5 Ways to make Greener choices as a Parent
5 Ways to make Greener choices as a Parent: By Brooke Summerville at Eco Parents
So you want to be a bit more eco. You understand we only have one planet and you want to make sure it’s suitable for future generations. Good for you. For some, the environmental problems of the world can seem so overwhelming that it is hard to know where to start, so perhaps they don’t bother. Great news – you can make simple changes at home that do make a difference.
1. Buy less.
This might seem impossible when you have children. There are so many items pitched at excited expectant parents that would have you believe you need a truckload of stuff for your bundle of joy to be safe and healthy. You don’t love your child any less if you give them pre-loved items or they don’t have every item in that baby magazine. In fact, stop buying the baby magazines and sign up to online publications that focus on quality content and less on selling you products you don’t need.
2. Make more.
Homemade food can be easy to manage and generally healthier than the commercial stuff pitched for babies and kids. I remember being shocked when I discovered that ‘baby’ yoghurt had more sugar than the adult version (and it was more expensive and double the packaging). This point also goes for toys. Children need to exercise their brains by using their imagination. It is an important part of their development. A drum crafted from a saucepan or a box might be 100 different things, but that expensive drum toy will always just be a drum. Less really is more. Build up a craft box of cardboard rolls, egg cartons, pegs and other items so you have a supply of materials on hand. Besides, the process of sitting with your kids and making something with them is generally more valuable than taking them to the shop to buy something.
Most people know about cloth nappies. You use them, wash them and use them again. But many people don’t realize there are reusable versions of just about every single use product around. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of outgoing rubbish is a good thing. Naturally this also reduces the need for buying products over and over. And of course you’ll be saving money in the long run.
4. Conscious gifting.
When buying gifts adopt some of the principles in this list, such as giving reusable alternatives to disposable items. Buy quality products and consider gender-neutral colours for childrens items. You can also make it known that you don’t want new items for your own kids. Asking for preloved gifts can deliver some truly amazing results.
5. Talk about what you are doing.
Tell your children about how and why you are making these changes and be proud to mention it to other parents. When other people understand how easy it can be they are more likely to try it themselves. If everyone was making small changes in their homes, they’d be more likely to influence greater change for the world. Sounds epic I know. But it’s true.
Brooke Summerville is the founder of Eco Parents Australia. Share in her family’s experience of trying to raise kids sustainably. Her website, blog and Facebook page is where she shares her challenges, triumphs, tips, useful links, articles, eco product reviews and giveaways. Brooke says ” I have always been eco-minded, but having children amplified the importance of living gently”. You can also follow Brooke on Instagram and Pinterest.
Thank you so much to Brooke at Eco Parents for submitting this informative post to #MyFiveThings!