Eco Parenting


Eco parenting involves parenting with as little impact on the environment as possible. Parents choose to use earth-friendly baby products and raise their babies as naturally as they can. There are several ways in which they can achieve this goal.

First, ecologically conscious parents often choose to use cloth diapers. Because disposable diapers aren’t recyclable, they go straight into the waste stream, and probably into a landfill, when you throw them in the trash. Cloth diapers can be washed and reused, minimizing their impact on the environment. There is debate, however, as to how environmentally friendly cloth diapers really are. Often, it takes so much water to wash these diapers (it’s usually advised that parents wash them twice each time they’re used) that whatever negative impact these diapers are having on water conservation may outweigh their positive effect on the waste stream.

Secondly, environmentally conscious moms and dads pick baby products that are made from natural, organic and fairly produced materials. They’ll choose organic cotton diapers and clothing. They wash their babies with soaps and shampoos that don’t contain harmful additives like parabens. Not only can these additives make their babies sick – some of these chemicals are thought to cause cancer - but they may also enter the water supply when used in the bath or shower, and thus pollute the water others are drinking and washing with.

Third, it’s more environmentally conscious to nurse your baby than to use formula. The manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of baby formula creates waste, as does its preparation, which uses up energy through sterilizing bottles and warming the product for baby to drink. Even your trip to the market to pick up formula uses up fossil fuel in the form of gasoline, and releases chemicals into the air as your car creates exhaust. Your body produces milk naturally, and the food you eat is the only natural resource it uses to make this food.

That said, it’s possible to be even more ecologically conscious if you’re eating locally sourced food while nursing, and if you feed this food to your baby when he or she begins eating solid food. Eating food that’s grown locally minimizes your impact on your environment, because your food doesn’t have to be flown or driven very far to the market for you to buy it.


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