Today kicks off Breastfeeding Awareness Month and we thought it would be fitting to talk a bit about green breastfeeding. Generally speaking, the benefits of breastfeeding are attributed to the overall health of children. However, there are also benefits to breastfeeding, often overlooked, that benefit the environment.
- Breastfeeding only uses one resource, the mother! Land, water, crops, paper, and animals among others all go into the formula manufacturing process. Further, although the FDA doesn’t officially approve each formula before market, manufacturers have to ensure that each product meets FDA standards. This requires strict testing and thus, resources.
- Breastfeeding reduces fuel. As all mothers know, babies drink a lot of milk. And driving to the store to pick up formula will add up over time. Additionally, bottle manufacturing and formula itself uses fuel in the manufacturing process. It seems that everything inevitably requires some amount of fuel or energy but breastfeeding uses very little when said and done.
- Breastfeeding reduces waste. Packaging for formula adds up quick. On average, a formula fed baby needs $2,000 in formula products each year. $2,000 buys a lot of formula and all that formula comes in a package that will hopefully be recycled. Breastfeeding produces very little waste because it is natural. The mother is the supply and the baby is the demand.
We want to make clear that this post is not intended to separate breastfeeding mothers from mothers who can’t breastfeed (or choose not to). We believe that the gift of a child, and how that child is fed, should never cause strife and conflict between moms. Empowerment is venerable while judgment limits us. Have you seen the environmental benefits of breastfeeding in your own life? Let us know how in the comments!