(I’m happy to share this guest post from reader and freelance writer, Joanna Kwan. I just had a question from a reader about how to reduce exposure to the flame retardants that exist in most baby gear (which I reported about last week). The last two stroller manufacturers don’t use brominated flame retardants so they are a great way to limit this exposure. I wish I had this information when my girls were infants.
Update: June 8, 2011. Reader Kevin just alerted me that one of Orbit’s car seats (the Infant carrier Mocha) tested poorly for toxins, specifically lead and bromine. Here’s the rating from healthy stuff. ) So, in this case, we don’t have flame retardants, but other harmful chemicals. How frustrating! This is more evidence that we need the Safe Chemicals Act now more than ever.)
Strollers are now an expression of a parent’s lifestyle, representing status and style. There are endless selections of strollers, but which brand is the safest for your child and the environment? We’ve narrowed the choices to three companies you can count on that make safe products for your baby as well as leaving behind a greener world in the manufacturing aspect.
This Norwegian company uses environmentally friendly and biodegradable materials to produce all their baby products. Their products range from highchairs, nursery furniture to strollers. If you’ve ever seen a Stokke Xplory Stroller, you will notice the design of the stroller frame as the most distinctive styled stroller on the market. Although it’s one of the most expensive strollers on the market, the company dedicates a lot of quality standard in the stroller with durable and robust materials to make the product last a lifetime. With that in mind you can pass the stroller on to the next family over and over again, thus delaying the time-frame of the product from ending up in the landfills.
In the production process, Stokke makes an effort to reduce their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by transporting all their products with modern and efficient logistics channels as well as moving large stock volumes at a time to reduce frequencies of transportation.
Maclaren’s CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy adheres to the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink. They produce their strollers considering the environment by carefully selecting the materials they use for manufacturing as well as their emphasis on waste reduction in the process. Their line of baby strollers can be used for years as they have a weight capacity of 50 lbs, and at the end of it’s life cycle the stroller can be recycled at Maclaren’s sponsored recycling centers. Their belief is to reuse, recycle or rethink the end-of-life use for many of their materials that would have been previously sent to a landfill.
Their packaging contains 70% recycled fiber content, and in 3 years they hope to be at a 100%. You can also rest assure that your child will be safe from harmful chemicals as they have removed all phthalates, lead, PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from producing their strollers.
This new age company has really stepped up the game by creating one of the most unique, convenient and eco friendly designed stroller on the market today. Their outstanding commitment to give families a safe and Eco friendly stroller really shows, as they are the first to innovate a PVC & phthalate-free rain shield.
They are also the only company that uses no chemicals to process the stroller’s footmuff and interior fabric, and still able to meet the FMVSS302 flame retardancy standard. The Orbit Baby G2 stroller consists of organic and hypoallergenic fabric, which is a huge safety factor for your baby as their skin is five times thinner than adults, so it’s important to use non-toxic or organic fabric for them as it’s easier for them to intake harmful chemicals into their bodies.
Another protection feature the Orbit Baby G2 Stroller consists of is the sunshade, which blocks nearly 100% UVA and UVB rays. So overall, it is the top rated stroller using the safest and most organic materials to provide a healthy environment for your baby.
Production wise, Orbit Baby strives to maintain their packaging with minimal waste by not using bleach, plastic windows or oily dyes. Their brown paper boxes are both efficiently made and recycled.
Donate Your Stroller
Supporting a green stroller company is just the first step, what you do with the product next is also a key component in making the most use out of the product. Donating your good-condition stroller to a family in need is not only good to help out another family, but it does the environment a big favor by not filling the landfills with perfectly usable products.
PS- Orbit also carries car seats that are free of toxic brominated and chlorinated chemicals, like PBBs and PBDEs. Check Healthystuff.org for ratings on car seats and other baby gear for toxic chemicals before buying.