I don’t know if you’ve noticed but kids have, do, and use a lot of stuff. Being a “green” mama, I’m often horrified by the massive carbon footprint each child leaves. This is not their doing it is ours. We are the ones who control the purse strings. We are the ones who run the household. We are the ones with the final say. There are things that we as moms can do to improve the way we live while helping the planet’s health.
You can reduce waste by living by the principle of trying to reuse or recycle as much as possible. Children don’t actually need as much stuff as we think.
What they wear
For example, I have three kids and my two younger ones have worn many hand-me-downs from their older brother. In some cases my baby girl is wearing clothing that both her brothers wore before her. This also goes for cloth diapers. I still have many of the cloth diapers that were my eldest son’s being used my youngest now, after the middle one used them before her. That’s the beauty of cloth diapers, they are durable and last a long time, as opposed to disposables which are limited to one use and take up to 500 years to decompose.
What they eat
Meal planning is essential so that you don’t waste food. You don’t want your vegetables and fruits to go off because you didn’t use them in time. Buy in bulk when you can because this reduces the amount of packaging products have (and always buy refills). Don’t use products with Palm Oil. The way palm oil is harvested is an environmental catastrophe. Always look at the ingredients in your products and STAY AWAY from pal oil unless you know it’s sustainably grown and manufactured. Remember that palm oil is in most products, not just edible ones, so you need to be vigilant about label reading.
How they live
Save energy by reducing your air conditioning consumption. Open door and windows on breezy days. Try to use your electric fans as much as you can. Replace all your bulbs in your house with energy saving ones. CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb.
Save water by taking teaching them to take short showers Turn off and turn off the tap when brushing teeth or washing faces. Early habits are ingrained for a lifetime.
Make sure that everyone in your household has their own reusable water bottle (preferably a stainless steel or glass one). Never buy bottles of water unless you absolutely have no other choice. You should always bring your own water bottle and refill your water as needed. Not only are plastic bottles so bad for the environment, they are also bad for your health as the chemicals from the plastic leech into your water that you drink.
Remember to buy local and sustainable products. Always recycle. Living gently, respectfully, and intelligently helps reduce our children’s carbon footprints, which will help stymie climate change. After all we want them to be able to enjoy living their lives on this planet and we need to take care of it so that they (and their children) can do so.