An Introduction to Green Parenting

An Introduction to Green Parenting

Parenting is already a daunting task. You have a whole new world of responsibilities on your doorstep as soon as you welcome a child into your life. On top of this big responsibility, you probably have a desire to continue living responsibly in spite of all of the new resources you know you'll consume. Environmentally kind parenting isn't as hard as it sounds, and there is definitely a way you can raise your baby while taking care of the environment.

This is the first piece of a monthly series that will go over some of the most common obstacles to green parenting. We will cover everything from diaper use to food waste and give you tips on how to manage each area more responsibly. We will touch briefly on everything here, and then go in-depth in each of the following articles to provide you with real guidance and research-backed environmentally kind baby tips.

How can I be an Environmentally Kind Parent?
Below is a list of all the issues we will tackle in this monthly series with some quick solutions you can implement today.

1. Food Waste
Food waste is huge in the United States. Roughly 30-40% of total food production ends up as waste. While most of this is due to an inefficient distribution system and retail consumers (restaurants, grocery stores, etc...), household misuse does contribute.

When food scraps end up in a landfill, they don't properly decompose. Instead, they release a bunch of methane, which is labeled as one of the more potent greenhouse gas emissions by climate scientists.

One of the best ways to deal with your own food waste is by cutting back, of course. But properly managing food intake can be tricky as a parent, and you can't always perfectly estimate what you will need for the week or month. To get around this, we suggest composting.

Composting is a WONDERFUL way to kindly dispose of your organics. Most cities have a composting facility now, making it easier than ever to go green with your food waste if you can't or don't want to compost at home.

2. General Waste
Beyond food waste, you have your everyday general waste. This is the trash that ends up in landfills and recyclables. As a parent, you are going to be buying a lot more than you did before, and this will naturally produce a lot of waste.

Getting rid of this waste properly is an important part of environmentally kind parenting. If you haven't already, make sure you have a dedicated bin for recyclables. Recycle as much packaging as you possibly can, and avoid single-use items when purchasing products for you or your baby.

Check with your city's recycling rules, even print out their guide to keep handy on the fridge in the first month as you are learning what and what cannot be recycled.

3. Diaper Waste
This is a major concern for many parents. The number of diapers you go through a month can be astonishing, and the waste is terrible for the environment. You might be wondering: how can I be an environmentally kind parent with so much inevitable waste?

DYPER fixes this worry by simplifying diapers, making it easy for parents to drastically reduce waste while taking care of their baby. REDYPER™, an extension of DYPER, allows for parents to send their diapers back for composting and you keep the convenience of disposables, but are still doing well by the environment.

4. Household Cleaning Products
It is important you invest in clean, natural, and organic products for your home as well. This ensures your baby is protected from potentially dangerous chemicals and that your purchases aren't a burden on the environment.

Biodegradable products, and those that are produced responsibly, such as Method, are great alternatives.

5. Personal Care Products and Baby Care Products
Checking the soaps, lotions, shampoos, powders, and conditioners you use every day is a very important environmentally kind baby tip. Most of these come in plastic bottles, which means waste, and the contents are often full of dangerous chemicals that serve as environmental contaminants and are potentially dangerous for your baby.

To avoid this, DYPER's baby products are all made with responsibly sourced ingredients and with responsibility in mind. All are kind to your baby and will make being an environmentally kind parent that much easier.

Beyond baby products, make sure to buy adult care products that are also clean, natural, and organic. 100% Pure's headquarters is entirely solar-powered, their packaging is made from post-consumer recyclables, and their ingredients biodegradable.

6. Breast Feeding and Bottle Feeding
Breastfeeding is, by far, the more environmentally kind option. But not all families can breastfeed. That doesn't mean there isn't a responsible way to bottle feed, however. Main-stream infant formulas are primarily made with dairy from cows, but there are also other options such as goat, sheep, and plant-based.

Try to find formulas that source their ingredients from organic, kind operations. If you are planning on using a cow milk formula, buy brands that use milk from cows that graze on local pastures or Bobbie, the first FDA European-style infant formula. This regenerative way of raising cattle is fantastic for the environment, results in carbon capture, and enhances local biodiversity while giving your baby the cleanest nutrition possible.

7. Homemade Baby Food
Once your baby transitions from milk to solid foods, think about making your own baby food. There are a plethora of guides and resources out there so you know exactly what to use and how to make it.

There are a lot of good things making your own baby food does for the environment. You eliminate packaging, process the food waste through your own home composting system, and you save the extra trip to the store. This is an excellent green parenting tip for those wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.

8. Baby Furniture
You know you are going to be buying a lot of baby furniture if this is your first child. It doesn't have to be all brand new, however. One of the most environmentally kind things you can do as a parent is to buy second-hand, thrift, or utilize hand-me-downs.

If you can't find what you need using any of the above, buy from local, or responsible manufactures. Businesses like babyletto source wood from sustainably grown and managed forests, while making sure to use non-harmful chemicals in their manufacturing process.

9. Baby Toys
Much like furniture, you will want to focus on recyclable, thrift, repurpose, or responsible manufacturing. There are a lot of great toys you can find that your baby will just love, so don't always opt for the newest mass-produced plastic gadget right away.

Another option is to make your own toys! This is a fun way to spend time with your growing baby.

10. Clothing
Last but not least, we have clothing. Clothing is another big item that drastically boosts a parent's consumption and waste metrics. You know they are going to grow out of all of their clothes, and it is going to happen faster than you anticipated! This means there is a lot to keep on top of.

Finding adorable second-hand and thrift baby clothes is not only possible but fun as well. You remove a lot of stress from the environment by choosing to buy clothes that are already made. If you have a relative who just had a baby, hit them up and see if they are willing to give you any of their old baby clothes.

The Most Helpful Environmentally Kind Baby Tips

Throughout the following articles in this educational series, we will go over all of these hurdles to green parenting in depth. We will provide real guidance with environmentally kind alternatives so your transition to green parenting is as easy as possible.