Are you looking for tips for living green as a home with toddlers? Those little people are so much work that it’s easy to just opt for the most convenient options; when they’re all grown up, we reason, we can work on being ‘green’. Living green, though, is not as hard as it looks to first. Really, there’s no better day to start than today: today, when your toddler is still small and ready to soak up all of your habits and practices like a sponge. Here are some practical tips for living green.
• Buy bagged cereals rather than boxed—There’s a sealed bag inside that cereal box anyway, so the cardboard box is just extra trash for the landfill—and extra trees to be cut down. Buying bagged cereals instead of boxed is the ecological friendly way to go.
• Reusable snack containers—Pack your toddler’s snacks and meals-on-the-go in reusable containers, rather than paper or Ziploc bags that go in the trash when they’ve been used once. Individually wrapped snack packs also create an enormous amount of waste, so avoid them when you can.
• Reusable juice containers-– Don’t buy the tiny one-serving milk or juice containers; instead, get a gallon of milk or juice at a time and pour your child’s servings in sippy cup or reusable juice bottle.
• Skip the papertowels and use a microfiber cloth instead—or a stash of them. It’s not much extra work to throw them in the washing machine when you’re doing a load anyway.
• Plant a tree on your toddler’s birthday, and make a tradition of taking a picture of your little one and his tree every year after that. Have fun watching the different ways and speeds the two of them grow!
• Get a whiteboard and whiteboard markers, and let your toddler do the majority of his scribblings on that instead of on clean white paper. You’ll want some paper drawings, of course, for keepsakes, but there’s no reason to go through quantities of paper everday just for toddler drawings that will find there way to the trash can by the end of the day.
• Put the toddler in the stroller and walk to the grocery store rather than taking the car. It makes a fun quality-time outing with the little one, and it’s better for your health, too!
• Encourage your toddler to potty-train as soon as he’s ready—those disposable diapers stick around in landfills for hundreds of years. If your toddler won’t be ready for a while, consider using cloth diapers instead of disposable.
• Make stovetop meals instead of oven casseroles when possible—it’ll bring down your electricity bill too! If you love that brown crust you can always put your food under the broiler for a few minutes at the end.
• Water the lawn in the early morning and evening, never at noonday. Or plant less water-hungry landscaping instead.
• Turn off appliances when you’re not using them, and teach your toddler to do the same. If the light switches are at a level he can reach, teach him to turn the lights off if he leaves an otherwise empty room.
• Teach your toddler to turn off the tap when tooth-brushing, between that first mouth-wash and the final rinse. It takes a while to get even little teeth clean, and if the water is running all the time your toddler is scrubbing there will be a lot of water wasted!
• Get a biketrailer and, where you can, bike rather than drive! Being in the open air is good for both you and your toddler, and when he’s just a little bigger the two of you will be able to go on bike rides together—a wonderful bonding opportunity!
But tips for living green are only that; just tips, till you put them into practice and make them part of the routine of your home. Then you’ll see that these practical tips for living green are just the beginning. Start here, and as you move into a more eco-friendly lifestyle you’ll be able to think of more fun, convenient tips for living green yourself.