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10 Ways to Green Your Parenting


It's not hard to be green! Try these 10 simple ways to be an enviromentally friendly mama, for you and your baby.

1. Buy Organic Fruits and Veggies

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Buying sustainably-grown, organic food is an easy way to go and be green. If you can't afford to buy everything organic, consider it when you're purchasing the 12 fruits and veggies that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) calls "the dirty dozen" for their pesticide residue in 2014: apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, bell peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, and potatoes.

2. Breastfeed If You Can

Young mom breastfeeding infant daughter at home

Breastfeeding is as environmentally-friendly as it gets: it generates no waste, doesn't use any of the soap or water required for bottle feeding, and is as organic as you want to be. Green moms who can, get nursing!

3. Choose Cloth or Eco-Friendly Diapers

Wicker basket with baby diapers and dollars, stack of diapers

Cloth diapers are a smart choice for a variety of reasons. Conventional disposable diapers account for about 30% of the waste clogging our landfills, and are chock full of nasty, potentially toxic chemicals.  If you can't do cloth but want a safer diaper on your baby's bum, consider buying natural brands like Seventh Generation or Honest Diapers.

4. Opt For Wooden and Cloth Toys

Building a Block Tower

With that nasty industrial chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) still lurking in some consumer plastics, wooden and cloth toys are a better green choice for your child. Choose toys made from sustainably-harvested wood, organic cotton, and non-toxic paints. Some brands to check out include Plan Toys, Green Tones, Green Toys, and Haba.

5. Clean Green

Eco-friendly natural cleaners

Homemade cleaners are cheap and easy. A quick web search will reward you with many recipes, or try this one for an easy, eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner: mix one tablespoon each borax and baking soda, one teaspoon dish soap, and one cup white vinegar with four cups hot water. Store in a spray bottle for easy cleaning. If homemade's not your thing, visit the household products aisle of natural foods store for green, ready-made cleaning products.

6. Blend Your Own Baby Food

Homemade zucchini puree

As convenient as those squeeze pouches, tiny jars, and plastic containers of baby food are, the waste from all of that packaging can quickly pile up. Easily avoid this by making your own baby food and storing it in reusable, BPA-free containers. Bonus: when you make it, you get to control what's in it!

7. Shop at Consignment Stores

Thrift Store Shopping Young Woman

Shop at baby and children's stores that sell gently used clothes and gear. Little ones grow so fast, there's no need to buy everything new. If there's not a kids' consignment shop in your area, consider hosting a clothing swap with friends. Reduce and reuse, mamas!

8. Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Cute baby in bedroom getting diaper changed

Cut soft cloths into small squares for baby wipes that are washable, environmentally-friendly, and free from questionable ingredients like parabens and phlatates. Your baby's bottom will thank you!

9. Choose Better Baby Products

organic cosmetic children for bath on wooden bakground close up

Conventional baby products often contain toxic ingredients—until just recently a classic baby shampoo formula included formaldehyde! The best way to avoid scary chemicals in your personal products is to buy from brands who are committed to creating healthier options. Check out the EWG's Skin Deep database to find out what's in your baby's products and to find safe alternatives.

10. Go Reusable

Lunch Box with Food

Part of a mom's job description is "frequent snack packer," and there are a lot of green options here. Stash snacks and sandwiches in reusable plastic containers instead of plastic baggies. Carry refillable water canteens instead of plastic bottles or throwaway sippy cups.