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Green with Kids
You want to raise healthy kids who appreciate the gifts of the Earth and work to protect them. But how can you get around the mountain of kidsâ€™ â€œstuffâ€ thatâ€™s out there -- from the latest trend in plastic toys to over-hyped birthday party themes and goodie bags?
Take a deep breath. Itâ€™s not always easy to disconnect your kids from the over-consumption engine, but it can be done. And be happy! This is one area where living green definitely lead to saving green.
Itâ€™s also important to keep kids away from the toxins and pesticides in foods and in household products and cleansers. Studies have shown a link between childhood health problems exposure to such compounds, like formaldehyde, toluene and other glues, enzymes and surfactants that sneak into our daily routines.
Read on for tips on greening your baby from DC writer Liz Pelcyger ...
My Baby's Turning Green!
When I was pregnant, I kept hearing a phrase from my sister-in-law in my head: â€œhaving a child is the most materialistic thing I have ever done.â€ It seems that somehow, the thought of tending to a helpless infant puts a fear in our hearts that is only eased by buying lots of peripheral stuff for our babies. Well, it doesnâ€™t have to be this way and thankfully, it isnâ€™t too painful to make changes that reduce the amount of baby clutter you collect. But, like other areas of parenting, there is a learning curve; once you start you realize both that this is easier than you thought, and of course there is so much more you can do.
Liz Pelcyger is a writer and parent in Washington, DC. Embracing the adage "experience is what you learn five minutes after you needed it" she'd like to share green resources and tips with others trying to raise children and retain their common sense. She has worked for a number of nonprofit organizations but this is her first venture into writing as a professional parent. She assumes one day this will embarrass her children.
There is simply nothing more important in the world than our children. We want to leave them a healthier, happier, more peaceful planet, and such a future starts at home.
Tips and Links:
Live Greenâ€™s 5 Steps to Greener Kids
Keeping up the demands of parenting isnâ€™t easy to begin with, but add on a green-agenda? It might seem overwhelming. Live Green breaks it down with 5 steps that begin to green your childâ€™s life â€“ and protect his or her health.
1. Nurture children with fresh, organic foods and drinks. That old adage, â€œyou are what you eat,â€ rings true. Sending your kid to school with a healthy, organic lunch is a huge step towards health. And now, you can eliminate paper and plastic sandwich wrappings too!
2. Eliminate household toxins with homemade cleaners. Older children can help make these products, making a fun, free activity and a low-cost eco-friendly cleaner at the same time!
3. Shop green (and organic) for childrenâ€™s bottles, bedding, blankets and diapers. Start from square one with an eco-friendly baby shower! Then, when you can, use pre-used items or use hand me downs. If you have to buy new, look for eco-friendly products for your healthy baby. Learn more about diapers here.
4. Tell family: No plastic toys. There are lots of nice ways to say it. You can avoid the crush of unnecessary and, in some cases, toxic playthings, by telling family and friends upfront that youâ€™re going for a low-key, green household vibe. If they ask for gift suggestions, point them towards eco-friendly art supplies, experience gifts (like a trip to the park or a bicycle ride), or let them know about eco-friendly toy retailers.
5. Make birthday, parties and other kid-celebrations green. Relax the party, save some money, and plan for old-fashioned fun. We loved the suggestions here.