Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be well aware of the importance of ‘going green’. Environmental awareness is at an all time high and everyone from governments to big and small businesses are re-thinking their impact on our precious natural resources. While the bigger picture is what we often think about when considering the environment and out impact on it, looking closer to home can be just as important.
‘Going green’ can have a huge number of benefits for our families and it’s often as simple as making small changes for a greater impact.
Here are some reasons why we believe ‘going green’ is well worth the effort and how to do it in an effective, stress-free way (because no parent needs more stress in their lives!)
Modelling eco-friendly behaviour for busy little minds
I still remember when the larger supermarket chains started to minimise and then eliminate single use plastic bags. While I was a fairly committed ‘reusable bag bringer,’ there were more times than I probably care to admit when I would forget my green bags and need to grab an alternative. And I’d always feel guilty when that alternative was plastic, even though I knew it was of the recycled variety. The switch to paper and other reusable alternatives was a welcome change and I loved that the eco-friendlier solution was now the default. It was also a lightbulb moment as it made me realise that one of the best ways to embrace an eco-friendlier existence was to remove the options and make the default the go-to. I now am conscious in my decision making when it comes to choosing products and prioritising the eco-friendlier option. Because if I don’t have plastic bags in the house then I won’t use them. If the only zip-lock bags are the reusable ones, then that is what we use. Ditto the FoGo bin and a million other everyday items and products; if it’s there, we will use it. And it’s these behaviours that I want to model for my children. Kids learn by seeing and doing, so, showing them an eco-friendlier existence and including them in those choices means that they likely won’t need to consider making a switch; it will just be second nature to them to make more environmentally aware choices.
Little changes to reduce your family's carbon footprint and impact on the environment
Small changes done consistently can have a big impact. While we can’t single-handedly stop climate change, there are plenty of small changes that we can make each day that contribute to the bigger picture. We are all probably aware of the obvious ones, switching off lights when not in use, using appliances mindfully, recycling, but what about us specifically as parents? The unfortunate fact is that growing your family adds to your carbon footprint (or, as the experts say, your carbon legacy). By thinking more sustainably and making more eco-friendly choices we can help minimise that as much as possible. As a family you might want to consider:
- Using reusable nappies all or some of the time – It may be a big commitment but switching to reusable nappies, even for some of the time, can have a significant impact on both the environment AND your wallet.
- Reducing, reusing, and recycling – Like with any organisation, choosing to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ wherever possible can have a very positive impact on your carbon footprint. This could mean reducing your use of single use products by making your own baby food and toddler snacks, investing in reusable snack containers and storage bags (we love the Haakaa Silicone Sip- N -Snack Cup and Junobie Reusable Breast Milk Storage Bags) and recycling baby toys, clothes and other essentials for your next child.
- Ditching single-use products – Babies and toddlers often seem to need a lot of ‘single use stuff.’ Wipes, nappies, creams and ointments, food, and snacks. While it can sometimes take a little more effort, switching to reusable alternatives where possible can have a huge impact on both your immediate and wider environment. Even something as simple as switching from using disposable face wipes or kitchen paper to a warm flannel and washable cleaning cloths can make a difference for the better.
- Making better choices about materials – While plastic once ruled the world, things are changing for the better, especially when it comes to baby care! Bottles, feeding utensils, food storage and toys are increasingly being made from much more environmentally friendly, sustainable and, some would say, safer materials, like silicone. It’s one of the many reasons we love the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump. Made from 100% food grade silicone and free from BPA, PVC and Phthalates, it can be re-used over and over again without any fear of disintegration which we often can’t say for plastic based products.
Breastfeeding and the environment
You may have heard that breastfeeding is one of the most economical and environmentally friendly ways to feed your little one and this, for the most, part, is correct. While there are certainly products and services that can make breastfeeding easier, technically all you need are a pair of breasts capable of producing enough milk! From an environmental perspective, breastfeeding uses minimal water and land resources, doesn’t produce any carbon emissions, and has minimal if any waste associated with it. If you’re able to, breastfeeding is a wonderful way to help support our environment while nourishing your little one (and lowering costs!)
For more information on making the switch to sustainable, eco-friendly (and super effective) products, check out the whole Milkbar Breastpumps range.