How to become an “eco-parent”

How to become an “eco-parent”

There are lifestyle methods that could influence your baby’s health and what they will be exposed to during their growth. Parents should aim to make environmentally and socially responsible choices when raising their children – not only for the baby´s health but also for their future home – our precious planet.

You can gradually start making some smart decisions to protect your baby. Being a green parent encompasses a lifestyle of making healthy choices that are often organic, natural, and low in environmental toxins. Although it might feel overwhelming, it can be simple. Instead of focusing on the whole world, rather focus on three things:

1) What goes in your baby’s mouth.

2) What affects your baby’s skin.

3) The air your baby breathes.

Here are a few tips that can help you make smarter decisions for your baby and the planets health.

Good diaper

Did you know that disposable diapers take 200-500 years to decompose? Not to mention a baby needs an average of 6,000 diapers before potty training. Instead of using disposable diapers, you could use biodegradable diapers. Usually these are made from plant-based plastics, not petroleum-based and are compostable, which makes them more environmentally friendly.

Another option is to use reusable diapers. Reusable diapers are usually made from organic cotton or bamboo fiber. The diapers are washable and therefore more environmentally friendly and contain no chemicals. In addition, they do not generate waste and are just as easy to put on as disposable diapers.

Second-hand goods

There is no need to keep buying new things. Second-hand clothing and baby products are a cheaper and more sustainable option. Borrow baby items from people around you, such as friends and family. Baby clothes and products are often only used a few times and can be very useful for your child.

You can also try to find a charity store near you. They often sell items that have been donated by individuals in good condition and they donate the profits to a good cause. As a result, you are getting a very good deal, while being committed to the environment and supporting a good cause. A so-called win-win situation.

Buy environmentally friendly products

Choosing toys and baby items made from environmentally friendly materials is good for both your child and the environment. You can limit your impact on the environment by buying toys and other reusable products made from natural materials that are easily degradable. Choose durable products that won’t break easily and that can be reused by multiple children. Make sure the products you buy are made from environmentally friendly materials. As an example, choose wooden and bamboo baby crockery instead of the plastic versions.

Skin care products should be environmentally friendly, too. As a parent, certainly, you want products that are convenient and easy to use but you also want quality and the best for your baby. Look out for naturally derived ingredients in products, organically grown where possible. The products should also be packaged earth-friendly. The Calendula range from Natural Yogi is our favourite when it comes to baby´s delicate skin. Calendula and Chamomile are the traditional herbs of choice for babies’ skins. Ingredients include additionally high-quality cold-pressed natural oils, Beeswax and Shea Butter as well as other light (high linoleic) oils that are specifically recommended to maintain the barrier function of babies’ skins.

Honestly, we don´t need to make things more complicated than what they really are. So, if a product serves various purposes, then why not use it for various purposes? Living this mindset also cuts down on excess packaging. For instance, the Calendula Body and Baby Butter is the healing and soothing all-round go-to for babies and for YOU. It is perfect for irritation – from dry skin to sunburn to insect bites and eczema. It offers a wonderful boundary function as a bum cream. Parents can use it as a luxuriously-soothing hand cream – and even nipple cream with its soothing, healing, food-grade ingredients.

Prefer organic

Avoid processed food where possible for both – you as parents and your children. Choose to consume more responsibly in general, like buying local, fair trade, and seasonal products more often. Refer to organically grown and produced food. Organic is a term used to describe products that are grown naturally and guarantees the absence of nitrates and pesticide residues. Organic food tastes better and is better for the environment. Many farms in South Africa grow their fruits and vegetables in an organic way, even if they are not certified.

By shopping right at a farm or farmers market, you save energy for transport and reduce the environmental impact of the transport of food.

You could also teach your kids the joys of the garden by creating their own organic vegetable garden. This can be a great activity for the family to do together and create good memories. If you have no garden or just a small space, planter boxes to grow e.g. herbs are an amazing alternative to educate and avoid unnecessary single used plastic for packaging.

Maybe try buying the strange looking veggies once. It tastes good and is sometimes cheaper. Every year supermarkets throw away tons of weird looking vegetables that no one buys.

Buying organic and local produce may seem more expensive, but it does result in a healthier lifestyle for the whole family. That means you will spend less money on health and medicine in the long run.

Environmentally friendly household

Cleaning products used to clean the home are usually made from chemicals that pollute the environment and are inhaled by the whole family. Avoid aerosols and other chemical smells and replace with natural room sprays. Choose natural and harmless cleaners like vinegar, citric acid, oxygen bleach or a natural generic purpose cleaner.

It is difficult to change everything at once – especially while dealing with the challenges of parenthood, but some actions are possible for all of us. You can make all of these small changes towards a greener lifestyle every single day. With small steps, we can make big changes for us, our planet, and the health and future life of our children.

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