Uncovering the Latest Parenting Eco-trend in Thrifty Park Slope

By Melissa Dimas

About five years ago, my husband and I moved from Manhattan to Park Slope, Brooklyn.  It’s a pretty big cliché to live in Park Slope and have kids.  There are pregnant women, kids, and strollers everywhere. Since June, when my daughter Lucca was born, I have been part of this cliché.

Park Slope does have its many perks though; an amazing park, a plethora of good bars and restaurants where to imbibe, and great public schools.  I could go on.  During my brief stint as a stay-at-home-mom, I joined Park Slope Parents.  It is for parents and/or neighbors in the Park Slope vicinity to share advice on all things parenting, gather moms and dads with same-age children, and my personal favorite, a Park Slope centric classified list-serve to buy, sell, or give away any type of item.  You can also post real estate ads, childcare options, or things you have lost/found around the neighborhood.  It’s like craigslist, but better.  A favorite recent ad was the following, “Lost Yellow parrot: She flew out of an open window on 5th Street near 8th Avenue this morning. All-yellow little bird who doesn’t know how to survive outside. If you see her or think you see her, please please let me know.”  We happened to be in the park and actually looked for the bird. We didn’t have any luck, but I think they did get the parakeet back.

My husband would say I am obsessed, I would call it only a slight addiction and attribute it to the incredible deals you can get.  Kids are expensive, they outgrow stuff fast, and who has room to store all the equipment/clothes in a tiny New York City apartment?  It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, the Park Slope Parents classified ads are a local, environmentally friendly way to get rid of the stuff your kids no longer fit in to or use. You can walk to pick-up the purchased items, and you are reducing the amount of waste that goes to a landfill or litters the streets with stoop sale leftovers.  My experience buying and selling items has also had an unexpected benefit; because everyone lives around the neighborhood, I have made some new friends that I run into from time to time.  I love the community feel, especially now that I am a parent.  So as cliché as it may be, I love living in Park Slope.

Now I am going to go home and look for more stuff to sell.

About the Author: Melissa Dimas is the International Affairs Program Manager in Region 2. She works with environmental ministries in Latin America to increase public participation and access to environmental information. Melissa joined EPA in 2006. Prior to working at EPA, she received a Masters of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the beautiful country of El Salvador.

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