Having a baby is a huge life event, and it can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out how to do everything the "right" way.
One area that you might not have considered yet is how to make your parenting style more sustainable. Here are some top eco-friendly parenting tips to get you started!
Each child comes into the world with their own special set of needs, but one thing all babies need is love and attention. Unfortunately, they also put a lot of strain on the environment.
The average newborn emits about 58 tonnes of carbon dioxide in their first year alone - which is more than 25 cars!
Thankfully, there are a number of ways that eco-conscious parents can help reduce their baby's impact on the planet.
The first step is to use eco-friendly diapers. There are a number of great disposable and reusable nappies on the market that are made from sustainable materials like bamboo and hemp.
Diapers made from compostable materials are often more expensive than traditional disposable diapers, but they're far better for the environment and your baby's health.
Reusable cloth diapers are not to everyone's taste, but if you don't mind washing them then they are the best zero-waste option.
If you're using disposable wipes, make sure to use biodegradable ones. Many traditional baby wipes are made from unsustainable materials like polypropylene, which takes centuries to decompose.
There are a number of great biodegradable wipes on the market made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp.
Organic crib mattresses are better for a few reasons. First, they're made from non-toxic, natural materials, which means they're healthier for your baby.
They also don't contain any harmful chemicals or flame retardants, which can be harmful to your child's health.
Second, organic mattresses are better for the environment. Traditional crib mattresses are made from petroleum-based materials, which create a lot of pollution.
The leading organic crib mattresses are made from sustainable materials like sugarcane, natural latex, organic wool, and organic cotton, which don't pollute the environment.
If you're using baby bottles, try to use glass ones instead of plastic. Plastic baby bottles can contain harmful chemicals like BPA, which can leach into your baby's milk.
Glass bottles are a better option because they're non-toxic and recyclable.
Traditional pacifiers suck! They don't biodegrade, can't be recycled, and they put potentially hazardous PVC plastic or synthetic latex in your baby's mouth.
Do you really want your baby sucking on a pacifier with a plastic shield made from phthalates and BPA?
Fortunately, you can now get eco-friendly pacifiers made from natural rubber. These natural products are a far better option for both your baby and the planet.
If you can, try to breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding is not only good for your baby's health, but it's also good for the environment.
Producing baby formula requires a lot of energy and resources, while breastfeeding is a completely sustainable process.
If you're not comfortable breastfeeding, you can also make your own fresh, organic baby food. There are a number of great recipes online that use sustainable ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Not only is homemade food better for your baby's health, but it's also better for the environment. Commercial baby food is often made with unsustainable ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and unhealthy fats.
Remember that one of the key principles of a zero-waste movement is to reuse. So do you really need to buy brand new clothes and toys?
Honestly, I'm not here to preach, but parents that buy brand new plastic toys and baby products are a real bugbear of mine.
One of the best ways to reduce your baby's environmental impact is to buy second-hand baby clothes and wooden or cloth toys. There are a number of great online marketplaces where you can find gently used items that are just as good as new stuff.
You won't know the difference, and I can promise that neither will your child.
When your child outgrows their clothes and toys, don't just throw them away - donate them to a local charity. There are a number of organizations that accept used toys and baby clothes.
The same goes for used books. When your child outgrows them, donate them to friends and family, charity, or to your local library.
Not only will this help someone in need, but it will also help reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.
When you're doing laundry, make sure to use eco-friendly detergents and fabric softeners.
There are a number of great detergents on the market that are made from sustainable ingredients like plant-based enzymes and essential oils.
You can also use natural fabric softeners, like vinegar or wool dryer balls. This guide on softening clothes naturally will show you how.
If you can, try to dry your laundry outside. Drying clothes inside requires a lot of energy, while drying them outside doesn't use any, and it's free.
Not only is this better for the environment, but it also saves you money on your energy bill.
As a new parent, you'll find yourself cleaning a lot more often. To protect your family, it's important to avoid using toxic or harsh chemicals.
Fortunately, there are a number of great green cleaning products on the market that don't contain any harmful chemicals.
You can also make your own natural cleaners using ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
These cleaners are safe for your family and they're also better for the environment.
You'll end up doing plenty of trips to the local store, to baby and toddler groups, or to visit friends and relatives to show off your new bundle of joy.
If you can, try to walk instead of driving. Not only is this good for your health, but it's also a great way to reduce your environmental impact.
A petrol or diesel car emits pollutants that contribute to climate change, while walking doesn't produce any emissions at all. It'll also help you lose any weight you may have gained during pregnancy.
Even if you have nowhere to go, take some time out of your day to take a nature walk or just visit your local park. Your child will benefit from the fresh air, and so will you.
One of the best things you can do for your child is to set a good example.
Your child will see the way you act and imitate it. So if you want your child to be environmentally conscious, then you need to be too.
Make sure to recycle and compost as much as you can. Try to buy sustainable products, like Fair Trade Certified coffee and organic produce.
If there's something your child wants that isn't environmentally friendly, talk to them about the reasons why you don't think it's a good choice.
One of the most important things you can do for the environment is to encourage your child to have an eco-friendly lifestyle. The best place to start is at home, by going as close to zero waste as you reasonably can.
Zero Waste parenting means reducing the amount of waste you and your family produce, reusing and recycling as much as possible, and composting their food scraps.
There are a number of ways you can help your child reduce their waste. You can start by teaching children to bring their own reusable water bottles and snack containers to school.
You can also help them compost their food scraps, and teach them about the benefits of recycling.
By teaching your child about waste reduction, you're helping them learn how to take care of our planet.
When your baby is ready to move on to solid foods, it can sometimes be upsetting to see how much goes to waste.
Food waste is a huge problem in the United States, and it's something we need to address if we want to make a dent in our environmental impact.
The average American family throws away $2000 worth of food every year. That's a lot of wasted money and resources.
There are a number of ways you can help your child to reduce waste. You can start by teaching them about the benefits of composting.
You can also help them plan their meals and only buy what they need. Meal planning helps reduce waste because you're not buying things that will go bad before you have a chance to eat them.
Another way to reduce food waste is to cook from scratch. Pre-packaged foods tend to have a lot of waste, while cooking from scratch allows you to use every last bit of the ingredients.
One of the best ways to teach your child about the environment is to get your kids involved in green activities. Kids tend to learn better when they're playing, so go green activities are a fun way for your child to learn about their world.
You can take your child hiking, biking, or camping. Or you could visit a nature center or take a walk in the park.
If you're feeling creative, you can make your own nature journal and have your child track the things they see on their walks.
No matter what activity you choose, it's a great way to spend time with your child and teach them about the environment.
Every year, on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. This is a great opportunity for you and your child to learn more about the planet we live on and what we can do to protect it.
There are a number of activities you can do together to celebrate Earth Day. You could visit a local park, go for a nature walk, or plant a tree.
You could also make your own recycled art project or have a picnic in your backyard.
No matter what you do, make sure to talk to your child about why you're celebrating Earth Day and what they can do to help the planet.
Raising kids is the most important and most enjoyable job in the world. By teaching them about sustainable living, we can also help to make sure there will be a habitable world left for their own children to inherit.
Eco-friendly parenting is a great way to teach your child about how they can help the environment and make sustainable choices. If you're looking for more green activities, we have plenty of suggestions here.
We also offer a range of sustainable product buying guides and eco-friendly tips to help you reduce waste at home (and save money).
No matter what you do, make sure to talk to your child about why you're doing it and how they can help. Teaching your child about the environment is one of the most important things you can do for them, and for the planet.