Green Living

Green Parenting: Using Cheap and Eco-Friendly Ways to Raise Kids

Green parents
Michelle Tether
Written by Michelle Tether

It’s not all about nappies; that’s just one way that parents can be more resource conscious, there are many other ways in which we can bring our children up in a more eco-friendly environment. The less we rely on major shopping centres for our day to day lives, the better the environment we create for our children. Some of the best toys a child can get will never come from a shop. Take a look at this beautiful play house that’s seen hundreds of hours of use.

Childs play house

Childs play house – looks a bit rustic but kids love it – by Optimum garden

Notice it’s carefully placed next to the vegetable and herb patch to get the kids involved in the garden and aware of green living. Everything about the setting is an adventure and the parents have done a brilliant job. You could recreate something similar from left over pallets for less than a tenner. What a bargain and the kids will be so grateful for it. If you fancy this setup and want a weekend activity with the kids, I highly recommend you go for an environmentally friendly snail and slug solution. It will be quite demoralising to watch those beautiful greens get eaten and damaged!

Use Eco-Friendly Household Cleaning Products

If there’s one thing that parents notice with a new baby in the house, it’s the extra cleaning and washing that suddenly appears. Keeping the house clean is important, but even more so is ensuring that the products used are not harmful to babies or children and this is getting easier because of the selection in the supermarkets, but at what cost to the environment and your household cleaning budget?

Some cleaning products with heavy perfumes are not only harmful to the environment but can trigger asthma and headaches in sensitive children. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) recommends reducing household chemicals to avoid allergies as well as skin reactions. Here’s a lovely idea for a natural cleaning product.

Eco-Friendly Household Cleaning Products

Eco-Friendly Household Cleaning Products – Sage multipurpose cleaner on sale at bestecoshop.com

There are a number of fantastic environmental cleaning products out there that will not have any adverse effects on babies, but it’s not strictly necessary to go out and purchase these, they might already be in your cupboard, there are many natural products that are edible you can use to clean! Many mums and dads already have everything needed to clean the house effectively in the kitchen.

These include:

Vinegar

Vinegar is a mild acid that cuts through grease, disinfects and discourages mould.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda mixed with water and a little washing up liquid, baking soda works as a disinfectant and mild abrasive that cleans as well as any bleach.

Cheap Second Hand or Homemade Toys for Kids

For babies and toddlers, toys and equipment are often used for only a matter of weeks. By looking on second hand sites such as eBay, it’s possible to purchase practically any toy or piece of equipment at a fraction of the full price. The other alternative, and great activity is to make your own. Not only will the kids enjoy making and being creative, they’ll appreciate the time spent with you as well. Just take a look at these lovely boat ideas from egg cartons. OK, they won’t last, but there’s no harm done, simply toss the toy in the composter when it starts to fall apart.

Homemade toys for the kids

Homemade toys for the kids by Prima Magazine

Resourceful parents could even host a second hand bring and buy sale or swap meet, inviting other parents in the area to bring baby toys or equipment that they no longer want, swapping them for things from other parents that may be of use.

For older children, making games is a fantastic way to entertain them. This can be simply by using card and stickers to make snap or memory games which is not only good fun, but also educational.

Many kids would love to spend a whole weekend making everything they need to be a pirate, super hero or princess. A large box would make a great ship, cave or castle, old clothes can be altered to make costumes, and so on. These are just a few examples of homemade games but the possibilities are endless.

Grow Organic Food for the Family

Feeding children environmentally is fairly simple by using organic food to make their meals and my example above involving the kids is the perfect way to get them involved in their diets.
Of course, the best organic food is that which has been grown in the garden or local allotment but for busy parents who don’t have the time or inclination, there are some fantastic organic vegetable box delivery companies out there that offer the next best thing to  your own allotment, some of which contain baby and toddler friendly packs. Please try to connect with local growers as this will significantly reduce the carbon footprint. This beautiful display is available from dekrat.nl

Organic vegetable box

Organic vegetable box on sale at dekrat.nl

Use Natural Skincare Products for Children

There are some very good natural organic baby skincare products out there, but if this seems like an expensive option, many websites such as the Wholesome Baby Food website provide some great recipes for homemade baby bathing.

This includes a wonderful baby bath mix that will leave baby’s skin feeling silky smooth, simply by blending a cup of oats in a food processor and sprinkling them into the bath. This nice product aimed at eczema is a good example.

Natural Skincare Products for Children

Natural Skincare Products for Children at naturalandhealthyliving.com

All of the above is just a taster in how to parent environmentally – it’s not expensive, in fact it’s often cheaper. There’s very little negative impact, if any, in making these very minor changes, and it offers a small step towards not only helping the environment but also to providing a healthy and happy family life.

Make use of your food waste and papers

Did you know that newspapers that are shredded and potato peals make the most amazingly rich fertiliser. You simply toss them into your composting box and forget. Every so often when you want to add rich fertiliser to your vegetables, you simply get a few spades full of rich worm compost. Nothing will help your plants grow like it! The alternative use for this is to simply collect and fill pots, and then add some nice plants to your living room as well. The health benefits of plants indoors are now being uncovered. It’s suggested that plants help to rid the air of nasty toxins as well as creating more oxygen – who wouldn’t want to be involved in green parenting.

About the author

Michelle Tether

Michelle Tether

I love everything home. I write as a passion for non profit about the things I love.

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