Greenifying the delivery

Having a baby can take a huge toll on the environment. By minimizing the things purchased for baby, making smart choices about the produces you do use, and just living simply in general, you can definitely minimize the impact. So far I’ve looked into what I think are the most sustainable options for many common items necessary for the early stages of childrearing. For the actual delivery itself, there’s not much that can be done to greenify a hospital birth. Short of a home birth, one way to have a more eco-friendly birthing experience is by offsetting the carbon emissions.

A Carbon Neutral Delivery

by Dr. Alan Greene

Depending on where you deliver your baby, many of the equipment and material choices may be out of your control. One thing you can do, however, is offset the carbon emissions generated by the energy used to run the delivery room and all its equipment. When you arrange for a carbon offset, you make up for the “dirty” emissions-producing energy you couldn’t help using, by making a financial contribution to projects that promote “clean” renewable energy (wind and solar, for example) and other efforts to reduce global warming. There are now many organizations worldwide that make it easy to invest in carbon offsets.

Here are some ways to have a carbon neutral delivery:

  • You can purchase a $15 Wind Power Card to ensure that the energy used by your baby’s delivery is replaced on the national power grid with wind energy, while offsetting more than 1,000 pounds of CO2 emissions. Go to .
  • You can donate to and select from a menu of certified carbon offset projects that include planting trees in severely fire-damaged forests and an innovative project that converts cow manure into methane that then generates the electricity to run a water desalination plant. Be­cause is a nonprofit, your contribution is tax de­ductible. Go to
  • You can plant a tree yourself. Over its lifetime, a tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide.
Be sure to record this special gift in your baby book. Someday you’ll be able to tell your little one that when born, the energy that was used in the labor and delivery was offset and at least a little bit of global warming never happened.


One American child generates as much CO2 as 106 Haitian kids.

China claims its one-child policy has prevented 400 million births—saving 1.5 billion tons of CO2 in 2004 alone.

In 2007, a Hungarian couple had 300 trees planted to offset their newborn’s lifetime carbon footprint.

American children make up 4% of the world’s population, but they consume more than 40% of the world’s toys.

In 2006, volunteers picked up 68,720 lbs of toys and 33,469 lbs of diapers during worldwide beach cleanups.


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