Wondering how to get started living sustainably with young kids? Here are some tips for green parenting that will help you go green!
Tips for Green Parenting
Having children is one of the biggest ways we can raise our own carbon footprint. Babies, toddlers, and kids use a lot of resources over a very short period of time, often use large amounts of plastic and disposable items, and can naturally be very wasteful. When we decide to take a journey to become green we need to bring our kids along with us to make a true difference. These easy ways to go green with kids will help you dive right in as a family and do your part for the planet.
Let’s dive into the tips for green parenting.
Start a compost bin.
Teaching our kids how to turn scraps into food for the garden is a great lesson for them to learn. Kids often do not finish all of their food and the large amount of food waste adds up. Teach your children what food waste can go into the compost bin rather than in the trash or down the garbage disposal. And consider dishing out smaller initial portions to get ahead of the possible food waste.
Grow your children’s favorite fruits and vegetables.
Kids love to snack all day long. One great way to make their snacking more eco-friendly is to grow their favorite fruits and vegetables in the garden. Not only will your child be able to see how that food makes it from seed to table but you are also reducing your family’s carbon footprint by not purchasing produce that has been shipped across the country. All while teaching your children to choose healthy foods.
Kids outgrow and destroy their clothes so fast sometimes it feels faster than we can buy them. Take advantage of yard sales, thrift stores, and kid clothing consignment stores to stock your child’s closet with clothes that have already been used by another child for a green alternative to always buying new clothes. Every item we give a new life is an item that doesn’t land in a landfill!
Teach kids to use less water and electricity.
By teaching our kids to turn things off when not in use we help them learn to conserve non-renewable resources to help the planet. With constant reminders and even signs on the doors reminding them to turn the lights off your kids can quickly learn how to use fewer resources and help the environment. A great way to teach kids this is to rotate which one is in charge of making sure it is done around the house. They will remind the others and in the process, it will get drilled into them.
Teach kids to be mindful of what their toys are made of.
Kids want all the fun toys their friends have but when we make a point to teach them to be mindful of what those toys are made of and how easily broken they are, your child can make a wise choice in what toys they really want and how important it is that if they chose a plastic toy that will never break down and can not be recycled that they make a point to take really good care of that toy.
Invest in rechargeable batteries.
Kids’ toys go through a lot of batteries. To put less of a drain on the environment you can opt to purchase rechargeable batteries that can help save thousands of batteries from landfills over the course of your child’s time playing with these toys. In the long run, you will save money as well making the benefit twofold.
Join your local recycling program and teach your kids how to recycle.
Recycling is vital for helping our environment and it is a great job to put kids in charge of. Teach them to break down boxes, crush bottles and jugs, and how to properly wash out jars and cans to make them recyclable. Most items that find their way to the recycling center can not be recycled because of how dirty they are. Teaching your kids to wash them teaches your children what they can do to help ensure that these items have a chance at a new life. Consider printing out a list of recyclable plastics that can and cannot be recycled – just make sure to double-check your local regulations.
Buy your kids reusable water bottles.
Kids have a tendency of grabbing a water bottle and leaving it lying around. If you use bottled water in a house with kids, odds are you have found yourself walking into a room with a dozen half-used bottles of water running around before. Instead of using bottled water get your kids reusable water bottles and get a quality water filter.
Visit the library often.
While every home should have plenty of books not all of those books have to be owned by you. Regular visits to the library for reading materials, and even checking out your local Little Free Library are a better way to offer a large variety of books to your kids while helping to reduce the number of trees that must be cut down to provide your child with those books. Teach your kids how to use the library to find what they want and save trees at the same time.
What did you think of these tips for green parenting? I hope they help set you up on a great path to sustainable living as a family!
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