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      Buying Organic:

      Top 20 fruits and veggies (based on pesticide content)

      Peaches
      Apples
      Sweet bell peppers
      Celery
      Nectarines
      Strawberries
      Cherries
      Lettuce
      Grapes (imported or domestic)
      Pears
      Spinach
      Potatoes
      Carrots
      Green beans
      Hot peppers
      Cucumbers
      Raspberries
      Plums

      Essentials for a Green Baby

      In case you haven't noticed, green is the new pink. And the new blue. We're seeing more and more great stuff for babies and toddlers that's healthier for them and for the world they're growing up in. If your goal is to bring your child up as chemical- and toxin-free as you can, and to protect the environment to boot, here are some green essentials to choose from.

      CLOTH DIAPERS
      Opt for cloth diapers and you'll avoid contributing to the mountains of slow-to-degrade disposables that are piling up in landfills. (You should know, however, that the energy needed to wash and dry cloth diapers cancels out this environmental plus, say experts.) The most eco-friendly cloth nappies are made from organic fibers like hemp and bamboo; are unbleached or colored with natural dyes; and are manufactured in the U.S.--some brands are actually handmade by moms! You'll need about 12-18 for a newborn; more if you don't think you'll get to the laundry very often!
      ECO-FRIENDLY DISPOSABLE DIAPERS
      They work just like "regular" disposables, but are better for babies and the earth. That's because they're free of chlorine and other potential toxins and come in non-plastic packaging.
      NATURAL BABY WIPES
      Typically, these are moistened with natural ingredients (besides water, moisturizers like aloe vera and vitamin E); haven't been bleached with chlorine; and don't contain alcohol or synthetic ingredients.
      BPA-FREE BOTTLES
      "BPA" stands for bisphenol A--a chemical used in clear plastics, including many baby bottles, sippy cups, and water bottles, as well as in the lining of aluminum cans. Studies have found that BPA leaches into liquid and foods, and many have harmful effects on people who ingest them. To keep this chemical away from your baby, use bottles (and other products) that are labeled "BPA-free." You can also use glass bottles (although they're heavy and, of course, breakable), or a bottle system with soft, disposable liners.
      ORGANIC FORMULA
      If you are not exclusively breastfeeding, you don't have to worry about bringing home a formula that's not safe and nutritious for your baby: The FDA monitors every single one that's on the market. So when you shop organic, the same rules apply as for buying regular formula: Go for a cow's milk-based one, unless your baby can't digest lactose or has a milk allergy, in which case he can have a soy formula; and choose one that's fortified with iron and has DHA or ARA (additives thought to boost brain development). In addition, don't buy pre-mixed formula in cans, which most likely are lined with BPA (see above); powdered formula cans are fine, as are plastic jugs of liquid formula. If you're concerned about sugar in your baby's diet, compare the amounts in any formulas you're considering; some brands have more than others.
      ORGANIC BABY FOOD
      From mashed peas to pasta-and-veg dinners, virtually any jarred food for babies has an organic version. You won't have to guess which ones: The label will say "organic." One thing to keep in mind: Organic food in general can be pricier than non-organic, so you may want to buy just the ones that have the highest pesticide levels.
      CRIB MATTRESS TREATED WITH CHEMICAL-FREE FLAME RETARDANTS
      We're talking about PBDEs, which are chemicals that slow the rate at which something burns--but have also been shown to interfere with a child's developing nervous system. Check labels to find a mattress that meets flame-retardant standards without using chemicals.
      ORGANIC-COTTON BEDDING
      Organic cotton is never treated with PBDEs (see above). You can take your baby's sheets (and other bedding) to yet a higher level of green-ness by choosing ones that aren't bleached, or that are colored with natural dyes.
      ORGANIC AND ADDITIVE-FREE BATH AND SKIN-CARE PRODUCTS
      To avoid exposing your child to potentially toxic substances that often show up in body washes, shampoos, and other baby-care products, read labels and ingredients lists: Look for "fragrance-free" (or better yet, no mention of fragrance at all); "paraben-free," "oxybenzone-free," in the case of sunscreens; and don't buy products that contain dibutylphthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), and diethylphthalate (DEP): These are all phthalates, chemicals used to produce fragrances and soften plastics and rubber, which some environmental health advocates worry can have adverse affects on children.
      TOXIN-FREE TOYS
      The two substances you want to avoid are lead and phthalates. Since toys don't generally sport lists of all that they're made of, the best way to keep clear of potentially harmful chemicals is by purchasing those that say they're all- natural, lead-free, phthalate-free, etc. on the packaging. And definitely, keep an eye out for toy recalls. Special note, if any toy you purchase from Diapers.com is recalled, we'll get in touch with you immediately and let you know what to do about it.
      One final word of advice, if we may: Keeping your home and your baby's good and other things as pure and natural as possible is a worthy goal--but don't feel you have to live by every single environmentally-friendly rule. You could spend your entire day washing cloth diapers, reading labels, and surfing the web for new info--and lose precious moments with your child. Decide what your green priorities will be, stick with them, and spend the rest of the time having fun with your family.