more on VOCs

SYNTHETIC FIBERS in blankets, clothing, carpets, toys, etc. are made with properties that won't allow your baby's skin to breathe properly! Look for Biodegradable and Sustainable fibers- it involves completely renewable chemicals in its production and non-fossil-fuel-derived energy in the production processes.
* Although I wouldn't exactly go putting a JUTE area rug in a nursery:}

PBDE - chemicals used as a flame retardant found in textiles, plastics, furnishings, cars, etc. The use of PBDE has been outlawed in CALI and some countries in Europe because they are considered an endocrine disruptor aka hormone disruptor. Read more HERE!

BPA- potentially harmful and smelly chemicals used in plastic to make tupperware, baby bottles, showerliners, etc...*Try to go BPA free! or just buy GLASSware>>they lasts longer so that if you must microwave, BPA chemicals won't seep into your baby's food or drink!

12 Quick Tips:

-Try to prep your nursery at least 2 months before you're due. That's enough time for things to be dry and cured and aired out.(ok that's not really a tip, just an obvious yet underestimated nugget of wisdom I bestow upon you!)

-Take your shoes off when entering your home or the nursery. Dragging in residue from car exhaust and other gunk outside can pollute your indoor air and carpets.

-Use locally produced paint with NO VOCs. (Volatile Organic Compounds*)

- If you're putting in new flooring, use natural materials like bamboo or if you prefer wall to wall carpet> modular flooring is SMARTER so that when you've had enough spills in one area, these carpet tiles can be easily, less expensively, and less wastefully replaced. Check out the BUYER'S GUIDE TO GREEN FLOOR MATERIALS.

- When purchasing a crib, make sure there are no chemicals mentioned above in producing them. They spend most hours here. You don't want your child knawing on toxic woods. And make sure you get a toxic free mattress and mattress cover! Bamboo or cotton sheets.

- To reduce allergens, keep pets out of the nursery in the beginning until the child's immunity is strong enough to experiment with!! Also, clean your AC filters, invest in an air purifier, and try to designate a room with a window for your nursery.

- Don't dry clean baby blankets. Those machines use harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, etc. that don't just dissipate, they spread onto other materials and what not!

- It's not necessary to use cosmetics on your baby. Slathering lotion on their thin and perfectly moist skin is counterintuitive. If they have a rash, using organic olive oil solves the problem. Also, perfume is a hormone disruptor** found in lotions and wipes. Do your research on organic baby wipes.

- Use air purifying plants throughout your home. Plants are inexpensive, decorative, relaxing and completely beneficial to the air quality in your home. My three favorite plants for this are the Ficus Alli, Peace Lilly and the Raphis Palm! They are a nice size for a nursery and are super low maintenance.

- Switch out your cleaning products and use natural solvents in the nursery ** this is a no brainer.

- If you keep your nursery clutter-free of useless toys and "stuff" for the first 6 months you'll be better able to invest in these natural alternatives for your child's good health and development.

- And last but not least...When you purchase green products in the stores, ALWAYS ASK: What makes this GREEN?? Since the GREEN effort is still fairly new and booming in the market, the term is open to interpretation and sadly there are some bogus claims to green production. ASK ASK ASK until you are satisfied!

Wow, and thats all she wrote...for now:)

By now you must all know that I am an interior decorator... and I'm beginning to paint nursery murals now using 100% VOC free paint! Please feel free to contact me with any inquiries or requests:)

CHEERS~ to all you amazing Moms and Dads and future parents! I also hope to make an amazing mommy someday...

Lots of love and harmony,