Baltimore Modern Babies and Children — Winter/Spr 08
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Eco Friendly Mama
Rebecca Klein

Little Maxwell Alston Sutter steals the spotlight from his mama and sounds off some unsolicited coos on going green.

“Aah…. Aah.” “He’s talking. He wants to be heard,” says new mom Trista Sutter, whose courtship with husband Ryan Sutter played out on The Bachelorette reality show, culminating in A 2003 televised wedding special.

As mother and son cuddle, this hybrid driving, Colorado mom shares her environmental philosophy. “I strongly believe you don’t have to go gung-ho and be an extremist, but I think every bit helps. So, we wanted to do whatever we could for the nursery and as well continue in the environmentally friendly lifestyle that we have been striving to achieve for the past few years,” says Sutter. “I just think it’s important for everyone, being the state of the world today.” As the Sutters prepared for Max’s arrival, firefighter Ryan Sutter was serving as a “Green Team Member” on The EcoZone Project, a celebrity, eco-friendly home makeover show. Through the show, he met Lisa Beres, founder of the California based, online company, whose mission is to create healthy homes. Beres, a Certified Green Building Professional who has appeared on The Today Show, offered to work with the Sutters. The new parents picked out an air purifier, fume-free environmentally friendly paint, and organic bedding and mattresses. Max also has some organic onesies.

“If they’re in organic cotton, we know there are no pesticides getting absorbed in their skin,” says Sutter, who feels it’s a precaution worth taking as much as possible.

“Twenty-five percent of the world’s insecticides are sprayed on cotton. Your skin is your largest organ. All those pesticides are getting into your body,” according to Beres, who adds, “Babies sleep 16 to 17 hours a day. Their bodies are so much smaller, and they breathe more air, pound for pound, than an adult.” If parents are going to take one step to green their child’s nursery, Beres recommends starting with a good air purifier, which she explains absorbs over 3000 chemicals, gases, and odors as well as biological contaminants.

The Sutters worked with Florida based New Arrivals Inc. to furnish Max’s chocolate brown, pale blue, and white nursery with furniture mainly by Baltimore’s Bratt Decor. They chose an heirloom quality iron crib, cradle, and day bed in pewter along with a wooden double changing table in buttermilk, which will later convert to a bureau.

Bratt Decor has a long list of celebrity clients including Jennifer Lopez, Samantha Harris from Dancing with the Stars and E!

Entertainment News, and local NFLer LaVar Arrington (See page 41 to learn about the company’s environmentally friendly actions.)

“Bratt Decor is right up my alley in terms of style,” shares Sutter. “It just has a little bit of unique flair that we like.” Sutter is also putting her own design sense to work. She partnered with eBags, an online retailer, to create her own line of organic diaper bags, released in September.

The Trista Baby totes, made of Organic hemp and a nylon inside shell, come in two funky floral prints and in a variety of color choices. EBags approached her after learning she had worked in sales for a bag company. Sutter is enjoying the opportunity to have creative license, work from home, and have her stamp on every phase of production and promotion.

As the topic moves from the nursery to the birth of mom’s bag business, the creation in her arms lets out another sound, bringing the subject back to him. “I’ve always wanted to be a mom,” shares Sutter.

“Max is everything to me beside my husband.

If I could do this all day everyday for the rest of my life, I’d be happy.” Is a family expansion in the future?

While they aren’t ready to make Max green with envy yet, Sutter reveals, “We’ll definitely try for number two. We don’t want to crowd Max’s time.We’ll probably give it another year before we start.