There are many surprisingly easy ways to take good care of your family and be eco-friendly. It is admittedly difficult to be perfect– even the most conscious individuals make certain guilty concessions to make life a little easier. What makes being a “green mom” so compelling is that what is good for Mother Earth is usually also really good for the proper growth and development of our lil’ ones…
If this list seems overwhelming, challenge yourself to make one change at a time. Ain’t nothing to it, but to do it!
- Welcome Hand-Me-Downs— it is amazing what great stuff you can find and it is cost-effective too. If you don’t have access to friends’ hand-me-downs try a consignment shop– they very often carry brand names.
- No More Juice Boxes— try a thermos or sippy cup…this also allows you to dilute the juice. Your kids consume less sugar and you don’t dispose of hundreds of nearly impossible to biodegrade paper/wax/aluminum containers.
- Make Your Own Baby Food— here’s the secret: feed your baby what you eat. First, this forces you to be mindful of your diet. Second, you don’t dispose of so many glass containers. Keep a small food processor, food mill or just a plain ol’ blender handy to make it easy.
- Throw “Gift-less” Baby Showers and Birthday Parties—with all the great hand-me-downs you are
getting, who needs all that “stuff” anyway. Some ideas are to ask guests to bring a home-made dish, contribute money so mom-to-be can hire a doula, or give a second-hand book or toy your child would really appreciate. Make people (and food) the focus of the party, not things. Read more.
- Rethink Conventional Diapers— Disposable diapers take an estimated 500 years to decompose and they contribute to 70% more waste than cloth diapers. Now, now I know for a lot of us cloth diapers are out of the question… The second best choice are gDiapers, and the next best choice are 7th Generation Diapers. (Elemental chlorine-free diapers are better for baby and better for the environment than your average disposable diaper. Totally chlorine-free means dioxin-free (dioxin= carcinogenic byproduct))
- Reduce Consumption of Meat— “At about 5 percent of the world’s population, we ‘process’ (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total (NYT 1/08).” Challenge yourself to eat meat only every other day or once a week. Substitute other proteins in your diet like beans, nuts and eggs…When you DO choose to eat meat buy local, free-range and organic livestock. You can find local, sustainable and organic foods here: www.sustainabletable.org
- Make Your Own Household Cleansers (or buy Eco-friendly ones)— it is amazing what you can do with castile soap, vinegar, baking soda, essential oils and water. Some of my favorite green items include Oxo-Brite (bleach alternative), Tea Tree Oil Castile Soap (tea tree oil is an antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial) and Lemon Essential Oil (also an antiseptic and smells great too).
- Buy Bulk— this reduces waste— the larger quantity you buy the less packaging required. You can store bulk items like beans, rice, oats, nuts and raisins in glass containers in your cupboard. This also saves you $$$.
- Eat Locally Grown Foods as Much as Possible— eat healthier, support local farming, help the environment. Amazingly, it is also a good way to build community–by getting to know those who farm and produce your food or by getting to know local food co-op members in your town.
- Read Labels!— eat less processed foods and, of course, avoid the no-no’s: high fructose corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives. Also be conscious of what you and your family absorb through cosmetics. Avoid: parabens, Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Petrolatum, to name a few… Read more.
Go for it! (You might find it is not such a difficult sacrifice- or at least one you can easily get used to…)
What tips can you share for other a Green Moms??
Need inspiration? Watch this: