Keeping the environment safe and healthy should be a priority for every human on earth. In the modern era, every poor choice of lifestyle and recklessness towards nature destroys it little by little. Luckily, many people gained awareness about this issue, and they've started addressing it by changing their way of living and taking care of their surroundings. Being ecologically aware means you will have to make some sacrifices for the benefit of the planet. But when a significant change happens in our life, we often need to adapt to circumstances the best possible way. If you have ever wondered how to stay green as a new parent, here are a few tips on getting started.
The challenges of staying green with a newborn
There are so many things that babies need. They are fragile creatures that require extra care and a significant amount of money. That might make even the thought of being a parent impossible for those who lead a green lifestyle. But worry not. Raising a child may be demanding and expensive, but there is always a sustainable alternative. It will require extra work and having every member of the household on the same page. Thus, the basic rule of parenting is applied everywhere - the easiest way for kids to develop good and healthy habits is to have someone to look up to.
Still, the road to parenthood is long, and you will need all the help you can get, especially at the beginning of this incredible journey. Such lifestyles demand many changes, from moving into sustainable homes to re-evaluating consumption choices.
Start with basic needs
Instead of making big plans and dreaming of a 100% earth-friendly life, focus on your baby's needs. For them to grow healthy, they will need healthy food and nutrients, good skincare, and an environment with plenty of fresh air. It all starts from these three basic things. So to ensure the well-being of our kids, we need to prioritize these factors. Creating this change will require your engagement from the very start — when the baby is still in your body. Babies grow and thrive in the womb, so make sure to treat your body like you are treating the planet. Staying healthy with the proper diet free of toxins will mean more than you know. Leading an earth-friendly life requires jumpstarting a much more significant change of our mind and body, not just our environment.
Breastfeeding is the best and the most natural way of giving your child the necessary nutrients for sustainability. It is nature's way of helping us provide for our offspring. Moreover, it uses no wasteful packages, plastic bottles, or anything harmful to the environment. Your body knows the time and how much food to produce. That makes it the best eco-friendly "feeding machine". But if you are a mother that needs to go back to work a couple of months after childbirth, pumping is the alternative. Remember, the first step in our how to stay green as a parent guide starts even before the child is born. Treat your body right from the start of your journey to motherhood to benefit your child's health in the best possible way.
However, if both breastfeeding and pumping are not an option, there are baby formulas to take care of the issue. In such cases, it's essential to supplement the child's diet with healthy organic ingredients as soon as it's able to consume mashed food.
As some of the essential baby care products, disposable diapers are an expensive necessity for at least a year and a half of a baby's life. However, giving your children a more affordable and healthy alternative is possible using cloth diapers. They are made out of soft and natural materials, and they can last long. But there is always a catch. Such diapers need to be washed after every use. If you don't feel comfortable doing it or don't have the time, there are always ways to handle the diaper situation. The same goes for skincare products for your baby. Make sure the creams and lotions have neutral and natural ingredients in them. Lately, there have been a lot more eco-friendly products on the market. They are less harmful to the environment and yet suitable for your kid.
Looking at all that cute baby clothing in the store gives us thrill and excitement. Still, those things are often expensive, and they don't last. Your child will grow a lot in the first couple of years, so what's the use of wasting money on all that stuff? One of the best ways to stay green as a new parent is to use recycled baby clothing or make some yourself. Some of your family or friends have probably had a child in the past few years. If they haven't offered, don't be afraid to ask what they did with the baby stuff. Usually, people are glad to give away baby clothes to their friends, because very quickly they no longer know what to do with them. You will be doing them and nature a favor if you don't waste resources on short-term things when there is a practical solution right around the corner.
Keep the unhealthy and dangerous things out of the way
Needless to say, baby-proofing your home is an essential step for new parents. Taking away the unnecessary items from your home will keep your kid safe. Plus, it will make it easier for you to get around. Even the cleanest, open space concepts get cluttered when there is a newborn in your home. The best solution is to re-evaluate your house and put some of your possessions away for safekeeping. Lately, there has been an expansion of new storage services, since it's a great way to deal with extra things in our households. And the best thing is, it's easy to have storage turned into a green one, with a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness. Using recycled and re-purposed materials for moving and storing items is a good step toward staying green as a new parent.
From detergent to cleaning solutions, you need to be extra careful what you use to treat the baby stuff and surfaces around it. As soon as your child starts crawling, it will touch everything and put everything within reach in their mouth. Living green or not, throwing out the heavy chemicals is a must since they can cause a lot of health hazards. When looking for detergents to buy, look for those that pose no threat to your baby's skin. But also, you can try making your own cleaning solution using some household ingredients - vinegar and baking soda.
Being a parent is never easy. Now add the sustainability and eco-friendly lifestyle, and it will make it twice as hard. However, this should not discourage you. Every big decision takes hard work, and teaching your child to keep the planet safe is no different. Thinking about how to stay green as a new parent is a good start in making this world a better place.
Allyson Kellie is a freelance blogger and writer who has produced many informative articles for Movers Toronto, a moving company that also tries hard to minimize its environmental footprint. She is very passionate about the topic of sustainability and strives to be as eco-friendly as possible. As a mother of two, she knows the struggle of staying green as a parent. Therefore, Allyson does her best to help new parents on the path to a more environmentally conscious life.