There are definitely ways to help both baby and the planet while setting up the nursery. Here are some ideas to get you started:
• Instead of traditional wood flooring, go for bamboo or eucalyptus—both are highly renewable resources. Look for furnishing with a water-based aluminum oxide with no volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions.
• Look over the ingredient label before you select a paint. If you see things like turpentine, formaldehyde, any animal products or VOCs, put back the can. Paints with all-natural ingredients like mineral pigments, plant oils, crushed limestone and milk are a better bet.
• Avoid furniture made of laminated wood, plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard—the glue in these often contain formaldehyde. The pieces will wear down faster and release chemical fumes.
• Spring for a quality air purifier to deal with any pollutants. A freestanding humidifier with a HEPA filter is your best bet.
• Find window treatments made of natural fabric. (Extra points for organic cotton!) Steer clear of mini blinds—they’re made of PVC, which can give off gas when heated by the sun.
• Reuse! Ask friends for their old baby gear, shop at secondhand stores and check out recycling/sharing websites. Just make sure any used gear is still in safe condition, and hasn't been recalled by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).