Of course, it’s very important to get a good balance in your home between being eco-friendly and making it a fun and pleasant space for family life to happen in. So to that end, here is a quick and simple guide on how to both ensure that your home is not putting too much of a strain on the environment, and is a comfortable haven for your family.
One aspect of a family eco-house that you need to be on top of the insulation that you use. Why? Well because not only does it keep your kids warm in the winter and cold in the summer, but it also vastly reduces your heating and cooling bills as well.
This is because good insulation means it’s harder for the temperature in the air to be transferred out of the building, whether it’s hot or cold.
You can insulate your home with spray foam, or fiber insulation. But an even more eco friendly method is to use insulative substances that are made from recycled glass. With the added benefit that these tend to be hypoallergenic as well.
Obviously, recycling is a vital aspect of being green these days. But how can you make sure that you take every opportunity to do this in your home, while making it safe and pleasant for the kids?
Well first of all it can really help to have a designated recycling zone. Whether that is in the kitchen, utility room, or even outside. Then you know all of the waste is kept together one place and not taking over the house.
Secondly, it really can be beneficial to talk to the kids about why, and how to recycle and the dangers that it could pose to them. Such as cut from tin lids, or cross contamination of bacteria from raw meat packages that haven’t been washed properly.
Then they can get involved and help you to keep on top of this task too.
Another important aspect of a fun, family friendly home is using power that is generated at cleanly as possible. Of course, you could always hook up the kids’ biked to the generator! But a more practical option would be to insist on solar panels from your home builders, when constructing a new new property, or install them yourself in your current home.
These then convert energy from the sun rays into usable electricity, meaning you can powder alo of the facility that you need without having to result electricity that gha been created by fossil fuels.
A Sustainable Garden
Lastly an arae of the home that can be both eco gr finely and fun is the garden. Here you can teach kids all about where the food comes from, and how to grow their own produce. Try easie thing at first like tomatoes, and carrots and then move on to more difficult project like peas and potato when they have gained some confidence.
You can also teach them about healthy eating and organic gardening and provide items for your family meals, all while making a minimal impact on the environment.
This is an article this month on Parents.com that Yourorganicchild.com was a contributor for.
30 Totally Doable Ways to Be a Greener Parent
These 30 tips make it easy to be a greener parent—on Earth Day and year round.
We get it. Some days you actually feel like you’re Mother Earth and the weight of the world is on your shoulders. That’s why we came up with 30 small changes you can make that will lighten your load and your carbon footprint.From household hacks to money-saving tips to what kids should (and shouldn’t) be bringing to school, we consulted six experts—and did plenty of product-testing and soul-searching ourselves—to present you with these (totally easy!) ways to be a little bit greener as a family.
1. Cut back on red meat, which is detrimental not only to your health (it can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer) but to the environment as well. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, cattle farming is responsible for 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases and is a major source of deforestation. Consider swapping red meat for these delicious, kid-friendly chicken or turkey recipes instead.
2. Ditch the plastic bags. Nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste fill the oceans every year, but it’s easy to do your part to reduce that number if you keep a reusable one with you at all times—like this cute and charitable Earth Enthusiast tote from FEED or this compact grocery bag made in the USA from Maptote.
3. Plan a greener getaway. Be a family of responsible travelers by supporting small community-driven businesses wherever you go, flying with eco-friendly airlines like Jetblue and United—that make it easy to offset your trip’s carbon footprint in a few clicks!—and booking an environmentally conscious room with hospitality industry trailblazers like Kimpton and Starwood’s Element.
4. Don’t support fast fashion. Kids outgrow clothes so quickly, and given the environmental impact of making clothing, it’s more eco-friendly (and cost-conscious!) to embrace hand-me-downs and second-hand clothes. Try second-hand outdoor apparel shop Threadlyte as well as Luvmother for durable, sustainably sourced clothing that’s great for passing down to the next kid or your friend’s new baby.
5. Wash clothes in cold water. Your washer will use much less energy when it doesn’t have to heat up the wash water. (Bonus: You’ll save on your energy bill!)
6. Use a plant-derived laundry detergent free of artificial fragrances and sulfates—that’s gentle on baby’s skin and the planet, yet tough on stains—like Seventh Generation or Thieves.
7. Say bye-bye to chemical fabric softeners and dryer sheets and opt for handmade Wool Dryer Balls from Nurtured Sew Naturally, which makes long-lasting 100 percent Canadian wool balls that not only reduce static and wrinkles, but also save you money and loads of energy by cutting dryer time up to 50 percent.
8. Pack silverware and cloth napkins in your child’s lunch instead of plastic and paper. Also, opt for reusable containers (try ECOlunchbox, (re)zip, or Stasher).
View the rest of the article at http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/green/totally-doable-ways-to-be-a-greener-parent/
Looking after one baby is difficult enough, but when you have two little ones, it is likely to be one of the most demanding times of your life. Maybe you have twins, or perhaps you just had your babies close together- either way, two under two is no walk in the park. Not that it doesn’t come with a plus side, instead of starting again with another baby in a few years you get all of the hardest part out of the way all at once and within a couple of years can settle into a much more laid back lifestyle! But for now, here’s how you can make life easier with two kids under two.
Get The Right Stroller
The right stroller is essential when you have two little ones under the age of two. What exactly you will need will depend on whether your children are twins or varying ages. Check out the Caboose Sit and Stand stroller by Joovy for example, something like this would be ideal if you have a new baby and a fussy toddler who you’re taking out together! Plenty of space for the essentials that you need with two babies is also a must.
Sync Up Naps
If both babies are sleeping at separate times, it will leave you no time to get anything done. As soon as one is going down, the other will be waking up. Syncing up naptimes can make life much easier, this can be done once your younger child reaches around six months.
Hire Some Help
Two young kids mean double the laundry, double the dishes, double the toys. As a busy parent with a million and one things to do already, keeping on top of the house too can be a bit of a struggle. One or two days a week, how about hiring a cleaner or someone to help with laundry? It can take a huge weight off your mind and check off a couple of things off your never-ending checklist.
Make Some Time For You
While this might seem like an impossible task with two little ones, it’s so important to avoid burnout. Even just an hour or two for a hot bath and pamper session can make you feel a lot more relaxed and like yourself again. You could go out for a meal with your partner or even just put your feet up and have a takeaway without having to worry about the kids for an evening. You could hire a babysitter, or ask friends and family to help. If you and your partner are lucky enough to both sets of parents, how about them looking after one child each? Perfect if two young kids at a time is a bit too much for them. While it might only be a once in a blue moon situation if the chance does come up grab it with both hands and don’t feel guilty. You deserve some time off every now and again.
This is a collaborative post with YourOrganicChild.com
With Earth Day coming up on April 22, it’s a great time to start thinking about how you and your family can celebrate our planet and give back at the same time! Nature’s Path Envirokidz has put together some fun suggestions for celebrating Earth Day at home with your family including:
Envirokidz products teach kids about protecting the environment and donates one percent of sales towards endangered species, habitat conservation and environmental education. .
Envirokidz is also holding its annual on-the-box EnviroTrip contest, offering the chance for one family to join them for a fun and educational adventure to help save endangered species. One lucky family will win a trip to Belize to save one of the world’s most beloved and endangered species: Sea Turtles. The Envirotrip contest is currently live and will be running through April 28th. You can enter the contest HERE.
Envirokids has a great line of organic, gluten free cereals and breakfast bars that kids love. I was sent several boxes and my kids love them. The cereal is organic, gluten free and free of GMO’s and it tastes really good. My kids are really picky and they both loved it. The granola bars are also a big hit in my house.
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.
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