When you live an eco-friendly life, it’s only natural that you would want to pass on these beliefs and this lifestyle onto your children. Of course, most parents let their children choose how they want to live their life and don’t pressure them if it’s not what they want to do. But by taking action early on in your child’s life, you can at least steer them towards hopefully becoming ecologically conscious. As it is the younger generation who will soon be responsible for the survival of the planet, instilling these values in your children could end up being beneficial for the whole world, not just your child themselves. Here are some ways you can get them interested in organic living and being an all-round friend to the environment.
Talk to them
Kids are more intelligent that we give them credit for, and from a young age your child will be able to understand various analogies regarding harming or not harming the planet. For example, if you buy children’s toys from http://www.makaboo.com/organic-baby-gifts , explain to your child in simple terms that their toys are so great because they don’t damage the planet and the animals. Sustainability is a complex subject matter even for many adults, so don’t stress too much about explaining the ins and outs of it to your child. All that really matters is that they have a grasp of the importance of being kind to the planet. Make simple links for them that you can expand on later – encourage them to throw their plastic waste in trash cans. If they ask you why, explain that throwing it down a drain or littering it has the potential to harm animals.
Make green-living part of everyday family life
If you want your child to grow up eco-friendly, you are going to have to practice what you preach! Recycle your materials every week, and you can even do the same with food if you have room for a compost pile. Shop organically whenever you can and try and make your home as energy efficient as possible. If your child grows up with this kind of behavior they will simply see it as second nature, and will continue it throughout their own lives too.
Spark their love for the natural world
Animals always tend to fascinate young children – and if you really want them to care about the planet, instilling a love of all living creatures into them is a great way to get them started. If your child shows an interest in animals, nurture this interest. Let them watch nature programs (although be careful that it doesn’t show anything too brutal) and take them to zoos or wildlife parks. Many of these parks are conservation areas that are places to learn just as much as they are places to have fun, so taking your child there can really help to broaden their minds. Having animals of your own can also be great for your child as they are growing up, so you might want to consider getting a couple of pets.
Tips to Reduce Waste at Children’s Parties
Between the invitations, wrapping paper, uneaten food, and disposable decorations, children’s parties can produce a large bundle of waste. While a good deal of this can be recycled, here are a few additional ideas to reduce the volume of waste at your child’s next birthday party.
To begin with, avoid the usual paper invitations. You might recycle them, but you don’t know that your guests are doing the same. Evites are just as effective, and you can personalize them any way you want! You can even create your own video invitation that can be shared and stored for future posterity. Instead of using traditional wrapping paper, encourage your little one’s guests to use sheets of newspaper or old magazines instead. If your child’s likeminded, you could even forego the traditional toys altogether, instead opting for experiential gifts or donations to non-profits.
Create reusable decorations.
What comes to mind when you think of traditional birthday party decorations? Chances are, it involves streamers, balloons, and banners that all end up in the trash at the end of the party. This year, try crafting reusable decorations that you can store and bring out for other occasions. Make a banner out of fabric that can be passed on to other family members, try decorating with DIY puff paint, or use twinkly lights that can be reused over the holiday season.
Choose a DIY-friendly theme.
Theme parties are always popular. If your child’s dead-set on a Superman or Star Wars party, you don’t have to necessarily go out and buy all of the branded paper items on sale at your local party store. Instead, you could get creative with the theme and use it as a basis for crafts and activities. Create your own dress-up photo booth, where you can let little ones make their own costumes and dress up in silly poses. Look up themed games to play rather than themed decorations. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, just check Pinterest. You’ll be bound to find something that fits!
Avoid disposable plates and cutlery.
Ditch the plastic plates and use real ones instead. If you’re running low, head to the nearest thrift store to get a full set for pennies. These can be saved or donated after use. Serve drinks in pretty jars, which is both on-trend and eco-friendly. Even small children can usually handle real plates and cups, and it makes them feel more grown-up to be given the chance to do so.
Get creative with party favours.
Instead of giving out a plastic bag filled with plastic toys that won’t last more than a day, think of other parting gifts you could give away. One idea if you’ve had a party that involves arts and crafts is that the guests get to leave with their creations. Whether it’s funny costumes from the photo booth or papier-mache masks, they might get greater use out of this type of favour! A book, art supplies, or even just a slice of birthday cake can also stand in for traditional party bags.
This post was created in collaboration with Funidelia
One thing I think all parents worry about is how healthy the home is for their child. After all, we want them to have happy and healthy lives. And while we can’t control what happens outside of the property, we can make a big difference in the humble abode. Therefore, here are some easy ways to make your home a healthier environment for your kids.
