We may care less about the environment we live in, and the adverse effect it creates on our well-being as individuals, but once we welcome our little bundle of joy into our life, we get a little too conscious and concerned.
And trust me, it’s high time we all think, evaluate, and make an effort to save our planet, to cleanse our environment; not only for the kids but for our health.
To care for, nourish, and up-bring your kids, you may gather a lot of essentials, from bottle warmers to clothes to toys, which contribute to creating a bigger carbon footprint. However, there are creative and thoughtful ways to adopt eco-parenting without compromising the comfort and fun of your kids.
In this blog, you will come across many actionable and insightful ways to maintain and sustain a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle for your family. So, read on!
Your journey to eco parenting begins
It may be easy for you to switch to sustainable living when a majority of people around you are still going for easily available options. But you need to have a plan in mind. You need to set a roadmap that can help you get long-term outcomes. Being a green-minded parent, you must ponder on two most important aspects to make sure your aim to have an eco-friendly lifestyle sustains, and these are:
Step #1 – Awareness
Awareness is your first step to transforming the life of your family into healthy living. You can only be able to have a sustainable lifestyle if everyone in the house contributes to the goal, and that is possible by spreading awareness. Wonder how?
1. Foster a love of planet
Reduce screen time and encourage your kids to spend time outside, exploring nature, appreciating goodness, and discovering more about the world they live in. Go for a walk, plan hiking, camping, gardening or even shopping from the local farmer’s market. Make paintings with stones, or dead leaves. Create bird houses, install water bowls and feeding trays around the neighborhood for animals and birds. Keep them closer to nature so that they can absorb positivity, and peace.
2. Connect them with the current state of the earth’s environment
Why would your kids follow your footsteps or like your ideas of sustainable living if they are oblivious about it completely? You need to keep your kids fully updated about the need to protect our planet. They must have a sense of responsibility for their actions. They should know how they can harm the environment and why it should be saved. If you fail to educate and guide them you will always be alone fighting all battles and that’s not sustainable.
Step #2 – Your Actions
Remember, parents are their kids’ first role models. They learn every new thing from them, especially during the early years of their life. They will be encouraged to adopt eco living if they watch you doing it. Your actions can motivate them. So, here are some simple yet effective environmentally-friendly actions you can take:
3. Shop organic and non-toxic
Sustainable living encourages us to revive our health and opt for natural, organic, and non-toxic food. Instead of processed and artificially produced crops, go for 100% naturally cultivated crops. Moreover, avoid frozen food. It has chemicals to preserve the content for longer than it should. Brands like Wildwood, Rejuvenative Foods, Kettle Chips, and Tofurky bring you a wide variety of organic options to shop from.
4. Avoid the use of plastics
Cutting down on single-use of plastics is a must. By 2050, according to the World Economic Forum, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Apart from this, keeping food in plastic containers and bags causes several illnesses like Bisphenol A and Phthalates. Therefore, go for either paper, reusable bags or cloth produce bags..
5. Conserve energy
Make it a habit of conserving energy. Turn off the lights, air-conditioners, heaters, or any appliance if it’s not in use. Teach your kids ways to save energy. It’s better to install windows to ensure ventilations and reduce dependency on room chillers as it’s a healthy option. Ventilation contributes to cleansing the environment from harmful germs and bacterias while increasing freshness indoors.
6. Reduce water waste
After energy consumption, increasing water wastage and pollution are yet another matter of concern. Teach your kids about saving the water and avoiding leaving thrash on the beach. Tell them to close the tap while brushing or soaping. Introduce simple practices to make them learn efficiently.
7. Buy Cloth Diapers
No disposable diaper is completely biodegradable. Hence, it’s advisable to opt for cloth diapers. As they are more breathable and made with natural fabric that keeps the skin protected. Besides, disposable diapers are made with synthetic components to function that prove harmful to your baby’s soft skin. Brands like Ergobaby do provide a fine collection of cloth diapers to shop from.
8. Organic cotton or bamboo baby clothing
It’s no easy feat to find brands that provide high-quality, sustainable baby clothes. It’s necessary to make sure the materials used in your kidswear are eco-friendly as it’s free from harmful organisms and lasts longer. Boody offers a completely organic baby collection made with bamboo yarn that is lightweight, chemical-free, and safe for kids. Apart from this, Finn + Emma, Bébénca, and Beya Made are reputed names for organic kids’ clothing.
9. Stainless steel or glass food containers
By using reusable stainless steel and glass containers, you reduce the amount of waste. They require less energy consumption, ensure to keep you safe from chemicals, and can be recycled. However, plastic containers negatively affect the environment and health. They retain odor and flavors, organisms from stale food. And are not safe to use in microwaves.
10. Wooden toys
You may want to buy any amazing toy that you see in the toy store but would that be a healthy practice? You need to switch to wooden toys for your kids as they have more mechanical functions and tend to develop new skills among the players unlike other electronic toys. Moreover, using batteries and charging ports contribute to carbon footprint. Hence, it’s best to avoid such toys.
11. Develop a love for planting
Planting is a healthy practice. It teaches patience, consistency and develops a sense of care among individuals. To keep your indoors fresh and soothing, it’s important to install plants around the corners or on the tables. Teach your kids how to grow crops and fruits. In this way, they will stay connected and involved in nature.
12. The art of upcycling
Upcycling is the most creative and fun filled activity that you can do with your kids. There are a million ways you can upcycle your old clothes, broken chair, bottles, containers, bags, and even jewelry.
- Repurpose your furniture
- Turn containers into hanging plants
- Dye old shirts with bright shades
- Create art pieces with old bottles
- Create a toys storage unit with cardboard boxes
- Use shoe boxes to create indoor games
- Upcycle jeans to make cleaning cloths
Your kids would love to spend hours making interesting new things for the home, and this will give them a sense of utilizing old stuff rather than opting to buy new things.
13. Eco-friendly cleaning products
The cleaning products you use may contain potent chemicals like volatile organic compounds, methyl chlorine, and toxic ammonia that proves harmful when applied on floors, mats, and walls of your house. Hence, opt for organic products that are safe to use and prove to be a better natural alternative. You do not have to worry about skin allergies, respiratory problems, or even eye infections.
14. Eat out less
Junk food may tempt you and the tastebuds of your little buddies, but it’s best to refrain from frequently eating out. It’s cost-effective and healthy to eat home-cooked meals. Moreover, if you eat organic produce, your immunity may improve by eating unhealthy food from the outside.
15. Do laundry smarter
With kids, it’s stressful to manage laundry. Every hour they change clothes or dirty their nappies. So, a sustainable way to manage laundry is to keep the water temperature cold and use line drying instead of leaving your clothes in the automatic dryer. It will help you cut slack on energy consumption, ultimately helping you save money. Another smart move is to quickly rinse the stain with water before throwing clothes in the laundry basket. It will reduce the spin count.
Some golden words: go easy on yourself
Eco-parenting may look simple, but it can challenge you in many ways. It’s not easy to shut out your life-long practices and newer ways of living. So, try to go easy on yourself. There is no need to throw away everything at once. Take baby steps. Do one thing at a time. If you are replacing your food with organic options, then give it some time before moving on to other tips. This will help you sustain the good practices; otherwise, you will get exhausted and fall back.