When you're outfitting a new nursery, certain choices can effect the health of your baby's environment, even if that impact is relatively small. Decisions like whether or not to use no-VOC paint and the type of cleaning supplies you use add up. By being smart about what you buy, you can start your child off in a space that's a little safer and healthier.
Imorove Your Indoor Air Quality
Small things you can do to keep the air quality high in your baby's room include using an air purifier with a HEPA filter, decorating with low or no-VOC paints, and using green cleaning supplies.
Allergy Buyer's Club
This online catalog carries a big selection of air and water filters, as well as allergy-proof bedding. The Austin Air Baby's Breath Air Purifier ($340) has a HEPA filter and a reasonable price point. For tips on finding the best air purifier for your needs, see this post.
Conventional paints can off-gas, releasing potentially harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) over time. Benjamin Moore carries two types of green paints available in most of their color palettes: the Aura (low-VOC) and Natura, a no-VOC paint that's "virtually odorless."
This chain store is a good resource for green cleaners, as well paints and air filters. They have an in-house line of affordable basic cleaners and a broad range of hypo-allergenic cleaning supplies. For other green cleaning supply sources, click here.
Organic Bedding and Mattresses
Since clothing and bedding comes into constant contact with your baby's skin, it's a good idea to shop for organic and pesticide-free textiles.
The Ultimate Green Store
This online general store carries a whole range of products for kids, from air filters to cribs, but their most extensive nursery dept is their organic bedding. Shown left is the 24/7 Organic Cotton Receiving Blanket for $28.95.
This company sells organic mattresses for babies, kids, and adults. They also carry baby bedding, clothes, and toys. Their products are certified organic and have a few different third-party certifications, which you can check on their site.
This Portland store specializes in cloth diapers, organic bedding, cleaning products, and all the basics you need to stock a nursery. They've been in business for 20 years, and they market themselves as "one of the original cloth diaper companies."
California-based Amenity has a popular line of organic baby bedding and wall decor that's printed with water-based, non-toxic inks and dyes. Graphic designers Nicole Chiala and Kristina de Corpo created a line of animal and forest prints just for nurseries.
Nontoxic, FSC-Certified, and Recycled Furniture
There are many different approaches to buying green when it comes to nursery furniture. When you buy new, look for sustainably harvested, FSC-certified woods and nontoxic foams. Buying used can also be green, since it cuts down on the waste cycle.
Run by husband and wife team Ralph and Michelle Montemurro, this company is aggressive about sustainable design for children. They use FSC-certified hardwoods, CFC-free and PBDE-free foam, and formaldehyde-free glues. Shown left is the Luca Glider, $995.
Based in New York, this modern green store has an extensive selection of nursery furniture. Founder Josh Dorfman also hosts The Lazy Environmentalist, a nationally broadcast radio and TV show. Their Oeuf Crib ($890) is made from recovered wood fiber MDF with nontoxic finishes.
Thrift stores are an effective way to reuse furniture and accessories, but exercise caution when buying an older crib, since it may not meet modern safety standards. Goodwill is a staple for thrift store shoppers, and they now have an online site where you can shop without having to leave home.