Google+ Authentic Parenting: 3 Tips for becoming a “Green” Parent

Monday, May 6, 2013

3 Tips for becoming a “Green” Parent

content provided by Alex S.

In my early 30s, I left my lucrative job as an attorney in favor of "greener" pastures. That's "green" in a
literal sense in case you didn't catch the pun. More and more, parents across America are looking for ways to go green around the home and I thought it was time to combine my environmental interests with my parental interests in exchange for the not-so-lucrative career field of being an environmental consultant.

My love for all things green began when a worried mom called me one fateful day looking for a school bus accident attorney after a bus accident left her feeling the driver was negligent. I took the case, and we hit it off right away. We shared coffee, and I instantly started to admire her for doing what she wanted to do.

She was an energy consultant, and she specialized in saving families money by making a more efficient home. I had always dreamt of a career in environmentalism, and she gave me just the spark I needed to drop the day job and chase what I was passionate about, environmentalism.

Long story short, now I've dropped the 70 hour weeks in favor of something I feel makes a real difference. I want to share some easy tips with you on how to "green" your lifestyle while reducing expenses. Below are 3 great tips for incorporating a greener lifestyle into your parenting approach, at no charge.

Have a clothing swap.
Most children grow quickly, especially when they are young. If you’ve got siblings that are the same gender as you, you might remember your mother passing your older sibling’s clothes down to you or your clothes being passed to your younger sibling. Clothing swaps and hand-me-downs are a bit of a lost art.  More recently, a trend among mothers with multiple children has been to trade clothes for their children. Say you’ve got a ten year old son and have just had a baby girl and you’ve got a friend who’s got a son who’s a little younger than yours and a daughter who’s a little older than yours.

This is the perfect opportunity to swap some of your son’s older, still-good clothes for some of your friend’s baby girl clothes. Because kids grow so fast, their clothes use usually in great shape when they’ve outgrown them—don’t let these perfectly fine clothes go to waste! Swap them!

Go second-hand.

buy second hand, net effect
Just like clothes, many of your children’s items will be in great shape by the time your son or daughter is through with them. Take a look around your child’s playroom or play area for toys that she or he no longer uses. There’s a great chance that these items are still in relatively good shape. When your child outgrown a height chair, crib, or any of the various other large (and sometimes expensive) items, see if you can find someone who needs these items.

Or, if the tables are turned and you are the one looking for items for your baby, see if you know anyone who is getting rid of a baby rocker, car seat, or whatever it is you need. By recycling these items, you can make a small dent in how much of our natural resources are used to make these items.

Encourage outdoor play. 
This tip has a three-fold positive effect. First, it gets your children out of the house and into nature. One of the sad trends among today’s youth is limited interaction with the outside world and other children.

Second, it gets your children out of the house and away from TV, video games, and the computer. When you child sits in front of these electronics for hours on end your energy bill grows larger and larger.  And third, it gets your children out of the house so that you can have a little peace and quiet for a bit. Your kids are great, there’s no denying that, but everyone needs a break once in a while. When your kids are outside enjoying nature, take a minute to catch your breath—you deserve it!

There you go—implement one or all of these tips in your life and you’ll be that much closer to living a greener life! Green parenting is a way to make sure that your kids’ needs are met and that we have a more sustainable planet!



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