Recent data highlights that 44% of Americans worry “a great deal” about the environment, and as a Mom, it’s only natural to care about the state of the planet future generations are going to inherit. Children are also curious from a young age about the bugs, trees, and rainbows around them, so what better way to bond as a family than by making a choice to go greener together? By encouraging the whole family to join in, you can play your part in protecting the planet, teach your kids important life skills, and even encourage better eating habits. It’s a win all around.
Baby’s First Eco-Mission
If you’re expecting or have recently had a baby, one of the easiest ways to involve your baby in your family’s green choices is by using cloth diapers. It’s estimated that disposable diapers can take 500 years in landfill to decompose, creating toxic gases and methane along the way. In contrast, cloth nappies are reusable, reducing the rubbish piled up in landfill sites, and using 90 times less renewable resources than disposable alternatives. They’re also soft and cozy on your little one’s skin. With cloth nappies, even hanging out the washing with older siblings can become a great place to have a conversation about environmental choices.
If you’re passionate about giving your children healthy, nutritious food, what could be better than encouraging them to grow it with you? A worrying government study has shown that just 2% of teens eat enough veg; by introducing it to your kids early, and helping them to develop a taste for a variety of fresh, seasonal produce, you are giving them an important gift for life. Whether you carve out some space in the yard, build window boxes, or even just use grow bags on the porch, your kids can help to grow tomatoes, potatoes, salad leaves, and raspberries, or anything else that takes their fancy.
Another lovely way to encourage your kids to step up and do their bit for the environment is by putting them in charge of the family’s recycling. Recent EPA data tells us that food waste can account for 24% of the 146.1 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste sent to landfills. If you can teach your children to use food waste to make compost, you’re reducing the amounts in landfills, as well as creating nutrient-rich soil for your own veggie patch. By teaching them to rinse and separate plastics, they can also play an important role in helping plastic to be recycled rather than ending up in the oceans they’ll swim in one day. Being in charge of a small job is also a great way to learn responsibility at a young age.
For a Mom who’s aspiring to be fitter and healthier, it’s a no-brainer to try and use the car less. Encourage your kids to cycle, skip or skate with you to school, the park or to visit friends and family locally. You’ll be doing your bit for the planet as well as encouraging an active, healthy lifestyle.
Happily, many of the things families can do to protect the environment can also encourage healthy, positive behaviors at home. Every member of the family, whatever their age, can be included in making better choices, from reusing and recycling to growing your own delicious food. Embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle as your family’s superpower: the benefits are truly super for everyone.