Q: I’m due to have a baby in a few months, and I’ve already purchased a car seat, crib and bassinet. The one thing I haven’t got yet is a stroller. I’m wondering — is there such a thing as an eco-friendly stroller?
A: Babies and their gear, huh? I remember when we brought my son home from the hospital like it was yesterday. I barely recognized the place. While I was recovering, my husband put together the car seat, the bassinet, the crib, the bouncer and the swing. Everywhere I looked, there was a brightly colored baby accessory. Seriously, it was like Babies R Us threw up in our living room. How could a 6-pound ball of mush require so much stuff?
And then there were the strollers. I started with just one and ended up with … well …
Let’s just say you’ve come to the right place, my friend. Fortunately for you, I fancy myself a bit of a stroller aficionado. You know those guys who can glance at a car and within seconds tell you the year, make and model? I’m like that … just with strollers. I can tell you who makes it, what colors it comes in, even the accessories it comes with. And don’t get me started on the pros and cons of each. I practically had a running spreadsheet going when I was choosing my first stroller. And don’t ask me how many strollers I have now. OK fine, ask me. I once heard from a stroller salesperson that the average family has six strollers. We have (drumroll please) … five. So I guess that makes us below average. But the crazy thing is that we only have two kids! I guess we need to even up the score, huh? The trunk of my car actually looks like I’m selling strollers out of it. Just give me a 20, and I’ll give you a Zippy. Make it 50 and I’ll throw in the Bumbleride. And make it snappy. Keep it moving, people, keep it moving.
I must confess, I know it’s not very eco-conscious of me to have so many strollers, but strollers are my Achilles heel. There’s the snap-and-go, the jogging stroller, the car stroller, the double stroller, the double jogging stroller — and the crazy thing is that we actually use all of them.
So is there such a thing as an eco-friendly one?
These days, there are a few stroller manufacturers that do tout themselves as being eco-friendly. One such company, Baby Planet, even has a stroller recycling program so that when you’re done with your Baby Planet stroller, it doesn’t get dumped with your other strollers in the back shed. To raise awareness about animal welfare, they even feature an endangered species line of strollers that highlights three animals facing extinction.
Another stroller manufacturer, UPPAbaby, (frequently seen pushed by celebs on the pages of Us Weekly) lines their bassinet stroller attachments with fabric made from organic soybean and cotton fiber.
Orbit Baby, another celeb favorite, features the most futuristic-looking strollers I’ve ever seen, at a hefty price tag, mind you. But they too have joined the eco-stroller revolution. The microfiber fabric on all their strollers has been certified by the Oeko-Tex Association, an association that guarantees that their fabric is free of harmful chemicals. In addition, they are the only stroller manufacturer I know of that provides a PVC-free rain cover for their strollers.
When all is said and done though, perhaps the most eco-friendly strollers are not the ones that tout themselves as being made from recycled parts or organic products, but strollers that are built to last through not one of your children, but all of them — a sustainable, reliable stroller that doesn’t break after only a few months of use. Too much to ask? I think not. Come back to me in a few years and I’ll let you know which of my five has held up the best — that is unless I have a sixth.
Photo: Baby Planet