Make sure there is plenty of air in your home
To ensure your home is healthy for your kid, you need to make sure there is plenty of air in the property. After all, if the home is stuffy and too hot, your child could end up with bugs like the flu before long. Therefore, it’s a good idea to let some air into your home. It might be that you keep the windows open for a short amount of time each day. That way, it will be nice and airy for your kids. However, make sure the air in your home is pure for the kids. After all, you don’t want them breathing in dirty air which can affect their health. Therefore, you ought to consider getting an air purifier which will ensure the air is pure for your family!
Add some plants to your property
One of the easiest ways that you can make your home healthier is by investing in some plants. After all, they can clear the air and ensure it’s pure for your kids. And plants in your home have been found to have some calming benefits! Therefore, you should get some plants which you can put around the house for the sake of your family. And you might even consider growing some yourself. It will be a fun thing to do that the whole family can get involved in,. Just make sure you get everything you need, so they grow well in your home. In fact, you have to see this to ensure you have the right things to grow your plants in the property.
Use green products for cleaning
A lot of people don’t realize how many toxins are in cleaning products for the home. And then they put their kids at risk of health problems. After all, some of the products can trigger people’s asthma and can lead to breathing problems. Therefore, avoid any chemical-based products for the sake of your family. In fact, you might want to opt for green products instead which will ensure you keep your home a healthy environment for your family. Or you could even make some of your own; check out this site for some home brewed ideas for cleaning product alternatives.
Tackle dust quickly in the home
Dust is one of homeowner’s biggest enemies. After all, it can get everywhere in your home. And if it builds up, it can put your little one’s health at risk. It can often aggravate asthma symptoms, leave your kid coughing away. Therefore, to ensure it doesn’t cause a big issue, you should make sure you tackle dust quickly in your home. Clean your home regularly, and remember to get hidden dust too which is at the top of doors and under the bed!
And once you have made the inside a healthier environment, read my previous blog to deal with the garden!
This is a collaborative post with YourorganicChild.com
For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s a place where we prepare food to nourish and protect the whole family, and it is where we gather together. In the kitchen, we eat together and discuss our day, and our hopes and dreams. It’s a place friends sit when they call in for a coffee and a chat. And it’s the place our kids spread out their homework each evening. This room is important to us, and so it’s vital that we make it as safe, comfortable, efficient, and green as possible.
Pots, Pans, And Utensils
When it comes to pans and kitchen utensils, opt for versions that will stand the test of time. Items that require replacing regularly place a burden on manufacturing processes and landfill. Cast iron or stainless steel are healthier choices than non-stick varieties. Opinion is often split on this, but the former will certainly last longer.
Wooden spoons, spatulas, and other utensils tend to have a limited shelf-life. Opt for quality items, rather than their cheaper counterparts that will soon break down.
Limit the number knives you purchase by opting for those you can sharpen yourself. This will ensure that they remain efficient and will require fewer replacements.
Cups, plates, and bowls, etc. don’t last forever. At some point, they’ll lose a handle or become broken. Rather than binning them, find ways to repurpose them, so they are useful elsewhere. They could be used in the garden, perhaps. Or you could smash them into smaller pieces and use them to create a mosaic.
When it comes to cleaning, ditch the harsh chemicals that are harmful to the planet and health. This includes dishwasher detergent, washing powder, soap, floor cleaners, and countertop cleaners, etc. And don’t forget specialty cleaners for surfaces like granite or stone. Opting for natural cleaners will give you the peace of mind that you’re not introducing toxic chemicals into your living space.
Toss out your paper towels and disposable cloths and choose long-lasting washcloths and tea towels instead.
The kitchen generates the most waste, not just in terms of food products, but also packaging. There are several ways you can reduce the waste you create.
- Wherever possible, purchase food that isn’t already pre-packed.
- Take your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store and keep a supply in your trunk, so you never forget.
- Create your shopping list based on meals for each day of the week to avoid wastage.
- Reuse and repurpose bottles and jars. Even tins and milk cartons can be used as planters, etc.
- Make your own meals rather than buying processed food or ordering takeout.
- Buy in bulk to reduce packaging and transfer items into bottles and jars.
- Plan your meals in advance and create food that can be used for several different meals.
Establish a compost bin for food-based waste such as vegetable peelings, egg shells, etc. Make sure you sift through any waste and recycle wherever possible. Keep an eye on what goes into the bin and find ways to either reduce or repurpose it.
