Top 5 Green Parenting Tips
This entry was posted on 26th July 2017.
Calling all parents! Looking to minimise the environmental impact of raising your little ones? Then look no further - our brand ambassador Sam has given us his top five green parenting tips, which are purse-friendly as well as planet-friendly. Got a green parenting tip? Get in touch via our Facebook page and tell us about it – we’d love to hear from you.
Sam’s top tips:
1.Use cloth nappies
Buying disposable nappies creates a demand for the products to be made; they end up in landfill, there's some unnatural stuff in them and they’re expensive.
More people are now reverting to using traditional cloth nappies. We bought lots of organic terry nappy towels and muslin squares (plus covers to stop clothing from getting damp) and used various folds as our wee one got bigger. Plus, the towels we bought can be re-purposed. There are ways to 'try before you buy' - look up your local group for 'real nappies' and look at buying tester packs from different companies.
An added benefit of cloth nappies is that they help if you are trying Elimination Communication
('EC', or baby-led potty training) as your child learns the sensations of needing to go and of having been.
The downside of all of this is the large amount of nappy laundry that will be added to your already gigantic load as new parents. Be sure to weigh up what you think will be possible for you. We did use organic, biodegradable disposable nappies and wipes at times. These were useful when travelling or when there were simply no clean and dry cloths left!
2.Buy second-hand clothes
Clothes for babies and toddlers can be expensive (especially as they grow out of them so quickly) while encouraging demand for production. If you have to buy something new, go for organic cotton or bamboo. While they can be more expensive, they support more sustainable and less damaging agricultural practices.
Check out charity shops, local yard sales, online auction websites and local community websites. Go for organic when you can. Remember also that friends and family may have saved clothes from when their children (or even you!) were young, so ask them to poke around in the attic.
3.Re-purpose items where possible
Keep letters and junk mail as scrap paper for little ones to draw on or cut out. Old posters are great for this too. Consider keeping some of the food packaging you would otherwise throw out - paint or re-design and they can make great stacking blocks, toy car garages, telescopes - all sorts!
Children often love bikes and cycling, so ditch your car and get a bike seat! If you don't fancy them sitting in front or behind you on the frame itself, you can look at getting a cargo-style bike or trike with a box at the front. This allows you to propel multiple kids, plus cargo, while they get a comfortable front-row view. They can be quite expensive, but obviously you're saving on all the costs of a car.
5.Teach kids where their food comes from
Involving your children in seeing how plants grow - whether in your own garden, on the windowsill, at an allotment or a community garden - can have a positive impact on their understanding of how to work with the environment and how to feed ourselves healthily.
The same goes for involving them with food inside the house. We get an organic veg box delivered every week and make a ritual of going through it together when it arrives, saying what everything is, touching and smelling the items before putting them away. You can also help them to see what you are doing when preparing food, and they can help out when appropriate. (Baby-led weaning ties into this too, and is another approach that we recommend – even if the messiness of it might look wasteful!)
6.BONUS TIP! Wooden toys
You can avoid creating demand for plastic toys by buying wooden toys whenever possible. Plastic toys are potentially harmful to health, take a very long time to degrade (if at all) and increase the demand for oil. Wooden toys on the other hand (including second hand ones, of course) are more sustainable, encourage more creative and meaningful play, and bacteria do not grow on them.
We hope you enjoy trying out these tips with your family!