In the age of climate change, teaching our kids how to live in harmony with the world isn't just a good idea, it's the right thing to do. How we set up our living places can be a lesson for young people who watch us closely. But you don't need a degree in environmental science to make a family-friendly and eco-friendly living area. It's about making choices that, when put together, add up to a way of life that fits with the values we want to teach our children.
This story talks about ways that families in different places, such as older homes in small towns in Europe or energy-efficient apartments for rent in the USA, can make their homes into green havens.
Choose natural, non-toxic materials for kids’ rooms
When you're getting ready for a baby, decorating the nursery is often at the top of your list of things to do. But before you grab a paintbrush and go buying tiny pieces of furniture, it's important to think about what you're bringing into your home. Traditional paints often have chemicals in them that are bad for your health and emit gases into the air. By choosing non-toxic, low-VOC paint, you can reduce the amount of toxins in the air, making it safer for your baby to breathe.
Also, it’s smart to choose baby furniture made from wood that was cut down in a sustainable way, and look for bedding, curtains, and even diaper change pads made from organic cotton or bamboo. Not only are these materials soft on your baby's skin, but they are also grown without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
Use diapers and baby wipes that you can reuse
There's no denying that throwaway baby products are convenient, but they also add a lot of waste to landfills. Cloth diapers and cotton wipes, (which can be washed and used more than once) are a more eco-friendly choice. If the thought of using cloth diapers is too much, there are also biodegradable throwaway diapers that are better for the environment.
As more parents care about the environment, more companies are producing eco-friendly products. Choosing fabrics and scents for homemade wipes can even be a fun family project. Older siblings can help get ready for their new brother or sister.
Put in appliances and fixtures that save energy
Did you know that choosing energy-efficient appliances with the ENERGY STAR label allows you to cut your bills and your impact on the world by a lot? The same goes for switching to LED light bulbs, which last longer and use less power than traditional incandescent bulbs. Putting in taps and showerheads that use less water can help save this resource, which is often scarce in certain hot and dry states like Georgia.
Are you planning to move to a new apartment? Firstly, choose the right city! You can always go looking for energy-efficient apartments for rent in Atlanta or some other top 10 greenest cities in the United States. New apartment complexes are often equipped with energy-saving features, so you don’t have to worry about saving resources.
Give green toys the most attention
Toys are important for kids’ growth and for parents’ sanity. But a lot of toys are made of plastic, which is bad for both kids and the environment. Instead, look for toys made from natural materials that can be replaced or recycled, like wood, organic cotton, or even recycled plastics. Several companies now sell a wide range of eco-friendly toys, from organic stuffed animals to wooden building blocks. Some even have toys that teach your kids about recycling, green energy, and conserving resources!
Grow your own small plants or herbs
Even though space is often limited in flats, you shouldn't let that stop you from teaching your family how to garden. A tiny garden can be made on even a small porch, patio, or windowsill. Start with herbs that are easy to grow, like basil, mint, or chives. These small plants not only clean the air, but they also give you easy access to fresh ingredients for cooking.
Gardening is a great way to teach your kids about how plants grow and change over time and how important it is to take care of the environment. It's a hands-on way to learn, and it can also help kids learn to be responsible.
Sustainability is much more than a list of checks or a weekend project. It's a way of thinking about how we relate to the world and its limited resources. When we make choices that are good for the environment every day, we're laying the foundation for living in a sustainable world that our children will be able to thrive in.
ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTOR:
Sophia Smith is a lifestyle blogger, graphic designer and DIY enthusiast. She is very passionate about eco-friendly and green topics, sustainable fashion, eco beauty, and conscious business. Sophia's other hobbies centre around her love for yoga, wellness rituals and living in balance with nature. She loves sharing meaningful content that inspires people and has covered topics ranging from organic products and sustainability to self-care and mental health. Sophia has contributed to a number of publications including Your Zen Mama, Eco Warrior Princess, Sivana Spirit, Urban Naturale, Carousel, Cause Artist, Awaken, Literally Darling, and Read Unwritten.
You can find out more about her writing by following her on Twitter (@sophia_bri).