platypus logo

Is Breastmilk Green?

Human milk is produced and delivered to the consumer without any pollution, unnecessary packaging or waste. Most of the focus on the environmental effect of newborns is concentrated on the debate between cloth vs. disposable diapers, but the environmental consequences of formula feeding have far greater impact. Large amounts of water, fuel, paper, glass, plastic and rubber are required in the production, shipping and preparation of formula. Additionally, formula feeding produces significant amounts of solid waste. Substituting cow’s milk for human milk is costly, causes waste and uses valuable resources. For example, each year in the US, over half a million women formula feed their babies from birth. If just these mothers breastfed for a full year (with solids introduced after six months), these valuable resources would be saved:

Baumslag, N. and Michels, D., Milk, Money & Madness: The Culture and Politics of Breastfeeding. Bergin & Garvey, Westport, CT, 1995.

Motherwear. Business Unusual. Northampton, MA, 2000. Online at:

Reprinted with permission from Breastfeeding at a Glance, By Dia L. Michels and Cynthia Good Mojab, M.S.with Naomi Bromberg Bar-Yam, Ph.D. Platypus Media, 2001, ISBN: 1-930775-05-9.

For more information, visit or call 1-877-PLATYPS (toll-free).