As soon as you found out that you were pregnant, you probably had an idea in your mind about what type of mother you would become–protective, laid-back, loving, etc. I knew immediately that I would be a “green” mother. To me, green parenting meant that I would always look out for the health and safety of my family, particularly my children, and also that I would teach my children to be stewards of the earth and its resources. As I brainstormed and researched ways that I could become the mama that I wanted to be, I came up with a basic framework to help me reach my goals:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Many people forget that the words of this old environmentalist mantra are in this order for a reason! The first rule is to reduce, or to minimize all of the “stuff” in our lives. The second rule, reuse, is made relatively easy these days thanks to the likes of craigslist and ebay. And by now, all of us should be recycling any item possible. Most municipalities make this convenient by providing curbside pickup of household waste. Upcycling is a relatively new term indicating a twist on recycling. According to wisegeek.com, “upcycling is designed to work in opposition to consumer culture encouraging people to think of new and innovative ways to use things instead of simply buying new consumer goods.” I couldn’t have put it better myself. One fun example of upcycling might be turning an old pair of old socks (washed, of course!) into hand puppets for your little one!
Reduce Exposure to Environmental Toxins – It turns out that this step can take many many forms when it comes to raising a child. As I mentioned in a previous post, some of the ways to do this are by being cognizant of the ingredients in products that we apply to our and our children’s skin. Other examples include growing or purchasing organic produce, cloth diapering, and using houseplants that are known to be good at purifying and removing toxins from the air. I will discuss all of these topics in more detail in future posts.
Conserve Resources – Not only does this concept refer to the conservation of water and avoiding excess packaging; it also has to do with green in another sense…money!!
I am not a chemist, a researcher, a politician, or a doctor, just a mom who has taken an interest in all things green and who would like to raise her children in the healthiest possible environment. If you are interested in pursuing green parenting, perhaps the above guidelines will help to give you some perspective when you are making decisions that involve your child.
In upcoming posts, I will discuss how I have been able to pursue green parenting while keeping the above framework in the forefront of my mind.
Now that I’ve told you about my own parenting style, I’m curious…what type of parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, role model are you?
photo from iprole