Selecting eco-friendly kitchen appliances and running them in an efficient manner benefits everyone. It helps reduce resources and, therefore, saves you money. Appliances are becoming more energy efficient and so become familiar with the Energy Star rating system.
Using your appliances efficiently is also important. For example, the refrigerator can consume from 9% to 15% of your overall electricity. There are several ways you can optimize its efficiency.
- Purchase a fridge that is big enough for your needs, as packing it full of food will use extra energy.
- Close the door between uses, even if you’re going back and forth.
- Ice makers and dispensers consume more energy, so select a model without these if possible.
- Place the refrigerator away from heat sources such as the oven, which will require it to work harder.
- Allow food to cool first, before placing it into the fridge or freezer.
There are pros and cons of gas and electric cookers. Usually, this will come down to personal choice. However, whichever you opt for, cook efficiently to reduce the fuel you’re using. Simple changes like using a pan lid will help food to cook quicker and thus reduce fuel. Don’t keep opening the oven door to check on progress.
Kitchen Furniture And Fittings
If you need to replace cupboards, countertops, tables, chairs, etc. figure out the best way to do this. Do you have to replace them or can they be upgraded or repaired? Where replacements are needed, can the old items be put to use elsewhere? For example, in the garage or shed? Where possible, opt for secondhand items from places like Craigslist or Freecycle. When buying new items, look for furniture made from eco-friendly materials and created using green production methods. You may need to do a little research, but the results will be worth it.
When it comes to food shopping, buy local. The fewer miles your food has to travel between the farm and the kitchen, the better. It will also cut down on your own gas consumption. Find local co-ops and farmers’ markets and shop there wherever possible.
Arrange your family’s meals around the seasons. It may be a novelty to have access to a diverse range of vegetables all year round, but think about how far they have traveled and the fuel they have consumed. And don’t forget all those emissions as a result of travel. It’s good to know where your food is coming from and eating seasonally is healthy. Seasonal food is picked at the right time, meaning it’s had optimum sun exposure and is full of vital nutrients. This also adds to the taste.
It is often the case that making eco-friendly choices promotes a simpler and safer way of life. If you think about it, this makes sense. Eco-friendly suggests being in balance with the planet and its natural cycles. We eliminate unnecessary processes that consume resources and go back to what is readily available and in abundance.
When you’re a parent, tasks which once upon a time were simple become increasingly difficult to do. It’s not because you’re any slower in yourself, or because you’ve forgotten how to do them – although we may think to ourselves that this is the case – but more often than not, it’s because you have a distraction in the form of a small human being constantly needing attention.
When you are putting time into cleaning and tidying, they rarely want to leave you alone and undo all of your hard work. So what can be done to help alleviate their boredom?
In Every Job that Must be Done There Is an Element of Fun
You find that fun and *snap*, the job’s a game. Mary Poppins speaks both sense and the truth – there is always fun to be found in whatever task you have set before you. If you are cleaning, invite them to race against you to see how fast you can get the job done. It can be something as simple as wetting down a window which is to be squeegeed, or brushing up bits into a dustpan. They’ll be tiring themselves out whilst they’re doing it and learning some valuable life lessons as they go – you can’t lose.
Look for the Bare Necessities
Are they bugging you for a reason? Do they need the toilet, are they hungry or thirsty? Or are they just bored? Follow Baloo the Bear’s advice and sort out your kid’s basic needs before setting yourself to task. It may be that they just want a cuddle or some reassurance before you get started, so set some time aside to make sure everything is A-OK with them before putting your mind to other things.
It means no worries – so take their mind off what you’re doing and distract them with fun and games. If they’re happy sitting down with their gadgets, head on over to https://getshowboxapp.com and see what films and shows are available to keep them entertained. Or you could keep it classic and crack out some board games – these are guaranteed to keep them busy for hours while you finish the tidying up. If you are clearing, try and steer away from anything that will add to the mess; avoid suggesting arts and crafts, for example, as this will just take more time to tidy up at the end and you will need to rely on other methods to keep them happy while you’re clearing yet again.
The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway
If you’re busy inside and have a secure garden, send the children out! Fresh air never did anyone any harm, and gloves, hats, scarves and coats were invented for a reason. There is so much to be explored outside and so much imagination for the little ones to use. Why let it go to waste? Kill two birds with one stone; while they’re outside having fun, get your jobs done as quickly as you can!
This is a collaborative post with Yourorganicchild.com