“How to become a greener parent?”
If you’re a follower of eco-friendly lifestyle and soon to become a parent, then green parenting is the way to go.
It’s given that being a parent is one of the toughest ‘jobs’ you’ll ever have to do. As a parent, often it’s essential to take the best possible decision for your kids. But the sad part is, in most cases, you may find yourself in the spot where people are judging you for the choices you make.
If you decide to become a green parent and raise your kids in an eco-friendly way, you need to be strong and may have to compromise a lot in your life. For example, you may have to face the cruel scenario when people might be judging your kids because they don’t play with plastic toys, or maybe you dress them with disposable diapers.
However, there’s a lot of happiness and peace in being a greener parent. You indeed need to do a lot to become a green parent, so we’re going to share a bunch of practical tips on how to raise your kids in an environmentally friendly way, and how to make green parenting easy and fun.
Please keep in mind, although these tips can help you take one step closer to living a greener life, they are by no means prescriptive. They may play a significant role in helping you save our planet Earth for the next generation as well as save you money in the long term.
Here goes the list…
1. Look for help around you
If you are not a parent yet, you should start preparing green parenting. As mentioned earlier, green parenting is not easy, and it is a good idea to look for parenting tips. You can get tips for parents from parenting books as well as parenting advice from people who already practice it.
For instance, if you are pregnant, you can ask your friends to help you with their maternity clothes instead of buying new ones. Buying new maternity clothes is not logical because you will wear them for a few months and then get rid of them.
You might be surprised that such friends can even give you their children’s clothes which the children have already grown out of. If your close friends or relatives do not have such clothes, you can get them from freebies part of Gumtree. People give away baby items which they do not need, including useful items like glass baby bottles.
2. Reuse – make it a habit
If you already have a young kid, then you know that kids use a lot of diapers. Instead of buying diapers now and then, you can go for washable diapers. We encourage you to use the washable diapers because you only need to wash them once they are soiled and use them again.
Using washable diapers not only saves the environment but also saves you a lot of money. The initial outlay is high because some washable diapers can cost as much as $200. Still, later on, you will find that the investment was worth it financially.
As part of mindful parenting, you should also use washable potty training pants. If you combine the money, you will save by using reusable diapers and potty training pants. You may find that the money you have saved in thousands of dollars.
3. Work at home if possible
Many people go to work in offices and other areas of work where you, as a parent, will need to travel. If it is possible, we advise you to work at home. Some jobs do not require you to be physically in the workplace.
Working from home will give you better flexibility in terms of giving your children the best green parenting care possible and also save you money. Remember that when you commute, you spend money on transport, lunch, and many more.
4. Learn to say “no” to your kids
Whenever you go out with your kids, you usually end up buying stuff that you would not have purchased. It happens because, in most cases, you are unable to say no to your kid.
However, positive parenting requires that, in some cases, you should say no. Saying no is among those parenting skills that you should learn. Even if your kid wants just a small plastic toy, you may disagree and say no to it.
There are several reasons why you should not buy a toy. First of all, the majority of children will lose interest in the toy within thirty minutes. Secondly, the toy will either be damaged or lost after a while. With your desire for green parenting, you do not want to end up with a pile of plastic in your house.
Instead of buying those plastic toys, you should take your kid out for a walk in the park or get the kid a snack. It will save you money and also conserve the environment. The kid will be happy, and you will also have practiced conscious parenting.
5. Buy secondhand goods whenever possible
The parenting journey is not easy, and one of the essential parenting advice that we can give you is to buy secondhand goods whenever possible. There are different types of parenting and green parenting advocates for secondhand goods.
It is one of those parenting tips which might not apply in every situation. Still, it is part of good parenting and highly recommended. There are many places where you can get secondhand items, including eBay and charity shops.
It plays a significant role in saving money and preventing useful items from being thrown in landfills.
6. Ditch the car (and we’re serious)
Cars are expensive, and we all know that!
Once you have a car, you have to pay for its insurance, vehicle servicing, gas, oil, tires, and repairs, among many other costs. Apart from all those payments, cars are generally harmful to the environment.
It does not matter about your parenting style or even where you go to work or grocery shopping, avoiding cars is the first step to green parenting. For your transport needs, you can use a bicycle to move around if you do not have to go for long distances.
