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Green Parenting 101

Updated on May 14, 2007

You may not think you're especially environmentally conscious, but if you have a child in school, chances are you are practicing at least a little bit of Green Parenting. All it means is that you are doing little things here and there (or big things everywhere) to make our world a nicer place to live in today and into the future.

Aren't we all interested in protecting our children's health and making the world a cleaner place for future generations? We should be. Having a child around makes you naturally think about the future - not only theirs but their children's too. If recycling those milk jugs seems a bit more important these days, here are a few tips to get you started down the road of Green Parenting.

Simple Changes to Be a Green Parent

The good news is that it's fairly painless to reduce your family's impact on the environment. You don't have to change the world all at once. We must accept that none of us is going to reverse global warming overnight, but there are small, simple things each of us can do to contribute to a healthier world. The cumulative effect of these tiny changes will change our world.

Think about things families use every day. Are there disposable items that can be replaced with more permanent objects? For example, if you use paper cups in the bathroom, you could switch to plastic. You'll save paper for the earth and money for you. You can even turn a regular faucet into a water fountain with the Whale Faucet Fountain. Kids will love it and best of all it doesn't interfere with regular faucet functioning so you can put it on any sink.

Speaking of water, how many plastic water bottles is your family dumping into landfills? Make sure those make it to the recycle bin. Or consider using refillable water bottles that take advantage of that still inexpensive resource, tap water.

Every parent knows we go through dirty dishes and dirty clothes faster than peanut butter and jelly. Energy efficient dishwashers and washing machines save water and are becoming more widely available at competitive prices. Look for the Energy Star logo on new appliances.

Easy Habits for New Green Parents

Get into the habit of reusing household items, especially those plastic containers that practically everything is packaged in these days. (Once you move up in your Green Parenting, you may not buy these wasteful packages anymore, but for now you can still minimize the damage!) You can use these containers for everything from storing leftovers to craft supplies. Just remember not to reheat food in them - we keep hearing that's a big no-no for health.

One of your kid's birthday parties can yield enough gift bags, tissue, and bows to carry him through an entire year of his friends parties! So you're not only being cheap when you refuse to buy more party packaging, you're saving the earth.

When driving your child around town to their endless activities, turn off the engine whenever you can. By not idling while you wait, you'll save the fuel it takes to run the car and kids get to breathe fresher air. Win-win.

It's easy to make your own cleaning supplies and better for you too. Who convinced us we needed toxic and expensive cleaners to take care of our homes?

Green Parenting Resources

Check out this blog for tips to further your Green Parenting efforts:

The Green Parent Magazine


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Tony 8 years ago

    Thanks for the good practical advice. Could there be a silver lining to this whole Octomom debacle? It is a bad individual child-rearing situation but she is a lightning rod for a national discussion about parenting.

  • ipsism profile image

    ipsism 10 years ago

    Responsible parenting requires that parents look critically at an issue and not fall for the catch-phrase that is in vogue, such as anthropgenic (man-made) global warming.

    Global warming is real. Only thing is, global warming is a transient trend in the cycles of earth's history.

    If one reviews the temperature history that scientists have obtained, There can be no conclusion other than that our current climate is a natural cycle, no worse than prior cycles. See, Climatologists ignore the affects of geological events, such as sub-oceanic volcanoes and astrogocial findings. Everyone takes a small sampling of data to support their pet hypothesis, rather than examining the globe in a unified approach. As such, there is rancor and duplicity to force an agenda that will make a few super-rich while making the majority poorer.

  • Woemwood profile image

    Woemwood 10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

    Very down to earth advice