As you know the population growth impacts more than lights on, than let the water running, driving instead of biking…
Overpopulation increases greenhouse gas emissions, the need for resources etc…
That is the reason why 76% of US eco-friendly parents choose this path to offer a better life to their kids.
But don’t worry the problem is not having babies, it’s the consumerism. Companies produce a lot of merchandise, moreover, make to not last. And societies push people to have more. To buy this or that, if not, you are not part of the group…
Have you ever heard about Bhutan?
The first time I heard about this country, that was on the news almost 15 years ago. They have a GNH “Gross National Happiness”, they promote bliss!
This kingdom has also a carbon footprint negative, the only one. Despite having a fecundity rate higher than Canada.
You see, you can be parents and still be green. Even better educate our kids to live in an eco-friendly way.
“We must teach our children to smell the earth, to taste the rain, to touch the wind, to see things grow, to hear the sunrise and nightfall – to care.” ~ John Cleal.
Green tips and tricks
Don’t wait to give birth to start being an eco-friendly parent
Sort all the household cleaning products that you have. Get rid of the ones with harsh chemicals. You could throw it, but I am not sure that is the best solution, it’s waste. So maybe you can give those cleaning products to someone not green yet, and come back weeks after with homemade eco-friendly cleaning products.
Ask your family, friends, if they have baby clothing. I have in my family a tradition with newborn clothing. It started at my brother’s birth after him all of us (sisters, cousins) have worn the same few baby clothes.
You can keep doing this for years, I guess until adolescence… So an other solution it’s to buy clothing made with sustainable fabrics like hemp.
When the baby is born use cloth diapers or biodegradable ones. Indeed, disposables are frequently to blame for congested landfills. The same goes for the wipes, buy reusable ones or make your own, challenge your partner with a price at the end!
According to UNICEF, you should solely breastfeed your baby during her/his first 6 months of life. Then, keep breastfeeding alongside solid meals until they are two years old.
It will be beneficial for you both, and it will help you conserve energy and waste that would otherwise be utilized in the manufacture and packing of formula.
You can also prepare the food for your baby, it’s cheaper and you know exactly what is inside. You will find a lot of advice for it online.
Eco tips: try to buy locally as much as you can.
You know how much toys are important for kids. They teach them skills, improve intellectual, social, sensory and motor development as well as language acquisition.
You have different choices concerning toys:
- Recycled plastic toys
- Wooden toys
- Exchange toys with others parents
- DIY toys
Buying sustainable toys, swapping them will make you save money.
Educate your kids at a very young age.
The best way for them to understand and appreciate it, it’s to take time and guide them.
1- Explain to them how is important to save energy and water.
2- Adopt a pet to teach them responsibility, empathy and respect for the living being. It doesn’t have to be a dog or a cat, it can be a hamster, fish… Or seeds outside for the birds.
3- Having plants will teach kids to take care of nature. Your children when they will see their plants growing it will create a bond and develop their craving for learning.
If you have the possibility plant a vegetable garden with them. They will understand where the food comes from, and you will save money.
4- Go explore the outdoors with them. It will develop their mental, natural body ability and their environmental consciousness.
5- Sort waste together
6- STEM education: “STEM learning involves more than just one solution to a problem. Unlike traditional textbook learning, STEM encourages students to think outside the box to develop creative solutions to problems.” This education will open their mind to find solutions to climate change issues.
As you know, some have renounced to be parents to save the planet. I understand their point of view but at the same time, they will not educate “eco-friendly fighters”.
The best way to teach your children to be eco-conscious is to be an example for them.
“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” ~ David Sobel
About the author: Marianne Fornieles, born in France and lives on Vancouver Island, British Colombia. She is a student in Digital Marketing. She is passionate about the environment, travels and photography. You can see what’s she’s up to on Instagram @marianne_frnls/