Going green is not the latest fashion cry but an attempt for sustainable living and protecting our earth. Many people choose to change their habits and lifestyle in order to produce less waste and ensure the environment does not get unnecessarily polluted. There is a tendency to eating more organic food and using biodegradable products.
Quite often, young parents are faced with the question of what they can do in order to raise an eco-friendly child in a greener world. The truth is, that there are many options. The market now offers a great variety of eco-friendly products and options to substitute traditional goods such as disposable diapers and wipes with greener ones.
Being eco-friendly, however, doesn’t mean spending all your money on organic produce and biodegradable toys and objects. It is a state of mind, an attitude, a habit that we can teach our kids. From the very first day we bring them home, our choices can contribute to a safer and cleaner environment.
How to make green decisions
It is important to learn how to make green decisions. It is a choice that you need to think over and see if it works for you and your family. When you have a baby, there are tons of new responsibilities, so make sure that your green decisions do not interfere with your daily routine but facilitate it. There are several ways to make your life with a kid more sustainable and eco-friendlier and some of the main ones are listed below:
Diapers are one of the essential investments for the first two years of your kid and one of the biggest polluters. It takes about 500 years for a single diaper to decompose and diapers represent nearly 4 million tons of landfill waste per year in the USA alone. So, it is worth trying to switch to reusable diapers. There are many companies now that offer them and you can easily order them online as well. Though the investment may seem significant at the beginning, you will end up saving money on the long-run. If you calculate how much you pay each week for disposable diapers and multiply it by two years on average, you will see the benefit.
The ultimate debate of cloth vs disposable diapers will always be causing a kind of “diaper war” between parents as both have their pros and cons. If you want to be in the green team, though, your choice should be reusable diapers.
In addition to cloth diapers, you can also change the wet wipes with eco-friendlier ones. You can use soft cloths and also wash them along with the diapers or other types of laundry. Or opt for those brands that offer wet wipes containing nearly 100% water and no other chemicals. This will be beneficial both for your baby and the planet.
Potty-training your kid as early as possible will also save you time and money, as you won’t be changing diapers.
Feeding your baby and toddler is more or less a personal choice and depends on many conditions. While breastfeeding is one of the natural and easiest ways to feed your infant, not all women have the opportunity to do it for one reason or another. If you use formula, there are a few ways to be eco-friendlier. Do not invest too much into sterilizers, the truth is your washing machine can do just fine, thus, you will have one tool less that you need to dispose of in time.
Once it comes to introducing solids and feeding your toddler, it is good to opt for more veggies and fruits. Quite often, locally produced food is better and healthier than imports. Be careful and make sure that the produce you buy is really organic and does not only bear the label “eco” just to get your money.
When it comes to clothes, safety is first. Your infant needs comfortable clothes made of natural materials like cotton. If you go for organic cotton it is even better as chances are the piece will last longer and you can hand it down to siblings or friends.
Shopping for second-hand clothes is yet another environmentally-friendly decision that will be light on your pocket as well.
Cosmetic products and detergents
When it comes to the soap and shampoo that you will use for your kid, you have an organic option too. Those products are milder on the skin and safer for the environment. There is also washing powder and different detergents that are biodegradable and are a great solution for a clean house and planet.
Purchasing additional furniture for your kid is a must when it comes to essentials like a crib or a high-chair. Still, when buying a crib or a dresser, you can also use some second-hand options. A charity shop or a garage sale may offer a great piece of furniture at a reasonable price. You can also check with friends and relatives whose kids have overgrown theirs if you can use/borrow them. These items haven’t seen much action so you can presume that they will be as good as new. It is advisable, though, to thoroughly check that they are all completely functional and without any defects or broken so that they can compromise your baby’s health and safety.
It is necessary to admit that toys are essential for the proper development of kids and they should have the toys proper for their age. Still, this does not mean to overload them with lots of toys that get thrown away after a day or two of usage. A fancy or more expensive toy does not guarantee more fun and pleasure. Quite often simpler toys as building blocks and your attention are a better option than a tablet or other modern gadget.
Try to be creative in offering them to turn items from your household into toys. You can use plastic cups to play with or other everyday items that can become a toy. Such activity will also stimulate your kid’s imagination and urge them to be creative. Remember, kids need to get bored from time to time, so do not try to occupy each and every minute of their day with activities.
If you want to teach your kid how to protect nature, it is necessary to show them how lovely it is. Taking straws in nature, having a picknick every other weekend or traveling are simple ways to see the beauty of the environment around us and start loving it. Nature reserves and community parks are a great way to spend quality family time together.
Teach your children to look after plants, to be kind to animals and they will grow to be responsible adults who will protect nature.
It is great if you are able to implement all of these decisions into your routine but following even just one or two also makes a difference. You can eventually add more and more as you would be able to see the change for you and your family.
Eco-friendly products we can buy
Luckily, there are many products on the market now that are made with sustainability in mind. It is much easier and affordable to choose eco-friendly products that are of high quality and do not cost a fortune. While it is correct that some of the organic goods are more expensive, the fact is that they are of high quality and durability and usually last longer than the other options, which also makes them a good choice for the family budget.
A report by Statista about the share of organic baby care products in 2017 revealed that 31% of the 156 respondents buy almost only organic products, while 33% focus on mainly organic products. Only 4% reported to having purchased almost only conventional products when it comes to baby care. This is a clear sign of the shift to a more responsible consumer society and is a drive for the companies to offer more and more eco-friendly baby products.
A greater supply means more choices when it comes to purchasing eco-friendly products for your babies and kids. Keep in mind that reusable items are actually green as they will have a longer shelf life and you will use them multiple times before they go to the landfill. That goes to plastic cups, straws, sandwich boxes and many other similar items.
If you want to introduce some eco-friendly solutions, you can look for these types of products:
Cloth diapers that will let your baby sport a cute diaper, while taking care of the environment. The diapers are gentle and non-toxic and quite easy to use, especially when you have to potty train your baby.
They will allow you to use them multiple times and are very easy to clean and maintain.
Reusable silicone lids can transform any cup into a sippy cup. The lids stretch over most cup sizes (2.5″ – 3.75″ diameter) and you can choose the cup for your kid. Thus, they allow you to control the material from which your kid drinks. They are also good for the environment as you can use them multiple times (boil them for sterilization and clean them in a dishwasher) with the cups you already have and you don’t buy additional sippy cups that end up on the landfill.
A Reusable bottle that is perfect for use at kindergarten or school. It is a great way to teach your kid to be eco-responsible from a young age. You can use it over and over again and help save the planet by creating less waste by using disposable plastic bottles.
Educational toys are a great gift for a curious kid. The packet includes six different working models and your kid can assemble a Solar Revolving Plane, Solar Windmill, Solar Plane, Solar Airboat, Solar Puppy, or Solar Car. It is an interesting way to stimulate the creativity of your kid and teach them about reusable energy such as solar energy.
This baby pouch can be a great alternative to the traditional highchair. You can attach it to any given chair or car seat and make your baby comfortable. It is a great solution for those who love traveling and exploring with their kid. The pouch is made of 100% cotton and is very durable, it can be washed and reused multiple times.
These are just a few examples of eco-friendly products for babies and kids that you can find on the market. There is a myriad of other products starting from baby wipes to shoes and furniture which are manufactured in a sustainable way. Many companies use recycled materials to make their new products and by purchasing such items you support the environment.
The key to teaching your kids to be environmentally-cautious is to show them how to reuse and recycle items from their everyday life. Set an example and they will follow you.