The zero-waste movement is becoming more and more popular among parents, and for a good reason. Practicing sustainable parenting can help to reduce your carbon footprint, save you money, and make your home healthier.
And let’s face it: as a parent, you want to do everything in your power to protect your children and the environment in which they are going to grow. But sometimes knowing where to start can be hard. Luckily, we've got 8 eco-conscious tips to help get you started!
From cutting down on plastic waste to choosing sustainable brands, these tips will help make parenting a little more eco-friendly. So read on and see how you can make a difference!
What is green parenting?
Green parenting is, quite simply, the process of raising your children in an environmentally responsible way. That means doing things like reducing food waste, teaching them to recycle, taking them on a nature walk every now and then, and using organic cotton clothes instead of synthetic ones.
But it's not just about getting kids involved in a zero-waste lifestyle. It's also about instilling in them a respect for the natural world and a commitment to taking care of it. After all, we only have one planet - and our kids are going to be the ones tasked with taking care of it when we're gone.
All in all, green parenting is about creating a healthy and sustainable world for your children to grow up in. That means making smart choices about the products you buy, the food you eat, and the way you live your life.
Why is an eco-friendly lifestyle challenging for parents?
Just when you thought you had figured out this whole parenting gig, along comes the challenge of eco-friendly parenting. It’s enough to make any parent want to throw in the (reusable) towel. After all, who has the time or energy to worry about the environment when there is soccer practice and math homework, and dinner to worry about?
Parents often find it challenging to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. After all, there's a lot to think about! You have to remember to recycle, compost, reduce waste...and that's just for starters.
Then there are all the decisions about what products to buy. Do you go for the organic option? The recycled option? The fair trade option? It can be tricky to know what's best. And of course, you want to set a good example for your kids. But sometimes it feels like leading by example is just too much work! It's no wonder that parents often find themselves feeling overwhelmed when trying to reduce their environmental impact.
Yes, it might seem like a lot of work, but with some tips, zero-waste parenting can become second nature.
Tips for eco-friendly living
Any parent will tell you that raising a child is no easy task. From the beginning, kiddos demand constant care and attention. Not to mention, they tend to make quite a mess! As parents, we do our best to provide for our children and keep them safe from harm. But in today's world, there is an additional challenge that we must face: teaching children about climate change and how they can take care of the planet through low-waste practices and more conscious decisions.
So, if you are ready to become an eco friendly mama or dad, and teach your kids everything about sustainable living, here are our top tips for eco parenting:
1. Use reusable nappies
Let's face it: diapers are a pain. They're expensive, they're smelly, and they're really hard to change when you're out and about. But what if we tell you that there was a way to make diapers less of a pain? Enter reusable diapers.
Reusable nappies are becoming increasingly popular as more and more parents are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. Not only do reusable diapers save money in the long run, but they also help to reduce the amount of waste produced by disposable diapers.
And let's be honest: anything that can help to reduce the number of nappy changes easier is a good thing in my book!
You can buy cloth nappies to wear at home and even reusable swim diapers for those days when you take your little one to the pool.
2. Tweak your baby-led weaning methods
Baby-led weaning is a great way to reduce the amount of food waste generated by your little ones. Here are some tips to improve your methods:
- Choose solid food that is easy for your baby to eat. Soft fruits and vegetables, cooked grains, and proteins like mashed beans or tofu are all good options.
- Avoid processed foods. These often come in packaging that can't be recycled, and they're often full of artificial ingredients that aren't good for your baby (or anyone!).
- Plan ahead. It's easier to avoid waste when you have a plan for what you're going to make each day. And, if you have leftovers, you can always save them for another meal.
- Get creative with your leftovers. If you have some extra food, there's no need to throw it away! You can use it to make soups, sauces, or even baby food purees.
Following these tips will help you reduce the amount of waste generated by this practice, and they'll also help you save money and time in the kitchen. So why not give them a try in your eco parenting habbits?
