Green Parenting: Small Steps for a Greener Planet

Happy Earth Day! There’s no better time than the present to think about how we can make small changes that will leave the planet a safer and greener place for our children. We all know about the importance of recycling and reducing waste whenever possible, but there’s so many more ways to protect the earth. We highly encourage you to get your little ones involved. It’s a great way to build new family traditions and encourage responsibility as well as kindness to animals and plants.  

Here are a few tips from sustainable baby clothes brand, Cuddle Sprouts and eco-friendly toy store, Play Planet. 

  • Start with your closet 

Maybe you’ve heard this before: the fashion industry is the second most polluting of all industries. Most of that comes from fast fashion brands that pump low-quality, cheap, trend-based items made to be thrown out at the end of a season. When choosing clothing for your children, it’s important to consider the materials being used. Avoid irritating synthetic fabrics as these are more likely to be processed with harsh chemicals and can wreak havoc on the environment. Instead, choose fabrics of natural origins, like organic cotton and Tencel. Additionally, buying secondhand or participating in clothing swaps is another great way to reduce waste. 
If you’re looking for new clothes for your little one that are both stylish and sustainable, check out Cuddle Sprouts. Their signature line of tencel baby clothes provides cozy comfort for your little one without sacrificing the planet. Thanks to their ultra-soft and naturally hypoallergenic Tencel Lyocell fabric, you can feel confident dressing your baby in stylish options that are gentle on their delicate skin and produced with minimal environmental impact.  

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  •  Take a look at the toy box

When selecting toys, encourage your children to go for ones made of wood, bamboo, recycled plastics, or wool. These will not only last longer and be wonderful heirlooms, but they will also have been more sustainably produced. Prioritize open ended toys that boost imagination and reduce the need for excessive toys. Eco friendly toys may have a higher upfront cost, but they won’t contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Often, you’re also supporting small artisans and woodcarvers, too!  

For example, our Bingo Finger Puppets and Grand Canyon Play Mat are handmade in collaboration with artisans in Nepal and a great way to show your kids the majesty of the natural world and impart a desire to protect it. 

  • Sending a gift? 

Why not make your very own wrapping paper? Repurposing brown paper grocery bags couldn’t be easier! Turn it into a family friendly activity and invite your children to draw polka dots all over or try out stamps. Might we suggest that you send an eco-conscious present, too?

  • Food for thought 

Food is such a rich and personal experience, so tailor this to best fit your family. Why not take a zero-food waste pledge and find new ways to dress up leftovers or turn brown bananas into banana bread? Talk to your children about how much water and hard work go into growing their favorite fruits and veggies, so they understand the importance of eating everything on their plate.  

Another option can be making an effort to eat foods that are in season, rather than flown in from across the country or even abroad. Check out your local farmers’ market. The bonus is that everything will be fresher and tastier.  

Finally, consider going meatless one or two meals a week. It’s important to make choices that are comfortable for your family. Small changes make up a difference when added up over years.  

  • Say no to receipts 

This one is easy. When grabbing your coffee, groceries, or other weekly personal purchases, ask the cashier not to print a receipt. This can save you on a lot of purse or pocket space, but also minimize the amount of waste needlessly going into landfills.  

If it’s a receipt you might need, why not ask for an electronic copy? Not only will it be easier to find later, but it will also be better for our planet.