In honor of Earth Day here are a few tips on how you can green the lives of your kids (big and small) too.
Make their school lunch more green:
Buy a lunch box. Not a plastic one but a metal one or of recycled materials (follow the link for some cool bags).
Put your kids drinks in a reusable water bottle. For those of you who read my blog regularly you probably feel like this is a broken record but it makes a HUGE difference. This is one of the best things you can do for the environment. My niece loves my Sigg and they make Sigg water bottles for kids. Here is a link to some really cool Sigg bottles!!!
Pack utensils for them. It is just as easy to put them into the dishwasher at night with the dinner dishes.
Pack a cloth napkin. Some kids admittedly will not go for this one… but see how they feel about it. Being green is in right now so they might be game for it.
Buy them organic and locally grown food. Even if it is just for a few weeks try to get to the farmers market before they go away for the winter and get some locally grown food.
Do not buy juice boxes or prepackaged food. Beside the obvious packaging issues for the environment, think of your kids health. Really read the label of a Lunchable… it is a disgrace and we wonder why kids have health problems. I have told all my friends who have or are having kids if I see them feed their kid an Uncrustable I will report them to the authorities or steal their kid 😉 if you cannot make your kid a PBJ you probably should not have kids… Ok off my soapbox, sorry.
Do not put things in plastic baggies. Find a reusable container to put these items in. Unfortunately, the easiest and safest ones are plastic but if you use them for an entire school year I have to think that is better than 180+ plastic baggies.
Green Baby Items:
Sigg or other stainless steel sippy cups- Plastic with bis-phenol or BPA has been know to leach into the food that is contained in them (see my post of the health effects of plastic here). By using stainless steel sippy cups you do not expose the child to any harmful chemical. I think we all know that plastic is not good for the environment so by purchasing a stainless steel sippy cup you are saving another plastic item from being made and ending up in a landfill.
G diapers– Regular diapers can take up to 500 years to break down in a landfill and G Diapers take 90 days because they are plastic free. You can also compost (the wet ones) or flush them as well. Basically they are cotton breathable outer pants that come with disposable inserts. Because you are not throwing out the entire diaper with every change there is a little bit of work involved for a parent to keep up with this method of diapering but G Diaper has an 800 number and website for help for parents. Remember kids can poop through regular, bad for the environment diapers so be realistic in your expectations for these diapers. The good they do for the environment are worth the learning curve needed to be successful in using them.
Diaper service- Find a local diaper service. Get some cloth diaper pants, covers, or holders (for lack of a better term). You can order diaper covers from babynaturale.com or cottonbabies.com . You can also get cloth diaper accessories at kellyscloset.com
Organic baby clothes and blanket- organic cotton is much easier to get these days for kids and babies. Organic cotton is most sustainable for the environment because no harsh pesticides are used in the farming of cotton. These pesticides comes through in the fibers of the cotton and can get on babies skin so organic clothes are better for baby and the environment.
Baby food maker- There are devices out there now to make it even easier for parents to make their children a fresh nutritious dinner. The <a href=”Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker“> Is a steamer and pureer that gives parents the ability to Baby food freezer packages – If you decide to make your own baby food even some of the time you need to get one of these amazing storage containers to make it easier for you to freeze. <a href=”Baby Cubes 2 Oz. Baby Food Storage Contains no Phthalates, Bisphenol-A, PVC“> or <a href=”Baby Cubes 1 Oz. Baby Food Storage Contains no Phthalates, Bisphenol-A, PVC“>
Baby food cookbooks- It is actually quite easy to make food for your baby and most food can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months so it is possible to devote some time on a regular basis to make the food but still have the same conveniences as store bought processed foods. It helps you buy local, organic, and healthier foods. One of the best cookbooks I have found is the “<a href=”Cooking for Baby: Wholesome, Homemade, Delicious Foods for 6 to 18 Months“>Cooking for Baby” Cookbook by Lisa Barnes.
Recyclable stroller- Baby Planet makes some of the coolest strollers ever… They come in animal themes like tiger and frog, a donation goes to the Wildlife Conservation Society with every purchase and when you are done with the stroller you send it back to them for free and they recycle the ENTIRE thing! While I have never actually pushed one I read the reviews on Babies R US and it appears people are happy with it, the complaint I read the most was that it was a little heavier than other strollers but I personally feel the big plastic strollers are to light weight a cheap (not to mention bad for the environment).