3. Change to sustainable clothes
As any new parent may have discovered already, babies grow quickly. It seems like they outgrow their clothes every few weeks! This can be tough on the wallet, but it's also tough on the environment.
Unfortunately, most baby clothes are made from synthetic materials that take centuries to break down. Furthermore, the dyes used to color these garments often contain harsh chemicals that can leach into the soil and water.
On the other hand, sustainable clothes are made from natural fibers like organic cotton and bamboo. These materials are more environmentally friendly since they biodegrade quickly and don't require the use of toxic chemicals, so they are amazing for kiddos with sensitive skin. In addition, sustainable baby clothes are often just as cute as their synthetic counterparts!
4. Give an opportunity to second-hand clothes
Second-hand clothing has come a long way from the musty thrift store finds of yesteryear. These days, it’s easy to find high-quality second-hand clothes that are stylish and affordable. But even if you don’t care about fashion, there’s one very compelling reason to buy second-hand clothes for kids: it’s better for the environment.
The growing demand for cheap clothes has led to a rise in “fast fashion”, which is characterized by short production cycles and mass consumption. This model of production is extremely resource-intensive, and it results in a lot of wasted clothing. In fact, according to one estimate, the average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of clothes every year.
By contrast, buying second-hand clothes instead of new stuff every few months reduces the demand for new clothing, and it helps to extend the life of existing garments. This not only saves resources but also reduces the amount of pollution produced by the fashion industry. So, if you are going into eco parenting, shop for second-hand clothes.
5. Rent books in the local library instead of buying new ones
When you rent a book from the library, you're using a product that already exists. The trees that were used to make the paper and ink for that book have already been cut down, so there's no need to chop down anymore. On the other hand, when you buy a new book, more trees have to be cut down to create paper and ink. That means more pollution and more damage to our forests.
In addition, library books are usually printed on recycled paper. So not only are you saving trees, but you're also helping to reduce the amount of waste that goes into our landfills. That's a win-win for the environment!
What’s more, if you want to be even more environmentally friendly, choose to rent digital books, that’s 100% low waste!
6. Use public transport or bicycles to move around
Another trick to add to your eco parenting book is using public transportation or bicycles to move around instead of driving.
Going green doesn't have to be a chore- in fact, it can be downright fun! Need proof? Just take a look at the many benefits of using public transport or bicycles to get around with kids. Not only is it good for the environment, but it's also great exercise, a fantastic way to explore new places, and an opportunity to spend time with the little ones.
Plus, you won't have to worry about finding a parking spot or dealing with traffic jams. So next time you're planning a day out with the kids, leave the car at home and hop on a bus or bike instead.
7. Teach your kids to recycle
Teaching kids to pick up after themselves can be a challenge. However, teaching them to recycle can be a great way to help the environment and instill good habits that will last a lifetime.
Recycling is important because it helps to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills. It also helps to conserve resources like water, energy, and raw materials. In addition, this practice aids to reduce pollution by reducing the need for new products made from virgin materials.
Best of all, teaching your kids to recycle is a great way to get them involved in taking care of the planet. So you should give it a try!
8. Buy second-hand toys and donate!
When it comes to toys, it's easy to get caught up in the newest trends and the latest must-haves. However, there's a lot to be said for second-hand toys.
Not only are they often just as good as new, but they're also better for the environment. Second-hand toys don't require new resources to be manufactured, and they don't generate any packaging waste.
Plus, when you donate toys after your child is done playing with them, someone else gets to enjoy them.
Sustainable parenting: Final thoughts
Eco parenting doesn’t have to be difficult at all and can help reduce climate change! Small changes can do a lot for the environment, so starting with the little things will help you rock green parenting quickly without going crazy!
Remember: there are a lot of unrealistic expectations on the Internet when it comes to green parenting and some people may make you think that what you are doing is not enough. But the most important thing is that you understand that everything counts, big or small, so pick the tips and recommendations that you find best suitable for your lifestyle and apply them!