Green Living

tips with young kids

Kids + Green Living

Having a baby can raise your carbon footprint rather quickly. Babies and toddlers are growing so fast and going through large amounts of clothing, toys, and essential items rather quickly. The good news is that there are several ways you can reduce your baby's impact and go green with babies and toddlers. These tips will help you make green changes with your baby and toddler to help reduce your overall impact on the environment and save money while you are at it.

5 Tips for Sustainable Living with Young Kids


1. Use Cloth Diapers

When it comes to places babies are damaging to the environment you can't get much worse than their diapers. The average baby diaper will not break down during your or your child's lifetime and they will use thousands between birth and becoming fully potty trained. Cloth diapers are a great alternative and one of my first tips for green parenting. While many will argue that they take a lot of water to wash, they will still use significantly less water than a lifetime of disposable diapers while leaving behind no trash to go in landfills.

2. Try Out Breastfeeding

For families that chose to breastfeed, their environmental impact is much lower than formula feeding. Breastmilk is as locally produced as you can get for your baby eliminating shipping and packaging. Even if you pump and bottle feed using plastic milk storage bags you will produce less waste breastfeeding than with formula feeding making this a great way to lower your baby's carbon footprint. To reduce your waste opt for reusable breast milk storage containers.

This is not formula feeding bashing! Formula is great for babies, regardless of your reasoning behind choosing to formula feed. And you do not need to defend your decision to do so. A fed baby is a healthy baby, and we are big believers in fed is best!

3. Buy Items Used

Every new item you buy has a fresh carbon footprint from production to transportation. On the other hand, your used items have already made their impact giving you the confidence of knowing that you have done your part to reduce your family's carbon footprint. To make even more of an impact opt to save things for future babies or give them to a friend that is having a baby to help give those items yet another life before they meet their end. Thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, local B/S/T groups, local Buy Nothing groups, Poshmark, Mercari are all great options to check out that make my list of tips for green parenting!

4. Be Wise with Toys

Ditch the plastic toys that never degrade after your child has broken them and for the most part are largely not recyclable. Instead, choose toys that can be broken down and composted once your child is done with them. This is a great way to reduce the amount of trash that your family is producing. Babies and toddlers go through a lot of toys as they quickly progress through developmental stages. By choosing eco-friendly materials you are making a small but effective effort to change things. Hand-crafted wooden toys are sturdy and likely to survive not one but multiple children. Should they become destroyed they can be broken down and turned into sawdust that can then be turned into compost for your garden rather than throwing the toys away. \

4. Be Wise with Toys

Toys are vital to child development but you as the parent have a say in what types of toys you bring into your home. Look for toys that are second-hand, good for the environment, and designed to last long after you have brought them home and added them to the toy shelf with everything else. To reduce how many toys you need try rotating your baby and toddler toys allowing your child time to forget about a toy because it comes back into your rotation making it seem new and exciting all over again. This is a great way to make the most of your child's toys while reducing how much you have to clean and pick up every day as well.

5. Buy Organic Cotton and Hemp Clothes and Bedding

The materials you chose to use for your baby can make a big difference. Opting to use organic cotton, natural fibers and hemp products when shopping for your baby not only helps reduce your environmental impact but helps to keep harsh chemicals away from your delicate new baby. Items like mattresses off-gas for long periods of time after you remove them from the packaging making organic a safer option for your baby. Many parents discover that organic cotton and hemp products are much softer and enter on the skin than other fabrics as well making them perfect for pampering your baby.