It is not uncommon for parents to perceive their future differently than compared to before they had children. When we welcome children into the world, parents/guardians realize that they too have the power (big and small) to impact the earth that we live on.
Whether it’s by buying local foods or driving less frequently, there are many steps to living a more eco-friendly life with young ones.
Not only are there more options in stores and more ideas through social media sharing, but parents are likely more intrigued realizing that their children will want a healthy and brighter future to live healthily and fully.
Read bellow as we have collected 10 great (and simple) ideas on where to start living as a more environmentally conscious parent.
From spending less money on plastic items and producing more of your own homemade goods, these ideas may inspire you to change more than just 10 of your ways.
10 BEESWAX WRAP
Growing in popularity, making or buying beeswax wraps for food containers and mixing bowls is one of the easiest and accessible kitchen-items to find.
Plastic wrap is an incredibly handy and common kitchen-item. It not only protects our food from bugs during the hot, picnic weather, but acts as a handy cover in leu of container tops in our kitchen's refrigerator.
The downfall of kitchen wrap is that it's only for a one-time use. It can not (and should not) be washed. As soon as its job is done, it needs to be thrown out.
9 NO PAPER TOWEL
For those of you that purchase paper towel on the regular, it may be difficult to cut this habit out.
Though it is incredibly convenient to use paper-towel any given moment that a quick mess suddenly comes up, using a re-usable cloth is far more cost efficient and environmentally friendly.
We understand that the more kids in the home, the more mess is bound to be made. But, let's teach them young by using cloth around the house to tidy up messes rather than wasting tree bi-product that is absolutely wasteful.
Next step: family towel? We aren't there yet... but if you are, kudos to you!
8 AIR DRY LAUNDRY
Air drying your laundry may take longer than an hour in a warm machine, but the environment will thank you.
When you become a parent, the amount of laundry you once had nearly quadruples once you're taking care of other's wardrobes.
Rather than wasting electricity, an eco-friendly option is to hang dry your clothes. Whether you are drying the outside along a line or inside on a cheap drying rack, air drying your clothing will save on your energy bills and help your kid's future.
Every small step counts and helps along the way, we promise.
If your child has a soccer-practice or dance class that their friend down the street attends as well, offer to drive them, too.
It's a simple, common curtesy that won't just help the other parent by taking time out of their busy day, but it will lower the car emissions that you would other wise omit into the air.
Car pooling is not just important for adult co-workers on long, morning journeys. It is just as important for those small trips with children and their friends to extra curricular activities.
6 PRODUCT SWAP
Considering what is in your child's product and where it is manufactured can go a long way.
Think about the miles it takes to transport to the store, where the labs for testing are located and where the product is actually made.
If you want to help the environment out a little more, consider purchasing organic and local.
When you purchase local, you are putting money right back into your community. This way, you cut costs on transportation, production and a million other things that goes into producing product over-seas.
5 SHOP USED AND/OR LOCAL CLOTHING
Considering that you're already looking at what you're putting in your child's body, it would be appropriate to think about what you put on them, too.
Vintage shopping may be trendy, but it is incredibly eco-friendly.
The fashion industry is one of the highest contributors to waste. Fast Fashion, especially, produces so many tons of waste each season (there are more than 4 seasons in clothing years), that people are slowly becoming more educated and more aware of its horrible impact.
If you want to make a great change, switch to hand-me-downs or used clothing stores.
Kids grow so fast, anyways. Why not save a few bucks and buy items that have already been made?
4 SHOP PLASTIC-FREE
This may come as an obvious suggestion, though some (if not all) of us need a major reminder!
Have you ever been at check-out and proclaim, "Oh my gosh, I left my bags at home again!" Well, you're not alone.
Consider purchasing incredibly thin, yet durable bags that fit into your purse.
Another good idea is leaving them beside you in your vehicle. This way you're less likely to leave them at the entry way at your home.
While grocery shopping, skip the thin, plastic bags. Bring produce bags that can go from store to fridge. They'll likely keep your fruits and vegetables crisp while using far less plastic.
3 RE-USE SOAP DISPESERS
Many more stores are offering bulk liquids like soap, shampoo and lotions.
When it comes to groceries, it's not odd to find coconut oil and honey in bulk, too!
Consider using clean spaghetti sauce containers, olive oil glasses and other re-usable packaging for your liquids.
Consider reaching out to brands to see if they cary their product in bulk, either online or locally in stores.
It takes 2 minutes to shoot off an e-mail. The difference is in the pudding, and we want to make sure that the pudding lasts a long, healthy time for our children.
2 BUY BULK FOODS
What else could you fill in your reusable containers mentioned above? Food, of course!
Whether it's spices, herbs and/or nuts, the options are endless.
Rather than purchasing bags and bags of flour each week for your baked goods, it's important to consider going into the bulk section or bulk food store to purchase your items.
As they're priced (usually) by weight, buying in bulk can save you money, too.
Buying bulk is a great, easy and fun way to make a healthier lifestyle which will lesson your carbon foot print immensely.
1 GROW PRODUCE
Weather permitting, growing your own produce is a great way to save costs on production, packaging and transportation.
Not only will growing your own food benefit the entire family's food budget, but it will be incredibly rewarding if you encourage your children to be involved with each step.
From planting the seeds to watering the soil daily, children as young as 2 can be part of the plant's growth.
Not only will they see how much (or little) work that goes into growing their own food, they'll be more likely to do it themselves when they're older.
It's a total win-win.