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Before creating a haven for your little one, do a little research on the dos and don’ts of nursery decorating. Paints, furniture, toys, bedding, clothes – these all have the potential to emit harmful chemicals. Hong Kong’s green living guru, Green Queen , advises, “Get your bedroom and nursery stripped, and repaint with non-VOC, low- to no-emission paint.” Know what to look out for as you buy each item. Read the label before you buy anything. You’re looking for natural, eco-friendly products, without harmful chemicals and dangerous plastics, that have been endorsed by international safety standards boards. Look for words like BPA-free, PVC-free, phthalate-free. Sites like www.healthychild.org are a great place to learn; they offer a free e-book full of ideas for a healthy and safe nursery.
Some manufacturing processes and excessive packaging can wreak havoc on our planet. Buying second-hand means you’re not contributing to a bundle of big environmental issues. There are lots of great forums for quality second-hand products in Hong Kong. Head online, save the planet and save yourself some cash. You’ll be able to pick up everything from books on birthing through to toys and furniture. Check out www.secondhand.hk, or log onto Facebook and search for YoYoMaMa, Baby-swap-it, or Good As New Baby.
All that nesting is making you hungry, right? The rise of organic produce stems from community concern. “Organic” means free from harmful pesticides and it’s this toxicity you might want to avoid, especially when you’re growing a little person. “It’s important for families, as well as mums-to-be, to eat organic… produce for many reasons,” says chef Mia Man, a certified raw and plant-based food chef, board-certified health coach and the brains behind EatFresh (www.eatfresh.com.hk) food delivery service. “Your baby is developing its nervous system, brain and organs, and it will be very sensitive to toxic pesticides affecting that development. It is best to avoid or minimise the risks by eating organic food where possible.”
Your skin absorbs the personal care products you use daily, including moisturisers, cleansers and make-up. Make sure your products are safe for pregnant women, or try switching to one of the many eco-friendly and pregnancy-approved beauty lines. Green Queen has some great suggestions on their website. In particular, “Native Essentials (www.nativessentials.com) is a local aromatherapy-grade, organic skincare brand with a pregnancy line. They have high performance skin and body care made with the best ingredients.”
Hong Kong’s air can be putrid, so consider getting the best-quality purifier your budget will allow. No dough to spend? A recent study by NASA showed that common indoor plants can help improve air quality, and they look beautiful too.