“Going green” has evolved into a relatively recent phenomenon. It has taken many people by storm in an attempt to help the environment and hit “pause” on all of the damage that the human population has already done to planet Earth. This process is nothing short of complex, as it involves many intricate choices regarding organic food, purchasing cleaning supplies that are low in toxins, using fewer disposable materials, and upcycling old items that would otherwise be trash. In an effort to lessen their own environmental impact, people shifting to the use of renewable products often take steps one at a time, as the alternatives can be expensive or require a new family routine. Here are my top five suggestions on how to implement a “greener” lifestyle at home:
1. Cut down on toxic chemicals
Studies have shown that many everyday cleaning products can be detrimental to your general health. Making your own cleaning products is a cost-effective and natural approach to reducing the amount of harmful chemicals... and a good way to cut back on plastic packaging, too!
A simple all-purpose cleaner can be put together with as little as 3 ingredients:
—> 2 cups white distilled vinegar
—> 2 cups water
—> 20 to 30 drops of essential oil of your choice (if desired)
This cleaner is best used on hard surfaces within the home.
2. Naturally clean the air in your home
Indoor air pollution has become a growing problem in home environments labeled as energy efficient and modern. This is due to the lack of air flow, and as a result, it can exacerbate certain medical conditions, such as asthma. Certain plants are natural air purifiers — and are able to absorb toxins from carpets, ovens, and other synthetic materials. The best plants for purifying your home are:
Ficus (rubber plants)
3. Avoid buying brand-new books
Paper waste accounts for a large percentage of all greenhouse gas emissions. One way to counter this waster is to avoid buying brand new books for your child. Borrowing books from the library, buying books from a used bookshop or thrift store helps to cut back on this waste. In addition to this, you can also trade out books at a Little Free Library—like the one at our school!
Thanks to the Class of 2018 for building a Little Free Library as their class gift!
4. Use hand-me-down clothing
Children grow so quickly, and so do their clothing sizes. It’s better for the environment (and for mom and dad’s wallets!) to utilize second-hand clothing options either from friends and family or thrift stores.
5. Get outdoors and teach your child about conservation!
Teach your child to respect the environment, so that they can grow into eco-friendly citizens! Imparting the importance of sustainability will help to instill stronger values into the next generation.
For more information, check out this book:
The No Nonsense Guide to Green Parenting: How to Raise Your Child, Help Save the Planet and Not Go Mad by Kate Blincoe
Have any other tips for Green Parenting? Tell us in the comments!