For parents who aspire to protect the planet and its precious resources, there is no better way to do so than through green living. This includes raising the entire family to be Earth-friendly so that they can protect the planet as well. By rearing eco-conscious children, parents can ensure that the next generation cares for the planet just as much as they do. But how can parents get started with this new way of living? Here is your ultimate guide to everything you need to know about green parenting to get you started today.
#1 Start Early
Green parenting can start as early as when your child is in the womb. This is because green parenting strategies can be adopted early on to ensure both a healthy pregnancy and baby. For instance, this may include eating a healthy diet full of organic fruits and veggies during pregnancy. Such items can even be personally grown in a home garden or purchased from a local farmer’s market. Additionally, once baby arrives, consider breast feeding—a more environmentally friendly alternative to manufactured milk products. Furthermore, when baby arrives parents can also include cloth diapering in their daily regimes to lessen the amount of waste that ends up in landfills due to disposable diapers. These are simple changes that can go a long way towards helping the planet thrive.
#2 Acquaint Children with Nature
Another excellent way to be a green parent is to expose children to the great outdoors early on. This can be as simple as taking nature walks or it can include more hands-on lessons. For example, important lessons can include teaching children how to respect nature. One way to do this is to teach children how to leave nature undisturbed. This is because something as simple as lifting and throwing a rock can interrupt natural habitats in profound ways. Parents can also teach children the importance of placing litter in designated waste baskets when outdoors so as not to pollute nature. One other great approach to green parenting is to teach children how nature works. For instance, start your own family garden and grow delicious fruits, veggies and herbs as a family. Allow children to plant seeds, water them and watch them grow! Such lessons are important for exposing kids to the importance of soil, water and sunshine for sustaining life.
#3 Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Next, practice the three R’s—reducing, reusing and recycling. The three R’s can help families lessen the amount of waste they create at home. First, have discussions with children on why it is important to reduce, reuse and recycle. By keeping unnecessary waste from landfills, the family can contribute to reduced energy consumption, less pollution and protecting the overall health of the planet. One great practice to reducing is to use your own bags in the supermarket. Instead of relying on plastic bags, bring your own eco-friendly bags to the store, creating a memorable lesson for children of all ages. When it comes to reusing items, have your child think about items before they place them in the trash. Have them ask themselves the question of, “Can this be used for something else?” prior to tossing it. For instance, empty cans can be rinsed out and used as pencil holders; old crayons can be melted together in the oven to create new rainbow colors; and old papers can be used for neat arts and craft activities. The same holds true for recycling. Parents should place a recycling bin in their home and teach children how to separate out recyclables including papers, plastics, and metal. Such valuable lessons will create habits that last a lifetime!
#4 Eco-Friendly Energy Consumption
Lastly, children can learn how to use less energy at home. Parents can rely on a number of energy-saving strategies that can truly make a difference on the environment and also cut monthly energy costs. When it comes to lighting, parents can teach children to turn off the lights when they are not in used. Parents can also install energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs which can save up to 75% on energy costs, while also explaining to children why these changes are being made. Parents can also teach children how to reduce water consumption at home. From taking shorter showers in cooler water to turning off the tap when brushing their teeth, adopting such habits can go a long way towards protecting the planet.
#5 Rely on Green Cleaning Products
Furthermore, parents can rely on non-toxic cleaners while caring for the home. Green cleaners are a great way to protect the environment as well as your family’s health. This is because many of today’s standard cleaners are made of harsh chemicals that pollute the air. What’s more is that many of these chemicals are breathed in by the home’s inhabitants and even absorbed into their skin. This can lead to the development of allergies, asthma and other chronic problems such as skin irritations. What’s so great about these products is that many of them come in recycled packaging, ensuring even less damage is done to the environment. With green cleaning products parents can allow little helpers to contribute to cleaning around the home. Savvy green parents can also incorporate plants around home to help purify the air for an even healthier, high-quality breathing experience.
Keep some of these helpful tips in mind as you transition to green living. It is never too early for parents to start implementing green practices into their households. From preserving limited resources and reducing the carbon footprint you leave on the planet, green parenting is a great way to ensure you are doing your part to raise children who are just as Earth-conscious as you are.