You are already passionate about going green and living more responsibly. You know it is the right way to live for you and your family, and you are excited about being kind to the environment while taking care of your little one. Your partner, however, might not feel the same. Either they simply are unaware of environmental issues, they aren't interested, they think it's too expensive, OR maybe they are adamantly opposed to eco-friendly or low-waste parenting styles.
If you are in this situation and want to start convincing your partner that parenting this way can be fun and rewarding, you are in the right place!
We put together a helpful guide that will walk you through how to start this important conversation. We also make sure to provide you with easy, environmentally responsible alternatives and additional resources to make this transition as smooth as possible.
What is Environmentally Responsible Parenting? How to Start the Conversation
This is the most important step. Perhaps you have talked about it before, but you never really expressed that this is something you want to do together. Now, with a little one running around in need of diapers, clothing, special furniture, food, and toys, and more, waste can quickly and easily get out of hand. Keeping responsibility top of mind for all parents will be critical for green parenting to be a successful endeavor.
So, how do you introduce green parenting?
Don't Use Force
This is a given in order to maintain a healthy relationship. No matter how badly you may want something, never use force to get it. This is an unhealthy foundation upon which to build a good habit. Your partner should be motivated to live responsible with you, not feel strong-armed with no real choice in the matter.
Open this conversation with kindness, honesty, and excitement for the possibility of raising your child together while being environmentally kind. Enrolling someone in your goals is best done when you convey excitement versus a sense of obligation.
Don't Focus on Your Motivators
Everyone is motivated by something different. For you, living responsible might be inspired by dwindling wildlife populations. Your partner, however, while still seeing that same reality, might not be motivated to go green by this unfortunate state of affairs. Perhaps money motivates them, or convenience?
This is why it is important to convey what environmentally responsible parenting means to you. Tell them what it would mean to have them by your side in raising a family environmentally responsible.. Be honest about how important it is to you.
Don't Focus on Being Right; Focus on Finding a Solution
Be prepared to give them time to talk about their concerns as well. Listen to their apprehensions without the need to refute them. Your partner probably has legitimate concerns, so give them space to be heard.
This will give you both a chance to find a solution! Remember the goal of the conversation is to find a way you both can raise your diapering-age kid with the least amount of impact on the environment.
Now that we know how to introduce the conversation, let's talk about how to implement this transition with success.
Start with Baby Steps
As is always the case with any substantial life change, start with baby steps. This is especially true for environmentally responsible parenting.
Maybe buy a few pieces of furniture second-hand, get a few toys from a local thrift store, or buy environmentally responsible sourced baby food. Small changes like this have an enormous impact, and it will set into your partner's mind that switching isn't that hard (or expensive).
It Can Be the Smallest Changes that Have the Biggest Impact
Corporations are some of the biggest greenhouse gas producers. This means that changing where you purchase your goods, while a small act, has a substantial impact on the environment.
Choosing to buy from a company that focuses on carbon neutrality, sources material environmentally responsibly and isn't greenwashing their product with general terms like "green" and "natural", is one of the best tips you will find in nearly any green mom guide.
Make sure you mention this to your partner. While this transition could require some larger lifestyle changes, one of the best things you can do is change where and how you get your goods. Introduce this habit in baby steps, and soon, you can make the BIG transition: diapers.
DYPER Diapers and Responsibility
Everyone with a bend towards environmentally kind practices knows that diaper waste is a huge hurdle to overcome. Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest item in landfills in the U.S., each one taking around 500 years to break down.
If you currently use generic disposable diapers, introducing DYPER is an easy transition. Unlike reusable cloth diapers, you don't have to worry about the lifestyle changes needed to wash and reuse them. This change is a particularly difficult one for newbies to adapt to.
DYPER and our optional composting service, REDYPER™, means you can have a truly responsible diaper experience without the hassle of washing and reusing. Alongside our carbon offsets purchased to cover sourcing of materials and ingredients to delivery of your diapers, buying and using diapers becomes a carbon-neutral experience: in other words, your purchase is clean.
Let's Talk Benefits:
Below is a quick breakdown regarding some of the best benefits and common misconceptions. Refer to this when getting ready to talk with your partner.
Not only will your health improve, but so will the health of your baby! Studies have shown that exposure to dangerous chemicals present in many commercially available baby products lead to health issues later on in life. One of the most recent was a study conducted by the US House of Representatives on toxic levels of heavy metals in commercially, and unsustainably sourced baby food.
Making truly environmentally responsible choices also means you are making safer choices for your baby. If a company is honest about the wholesome nature of its ingredients, that means your baby will benefit as well.
This is a given. The natural ecosystems of the world will thank you for convincing your partner to make this switch.
Making the world a cleaner place means your child will grow up with more clean air to breathe, more natural spaces to enjoy, and more stability from which to flourish. All parents want to create a better world for their children. What better way to do so than by protecting the environment?
Interestingly enough, you will save money in the long run by living this way. From purchasing more affordable, second-hand items, to using hand-me-downs, to perchance making your own baby food, you will find your wallet grows a little thicker the more you invest in self-sustaining habits.
For partners that are motivated by financial savings, this is a perfect incentive for making the switch. In fact, it is estimated that humanity as a whole could save up to $26 trillion by 2030 via sustainability.
Let's Talk Misconceptions
Here are some common misconceptions about going green:
As we just mentioned, this doesn't have to be the case. A lot of green mom guides save people money with habits that require less capital investment and more affordable options. Either you see the saving rights away (second-hand, thrift, hand-me-downs, etc.) or you see it down the line (making your own baby food, reusable products, etc.).
This is another common misnomer. Choose whatever works best for you and your family. Practicing environmentally responsible parenting doesn't have to be a 24-hour commitment. Take reducing your energy bill, for instance. This is another easy, yet substantial way you can drastically cut your carbon footprint. And, this saves you money, further proving that living responsibly can be cost-efficient and easy.
Gotta Do it All or Nothing Mindset
Last but not least, there is the black and white mindset of: "We have to be 100% responsible or not at all". You doing what you and your partner are capable of is better than you doing nothing at all. If all you can do is get a few items second-hand, do it! If all you can do is switch to environmentally kind diapers, that is okay!
Every little bit counts.
We Are in This Together
Corporations and consumers alike need to look at a drastic change if we are to create a flourishing world for our children. You and your partner are also in this together. Know that if your partner isn't currently on board, it is possible to get there. Introduce it gently, talk about how important it is to you, and emphasize how easy it is!
Remember, take baby steps.