Climate change is a huge challenge that everyone needs to get involved with, but when it comes to parenthood, you often feel like you’re fighting a losing battle – how can you have time, and space, to think of more green-friendly parenting principles? For parents, climate change is something they really should worry about – Save The Children estimate that the worst effects of climate change will burden the children of the next generation. There are options, however, from switching out polluting materials through to better home management through winter.
Changing it up
Parenthood has been made more hygienic – and arguably less gross – due to the disposable wipes, diapers, napkins and everything else that goes with it. Unfortunately, this also has a huge environmental impact; one journal, published in Nature, showed that the average child will go through a gigantic 6,000 diapers during their early years, with each and every one going to landfill. Even ‘biodegradable’ variants are often not quite as good as they sound. A reusable alternative sounds icky, but are effective. Cloth diapers can reduce your child’s carbon footprint, providing carbon offset from birth, and can save a lot of money. Conservative estimates suggest that nappies will cost parents over $1200. Conversely, a 20 diaper kit, washed daily, will incur only the initial cost and then laundry. This is beneficial both in terms of a carbon footprint and in terms of saving money.
Baby foods are nutritionally complete, easy to access and, as many mothers will attest, easy to feed – these products are designed to be enjoyed by babies and toddlers. Unfortunately, the fun-sized packaging that enables these products to be dispensed with such ease has a huge environmental impact. Furthermore, as Today have found, baby foods have problems of their own when it comes to heavy metal contamination – it’s not often a clear bet as to whether baby foods are going to be healthy or not. A good idea is to look at baby foods and see what they contain – and then break it down yourself. Get family and the kids involved to help you break down those foods into the delicious mush babies love, and then keep those healthy food lessons going into later life.
Education, education, education
There are two main tracts to climate awareness – personal responsibility, and what to expect of governments and companies. There is a lot that individual families can and should be doing to parent in an eco-friendly way, and there’s no harm in reducing your carbon footprint. If anything, it will at least reduce waste pressure in the local area. However, ensuring your children know the burden is shared, and that everyone has a part to play, will enable them to grow up conscientious and aware of the change that needs to happen.
Be the change you want to see. A true climate reversal needs families to be switched on, talking, and to be making change every day. That can be you and your kids with just minor adjustments.
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