There is no doubt that having children adds an extra strain on the environment. One more body to feed, house, clothe, diaper (at least for a little while) and otherwise equip for life means more resources are being pulled out of our ecosystems to support these little lives. While there are some areas of life that we may have to allow some wiggle room for these new lives to learn and grow (perhaps succumbing to having more water go down the drain as your littles learn to properly wash their hands), there are also many eco-friendly choices we can make to ensure we lessen our footprint while we raise our children.
6 Ways To Be Eco-Friendly With Kids
Washable Wipers – As I mentioned before in this post about green-living baby shower gifts, little cloths make for an eco-friendly swap for paper towel and tissues. You could even use small cloths like this for wiping baby’s bum, instead of the store-bought wipes that are often full of toxins and harsh ingredients for little bottoms, and increase our wastes.
Teach the “If it’s yellow” rule – When children start using the toilet, flushing it can be a very motivating activity. By teaching them the “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down” rule, and explaining why we want to save water (there are some fantastic children’s books for this, like All the Water in the World – Affiliate link, FYI), we can help reduce our families’ water consumption.
Spend Time In Nature – If you don’t experience the natural world, how can you learn to appreciate it? As children spend time outdoors and realize the connection between themselves and nature, they are more likely to grow up to be good stewards of the planet. I wrote all about this before in one of my favourite posts to-date here: Kids Belong Among the Wildflowers.
Invest in Reusable Food Containers – Instead of opting for the small, individually packaged snack items for kids, invest in reusable food containers that are eco-friendly and offer an easy way to pack bulk and fresh foods that use little or less packaging.
Create Transient Art – Offering children opportunities to express themselves through creativity and art is an important part of child development. It offers a plethora of benefits, including motor skills, decision making, language development, visual learning, inventiveness, self-esteem, self-expression, and on and on. When children get into it, there’s a lot of paper and glue that gets used in the process, most of which is destined for the trash. As it’s the process, rather than the product, where the learning happens, why not give children more opportunities to create transient (temporary) art with loose parts, which can be deconstructed and reused over and over. (Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at Loose Parts Theory, as I have a post that’s about 80% finished sitting in my drafts folder, just waiting for it’s chance to be published in the near future. You can sign up for my newsletter here if you want to be sure not to miss it.)
Shop Children’s Consignment – The strain that clothing production puts on our environment is substantial! Did you know that making 1 pound of cotton clothing (one pair of cotton trousers), requires on average: 10,000 lb. of water, 0.5 lb. of fertilizers, 0.4 oz. of pesticides, and results in emissions of 6 lb. of greenhouse gases? Amazing, right? When we choose not to participate in fast fashion, and make more eco-conscious choices about where we get our clothes, we can help to decrease this strain. Choosing to shop consignment, giving a new life to clothes that no longer suit the previous owners, is a fantastic way to do this. Not only does this cut out the production process, but it also helps to decrease wastes by keeping these passed-on clothes out of our landfills.
As a big supporter of thrift and consignment shopper all of my life (thanks to my eco-friendly and thrifty Mama), I know first hand the amazing finds that are to be had. Especially when you shop for kids’ clothes, as often the children outgrow their most adorable fashions before much (or any) wear and tear can happen to them. Of course, when you live in a smaller and more secluded community such as my lovely little no-chain-store Salt Spring Island, your limited children’s consignment options aren’t always overflowing with the styles and sizes you were hoping to find. I could take the ferry and drive over to the mainland or Victoria Island to browse through the larger consignment shops, but that would make for a full-day trip and a fair bit of money, as well as the energy consumption involved in the driving and ferry trip (and all the other random purchases I would probably make on a whim).
Recently, I made an order from Pea Shoots Consignment, which is a Canadian children’s consignment store in Nanaimo, BC. I was thrilled to find out that they now ship Canada-wide for a flat rate of $10. When you consider that a store-bought item of kids’ clothing is at least $10 (some brands charge so much!), when you purchase a few different items for the fantastically reduced prices this consignment store charges, you are still saving money from buying new. Even better, if you fill your Pea Shoots Consignment order with clothes, toys, books and accessories that add up to $100 or more, your shipping is free. Pretty sweet, right? There’s also a loyalty program for the serious Pea Shooters out there, and following the Pea Shoots Consignment Facebook page is a good way to keep an eye on what’s happening in the shop.
I love to support small, local, mama-run businesses, especially when they support eco-friendly practices, so I have teamed up with Pea Shoots Consignment to share about this business and offer you delightfully conscious readers a giveaway of $25 worth of store credit to use on your own kids’ consignment order. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. Contest is open to Canadian entrants only (Quebec, since this doesn’t exceed $100 you can enter, too!). Make sure to bookmark this page, because you can come back and enter by Tweeting and/or Pinning each day until the giveaway ends. Full contest terms and conditions can be found within Rafflecopter. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Pea Shoots Consignment. However, all of the above remains my own personal and genuine thoughts and opinions. As always, I only share about products, services, and experiences that I can truly stand behind and believe my readers will benefit from. You can find my full disclosure policy here. (Oh yes, and there was that one Amazon affiliate link, that grants me a commission if you were to purchase through said link.) If you have a brand or business that you feel would fit with my blog and readership, take a look at my Partnership Opportunities page to see what I have to offer you.