It’s already a bit time-consuming to sift through 10,000 baby names, blogs and websites—not to mention advice from aunts, sisters and coworkers—when preparing to be parent. Once you add in trying to be eco-friendly and green in the process, it’s understandable some people may feel a bit … overwhelmed.
Luckily, as information becomes more abundant and accessible through technology, people are also working to consolidate and create sense from the madness. Laura Carlin and Alison Forbes, the two minds (and sisters) behind Inspired Everyday Living, have done this quite successfully with their Peaceful Nursery App. Rather than give a list of endorsed brands and products, the Peaceful Nursery App provides a thoughtful shopping checklist with guides that teach parents what to consider and look for—or avoid—when creating a green nursery.
The motivation for the app can be traced back to a single crib mattress that Carlin bought when pregnant with her first child. “I went and opened the door to the closet and it just smelled like chemicals. I was convinced that my husband must have spilled paint varnish in there or something, but then I realized that that smell was the mattress off-gassing. That’s what made me go deeper and create a totally natural, chemical-free nursery which became a big driving force in the book.”
But she found out that the path to a green nursery was not exactly easy to navigate, especially in 2003 when mommy bloggers were few and green was a relatively new marketing term. Seeing how people could easily get discouraged, the sisters wanted to make things as simple as possible. Rather than scare or overwhelm people with facts, they focused on the small changes people can make. “[We] tell people to tune into your intuition and common sense, to do the best that you can, to take small steps – there are little things that you can do that make a big difference and don’t cost a lot of money,” said Carlin.
While parents obviously do a lot of mental preparation through those nine months, much of that time is spent dedicated to buying things—cribs, strollers, car seats, diapers, bottles and whatever else is the latest must-have. Carlin and Forbes saw that in their group of friends, women would go to each other for advice on what they need—passing around lists from woman to woman.