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Eco Etiquette: 10 Surprising Tips for a Green Pregnancy (PHOTOS)

Posted: 08/18/10 10:24 AM ET

Send all your eco-inquiries to Jennifer Grayson at eco.etiquette@gmail.com. Questions may be edited for length and clarity.

No one would accuse me of being a tree hugger. I drive an SUV, love shopping, and have never stepped foot inside a Whole Foods Market. But I just found out I'm pregnant, and I'm thinking now might be a good time to adopt healthier habits for the baby, like eating organic food. What else can I do to have a green pregnancy?

-Maggie

The whole notion of a "green pregnancy" may seem oxymoronic to the hard-core tree huggers among us: My most eco-minded friends would quip that the greenest way to have a pregnancy is to not have one at all (I've previously touched on the topic of population control and the environment).

But here's the truth of the matter: Although bringing new life into the world adds considerably to one's carbon footprint, it can also be a wonderful introduction to eco issues. For one, there's the compulsory existential question, How can I make the world a better place for my children? that may prompt us to set a better example (Maybe I should recycle this bottle instead of throwing it out the car window).

There's also the issue of health and the environment. As you've discovered, pregnancy may be the first time some women take a good look at what they're actually putting into their bodies. (That fast-food burger isn't a tasty treat; it's a conglomeration of hormone-filled meat and genetically modified corn fillers streaming directly into the placenta of an unborn child.)

Scary, I know. So let me offer my most heartfelt congratulations -- not only for your happily anticipated event, but for considering lifestyle changes that will be healthy for both baby and planet. Since I've made going green during pregnancy a personal pet project for the past nine months (my first child is due in seven days), I'm excited to share with you some of the helpful tips I've discovered.

Learn to cook.
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Organic is important (read this: pesticides and ADHD in children), but even more essential is to eat real food, a la Michael Pollan. Packaged, processed foods are not only unhealthy for your unborn child; they also take a ton of energy to produce and send unnecessary waste to our landfills.
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Got green pregnancy and parenting questions you're just aching to ask? Miss Eco Etiquette will be back soon with the answers to those and other urgent eco inquiries.

 

Follow Jennifer Grayson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jennigrayson