The Rise of Eco-Parenting

Submitted by Courtney on Wed, 03/10/2010 - 21:28

Pesticides. Cancerous. Dangerous. 200 years in a landfill. Words and statements like these are why many parents these days are trading in the conventional practices and items that our parents used for more organic products and a more natural way of life. Let’s start with the most popular way parents are becoming “eco-smart”:

Go Organic!

If you’re a parent of a youngster, you have most definitely noticed the rise of organic products that are available for our babies and children. Organic baby foods take up half the shelf space. Organic cookies, crackers, rice, and purees can be found almost any where these days. Organic baby foods do cost a bit more, but parents are more than willing to pay the extra few cents to feed their child a better, healthier food.

Parents are also making the switch from regular cow’s milk to organic cow’s milk and other organic milks (goat’s milk, almond milk, rice milk and soy milk included!).

Use Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers used to be frowned upon by a whole lot of parents. After all, you’re busy enough running after a baby all day; now you have to be scrubbing a cloth diaper clean too? Admittedly, cloth diapers used to be rather inconvenient. Just learning how to pin the darn thing could take FOREVER! These days there are many different materials and designs – from organic cotton to retro to chic designs. You can even choose different levels of padding.

TIP: If cloth diapers aren’t your thing, you can still purchase eco-friendly diapers that are made of easily biodegradable materials.

Natural Cleaning Products

If you have ever read the back of a shampoo bottle or laundry detergent, you know that there are quite a few chemicals in there that you may not even be able to pronounce. In case you didn’t already know, many of these multi-syllable words are poisonous to our bodies and are even more damaging to our young ones. Parents are choosing dish soaps, detergents, shampoos and several other natural cleaning products for all different areas of the home rather than the chemical-laden store brands to prevent their child’s exposure to toxins.

Reuse and Recycle!

Eco-parents are all about cutting down waste and the harmful impacts that human beings often have on the planet. Reusing toys and clothes (such as shopping second hand or setting up a toy and clothing exchange) are great ways for eco-friendly parents to connect and share resources.

TIP: Join a local parenting group and spread the idea of having a clothing and toy swap. Heck, there may be one in your area already that you didn’t even know about!

photo by Tanya Parker

The Rise of Eco- Parenting

This subject so important to me because the consequences of consuming and exposing ourselves and our children to the myriad of detrimental elements out there are so far reaching. Our physical, emotional and mental well-being are being negatively effected by a culture that allows harmful products/foods to be promoted and pushed with no real regard for what it could mean for consumers. My five year old daughter, while watching a kids channel, saw a commercial for some cereal with brightly colored marshmallow candy in it. She asked me if that cereal was "good" for kids (we talk a lot about what's good to eat and what's not)...and I answered honestly. She then said, "so why do they make that kind of cereal?" "Good question", I replied..."probably because they know kids like sweets and bright colors...and because they want us to buy it. They want to make money." My ten year old, who had been listening from his room in between wii rock band sessions, chimed in "well...that stinks!" I agree. We must recognize the power we have as consumers and stop buying the junk. If the main goal of these companies is to make money, then lets not give them any until they start making real food that we feel good about feeding to our kids and ourselves. We must learn to take responsibility for our health by reading labels and knowing what we are putting in and on our bodies, as well as what we are bringing into our homes.


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