There are so many factors to consider when buying baby strollers: longevity, versatility, safety, design, etc. For the eco-friendly parent, there's even more to think about, as most strollers are constructed from a combination of plastic, rubber, aluminum, and foam materials; fire-retardants that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs); as well as synthetic fabrics, glues, and dyes that off-gas. The manufacturing process itself is usually not very sustainable either.
ECO-FRIENDLY STROLLER BUYING TIPS
Even in today's modern marketplace, it's difficult to find a stroller that's free of all these earth-damaging materials and qualities, but here are some tips and options that will make your purchase a little less taxing on the planet:
- A midsize stroller system that combines a car seat and stroller and folds into manageable dimensions. That way you won't have to buy several incompatible components like a car seat, stroller, car-seat frame, etc.
- Durable construction.
- Sturdy wheels.
- Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)- and fire retardant-free cushioning.
- A size capacity that accommodates a larger infant and/or toddler, so it doesn't have to be replaced in a year or two.
- A standard stroller with ultra-stable wheels so you don't have to buy a jogging stroller as well.
- Orbit Baby is the premier eco-friendly stroller brand. They are well known for their organic fabric and PVC-free rain shield, as well as for not using toxic brominated and chlorinated chemicals.
- Bumbleride now offers a Natural Edition line of strollers that are comprised of PVC-, phthalate-, and BPA-free rain covers; fire retardant-free fabrics; 15 percent recycled aluminum frames; 50 percent recycled exterior fabrics; 50 percent bamboo fiber seating surfaces; and 100 percent recycled plastic seating structures.
- Maclaren Baby has instituted new technologies to maximize energy efficiency in its buggy manufacturing, restricted its use of chemical compounds that harm the environment, and now uses more recyclable materials.
- After researching the up-to-date safety standards under ASTM and recall lists by the CPSC, consider purchasing a used stroller. Make sure you have the stroller's original instruction manual so you use it correctly.
- Sell or donate your used stroller when you're finished with it. As long as it's in good condition, there's a family with a baby who can use it!
- When you're done with your stroller, simply send it to Baby Earth and they'll make sure everything is properly disassembled before sending all usable parts to accredited recycling centers. Fabrics are sent to developing countries, while metal, plastic, and foam are used in construction projects. And if the stroller is still in pristine condition, Baby Earth will donate it to a family in need. For complete instructions, visit BabyEarth.com.