Temperatures are rising around the globe, oil spills are becoming more common, and smog is at an all-time high - so it's no surprise that we feel the need to be more eco-friendly parents. When I was a kid, I thought that being "eco-friendly” meant putting your trash in the trash can, and your cans and bottles in the recycling bin. It was planting trees and flowers, and not leaving your garden hose running on the cement. As I grew older and had my own children, words like “non-toxic” and “biodegradable” started to shine like beacons on product labels. I started to become even more aware of how I lived, and how the products I used affected my family and the environment.
Becoming more eco-friendly doesn’t mean that you should give up everything in your life that you love – you would be surprised just how much of what you love has a “green” counterpart! Here are five really easy ways to be more eco-friendly - without losing your mind.
1. Buy Organic.
Okay, I know this one is a bit obvious, but I believe that it’s necessary to include here. Not only is organic food healthier for you and your family, but organic farming has many benefits for the environment, including:
- Discourages environmental exposure to pesticides
- Supports water conservation
- Combats erosion
- Builds healthy soil
- Protects the bee population
- Fights global warming
Buying organic food goes beyond being the healthier, more ethical option – you are literally helping to protect our ecosystem by eating better.
2. Embrace the Sharing Economy.
As a mom, I have more toys in my house than I have places to put them.
Not only that, but my kids don’t even play with half of what they own. What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be this way? At Green Pinata Toys, you can choose which toys we send you based on your child’s age, and when they no longer play with them, you can send them back – and get four new ones for them to enjoy! All toys are organic, eco-friendly, educational – and fun!
If you have a garden, you should be composting. Composting has many benefits for the environment, including keeping even more waste out of landfills - and saves you a bit of money on commercial soils and fertilizers, too. All you need is a bin in your kitchen to throw away leftover food scraps from picky eaters, and you can start right now!
4. Reuse, reuse, reuse!
Have an old t-shirt that you no longer wear? Turn it into a tank top! What about those old jeans with all those holes? Turn them into shorts! See where I’m going with this? Instead of throwing away old things, try to repurpose them into something new! Here are some more ways to repurpose what you don’t use:
- - Purchase clothes and furniture from and donate to a local thrift shop
- - Use a glass water bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles
- - Turn an old credit card into guitar picks
- - Reuse an old condiment bottle as a pancake squirter
You can reuse pretty much anything – all it takes is a little thinking outside of the box.
5. Know Who You’re Buying From.
Going green starts at the source. It’s important to know who you buy from, and what their sustainability practices are. A local farm may have better practices than a commercial farm – or vice versa. That organic cereal you’re eating may have come from a company with less sustainable practices than say, Coca-Cola. Be sure to do your research before buying to ensure that you are, in fact, staying green.
As parents, we want to teach our children to take care of the world in which they live, and as you can see, it doesn’t have to be hard! Following these simple steps can ensure that we leave behind a better world for our next generation, and beyond.
5. Learn more about the greatest threats to our planet.
Visit this site to learn about the greatest threats to our planet and choose one of those threats to discuss with your family. As a group you can decide how you can do a small part to help each one of the threats. Or you can choose one that you all feel most passionate about.
This blog post was written by Jillian Johnson of Green Piñata Toys. For more information visit greenpinatatoys.com