If you need to travel long distances, you can consider using public transport. In some cities around the world, there are trams which use electricity instead of petroleum. If you live in such a city, use trams and bicycles to move around. Make it a part of your parenting plan to help the environment.
7. Reduce the amount of meat you take
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the parenting tips offered here are not prescriptive, so you do not have to become a vegetarian to achieve positive parenting. While some people may decide to be completely vegetarian, do not force your views upon your kids or partner.
To achieve peaceful parenting, you can start by reducing the amount of meat you take in your household. If you usually take meat every day, you can begin by eating meat three days a week.
Eating meat has a very negative impact on the environment, and it is also expensive compared to other foodstuffs. One of the biggest complaints about producing meat is that it takes a lot of freshwaters, and we know for sure that saving clean water is a must for our future generations.
Even if you do not want to become a vegetarian completely, you can still achieve green parenting by reducing the amount of meat you take every week.
Read more: The real problem with beef
8. Avoid processed food
Staying away from processed food is a great parenting plan. While most people find it difficult to cook dinner, especially after a long day at work, but it is a parenting style you should adopt.
It is tempting to eat processed food, but you should always remember that cooking your food is not only healthy but also saves you money in terms of food packaging.
9. Take your meals together
As soon as your kid turns six months, you should start introducing the child to solid food. The point is to ensure that you eat the same food as a family unit. It teaches them the value to unity and doing something together in a regular basis.
It helps in reducing food wastage as well as making sure that your kids are taking healthy food. The leftovers can be taken the following day as lunch. It will save you time and money.
10. Do you need a big house?
As part of mindful parenting, do not buy a house that is too big. Eco-friendly habits require that you get a house that is just big enough for your family.
A good house should have enough rooms for you and your partner to work in and also pursue your hobbies. A big house means more furniture, and it will require more money and power to heat during cold seasons. A smaller house also implies less room for unnecessary junk.
11. Take a lot of water regularly
Most of the juices sold in stores and supermarkets are made of chemicals. Unless you are the one blending the juice from fresh fruits, you should stick to taking water. It is especially important to give your kids water if you want to be good in green parenting.
12. Grow more plants together
Clean air is vital in any household.
You can get fresh air by growing your houseplants. The plants will not only improve the quality of air in the house but also remove chemicals in the air.
Some of the most common types of plants that you can have in your house include garden mums, spider plants, and peace lilies, among others.
13. Use natural skin care products
Newborn kids have sensitive skin. The best way to go in green parenting is by choosing products that do not have any chemicals that have any potential to harm a baby’s skin. It is advisable to choose products which are manufactured from natural ingredients. If you are not sure about the ingredients, you can check the FDA site.
14. Breastfeeding is vital for you both
Many career women do not give much thought to breastfeeding. However, research shows that it is one of the best parenting skills that any mother can possess.
Breastfeeding plays a significant role in positive parenting. It is also useful because you do not have to package your breast milk in plastic bottles as well as spending time working on the formula of transportation.
15. Discuss with your kids about conserving the environment
You may go to great lengths in green parenting, but if you do not share your idea with your kids, the whole thing will not work. It is important to tell them why it is important to recycle as well as being involved in clean up and tree planting missions. Conscious parenting calls for you to pass your parenting skills to your kids.
With so much happening in the world today, it can be difficult, especially as a parent, to keep the environment and climate change at the top of our priorities.
However, with a few small changes, it’s actually possible to help things along. We hear so much in the media about climate change, especially with the recent rise in the profile of people like Greta Thunberg. We can do so much to educate our children to become a more responsible person by being aware of how their actions and behaviors that impact their world. Making small changes at home, such as having a family recycle day is just one way to get all the family involved in this mission!
Check out the infographic below by The Water Filter Men for more practical tips on being a greener parent.
As a parent who is committed to green parenting, you can sometimes feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. However, do not give up because the 15 points we have shared with you right here can play a significant role in helping you adjust.
As you may have noticed, those points range from saving your money, your environment as well as making sure that your kids are happy. If you have more ideas about how to bring up a kid in a green environment, please share them with us in the comment section below.
Betti Wilson is a parent who is renowned for bringing up her kids in a green way. She has published various articles on green parenting as well as coming up with excellent guides for parents who want to raise their children in an ecosystem-friendly way.
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