Monday, August 20, 2012

Can a Car Seat be Eco-Friendly?

Now that Goose is a year old and 20lbs, I need to think about upgrading her car seat to a forward-facing convertible.  The thought of sifting through reviews and research makes my head spin.  Thankfully, Ecomom.com did the legwork for me by finding a toddler car seat that is cool looking, super safe AND eco-friendly.

If you haven't visited  Ecomom.com yet, DO IT! I am so glad I found this website.  I'm not getting paid for this shout out, I genuinely mean it.  Like Giggle, my go-to baby gear retailer, Ecomom explains why each product is eco-friendly with easy-to navigate reviews and ratings.  

After spending far too long looking through the gazillion toys for sale, I landed on the Ecomom Blog and got hooked.  The blog offers great advice for greenish moms like me who still want trendy baby stuff.  Good example: the post on 6 Pantone Color Trends for Back to School 2012.  

Enough about that, let's get back to the car seat.  A quick search on the website took me to the car seat I plan to buy Goose when she's ready to upgrade.  At 20 lbs, she's still fairly comfy in her rear-facing Cybex Aton.  But as she's straining to see out the window on trips, I can sense the day coming when she will demand to sit forward-facing.  And when that day comes, I think she'll sit in an Orbit G2


Here is the full description of the Orbit G2 toddler car seat:

Take the next smart and eco-safe step for your child: a rotating convertible car seat made with BFR-free materials.

CAR SEAT BASE SOLD SEPARATELY.

Highlights
  • Back-saving rotation: for easy entry and exit rotate your rear-facing car seat on the Car Seat Base, and ergonomically dock from nearly any angle into the car
  • BFR-free: you expect non-toxic products for your baby, and Orbit Baby’s convertible car seat uses materials certified free of BFR (Brominated Flame Retardants)
  • Real-world safety: designed for maximum rear-facing usage to keep kids safer in cars
  • Real-world safety: Side Impact Braces™ give one of the widest footprints for stability, and fit narrow center seating positions without interfering with the vehicle’s seat belt buckles or lower anchors
  • Eco-friendly: orbitgreen™: Certified Fabrics make this the world’s first convertible car seat certified healthy and clean by Oeko-Tex®

Features
  • BFR-free: you expect non-toxic products for your baby, and Orbit Baby’s convertible car seat uses materials certified free of BFR (Brominated Flame Retardants)
  • Back-saving rotation: for easy entry and exit rotate your rear-facing car seat on the Car Seat Base, and ergonomically dock from nearly any angle into the car
  • Docks on our stroller: the first convertible car seat that is part of a travel system
  • Extensive side impact protection safety features
  • Patent-pending BeltKeeper feature holds harness and crotch belt out of the way while your child climbs in
  • User-friendly harness design and materials for more child comfort and less tangling
  • Seek back panel stores manual and all dangling straps
  • Plush microfiber is comfy for your child, ballistic fabrics are durable for travel
  • Docks and rotates on Orbit Baby stroller frames, car seat bases, and rockers
  • For a complete travel solution, also use the Stroller Seat G2 for everyday strolling
  • Orbitgreen™ : Certified Fabric - the first car seats with fabrics certified safe by Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, ensuring they are healthier for your baby and better for the environment
  • An attachable accessory sunshade is available for purchase separately
Specifications
  • Comes with Side Impact Braces™
  • Weight rating: Toddler Car Seat for children 15-65 lbs; rear-facing 15-35 lbs and forward-facing 25-65 lbs; up to 53 in
  • Installs on Car Seat Base rear-facing only; installs with Side Impact Braces™ either rear- or forward-facing
  • U.S.Pat.No. 7,338,122, 7,559,606 and 7,740,313. European Patent Application No. 05751808.6
  • Includes 2-year Limited Warranty
  • Safe flame retardants: Orbit Baby car seats meet all applicable flame retardancy standards (NHTSA FMVSS 302 and California TB 117) without potentially harmful chemicals like PBBs and PBDEs, which are used in most other car seats
  • Meets or exceeds all U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS 213) and ASTM (F2050; F833 with Stroller Frame G2) safety standards; CPSIA compliant
  • Designed for maximum rear-facing usage to keep kids safer in cars
  • Integrated 5-point harness
  • Side Impact Braces™ give one of the widest footprints for stability, and fit narrow center seating positions without interfering with the vehicle’s seat belt buckles or lower anchors
  • Side wings made with multiple foam zones, using EPP foam for maximum side-impact protection
  • Patented upholstery design removes for washing without potentially compromising harness safety
  • LATCH-optimized, can also be installed with vehicle seat belts
    approved for use in airplanes
Weight Rating
  • Weight rating: Toddler Car Seat for children 15-65 lbs; 15-35 lbs rear-facing and 25-65 lbs forward-facing; up to 53 in
Product Dimensions
  • Interior seat height: 23 in (58 cm)
  • Interior seat depth: 12 in (30 cm)
  • Interior seat width: 11.5 in (29 cm)
  • Side impact protection depth: 8 in (20 cm)
  • Exterior width: 18 in (46 cm)
  • Weight: 21.5 lbs (9.8 kg)
Before landing on the Ecomom website, I had done a Google search for "best toddler car seat."  The unanimous result from multiple websites was the Britax Advocate 70.  I would have probably purchased it if I hadn't decided to do a quick check over at HealthyStuff.org.  Lo and behold, of all the toddler car seats tested, the Britax Advocate ranked the worst because it contains lead in the buckles and bromine in the fabric.  No thanks!  The line of Orbit car seats, on the other hand, are free of all known toxic chemicals while still meeting all safety requirements.  Plus it has a cool rotating dock so you can spin the seat toward the door when getting the baby in and out so you don't have to wrench your back twisting the baby in.  GENIUS.

Before I actually make the purchase, I will do one last search to make sure a better car seat hasn't entered the market.  But when I do, I'll be sure to check over at Ecomom.com and HealthyStuff.org to make sure the seat is safe for the baby AND the planet.  

2 comments:

  1. The seats of least concern garnered ratings of a one or below while the seats of most concern rate from a three to a five depending on the risk of exposure to the dangerous substances.

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  2. In 2012, Graco committed to removing toxic chemicals from its car seats, so now we have a more affordable option. Here's the press release regarding the changes the company made in response to a petition urging them to make their seats healthier:

    http://www.healthychild.org/blog/comments/press_release_graco_commits_to_banning_toxic_flame_retardants_from_children/

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