Is the decision to have children really incompatible with safeguarding our planet?
Online there are many articles on the subject, and the topic is undoubtedly controversial. One thing is sure: demographic growth is one of the causes of the acceleration of climate change. If in 2050 there will be 10,000,000,000 of us, then access to water, food, safe housing, and jobs will be more complicated than they already are. But is the solution really not to have children? Not in our opinion! We believe that you can be a parent without damaging the environment too much.
Giving up parenthood for the preservation of the planet?
Actually, we believe that it is not appropriate to ask human beings to give up their right to the joys of having children. This sacrifice belongs in a different category from other choices like reducing consumption of meat, using public transit instead of a private car, and giving up plastic bottles. Whether or not you have children, you can make these lifestyle changes for the benefit of the environment. In this article, we want to provide suggestions that every parent can put into practice right now to make parenting more sustainable.
Tips to reduce the environmental impact of children in the 0-3 age group
During a child’s early years, there are numerous demands (not only in terms of energy). This often means an increase in consumption and, therefore more waste. Here are our tips:
Environmentally friendly diapers for healthier babies and a cleaner environment.
The choices you can make are really varied, depending on the level of commitment you want to put into the battle against classic diapers. According to an ANSES study, traditional diapers contain a mixture of pesticides, glyphosate, and other endocrine disruptors. You can use eco-friendly disposable diapers: these are still disposable diapers, but they are made with different materials and manufactured with less pollution, thus reducing their impact on the environment. Washable diapers: with them, you will say goodbye to waste (except for the poop, of course!) and avoid adding to the 4000-6000 diapers per child that are dumped into the environment every year. (Plus, many parents who use cloth diapers report that their baby has fewer rashes or leaks!)
Choose organic infant milk
Of course, the most ecological solution of all is breastfeeding, which in many cases can continue until the child is about three years old. Ask your pediatrician about this, but know that breastfeeding a baby for even six months means you are sending many fewer milk containers to the landfill or incinerator.
Even if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed your baby, then you can choose the right infant milk for your child. Organic milk is of higher quality because it’s produced with respect for nature and fewer artificial additives and because it is produced by agricultural practices that are less harmful to the soil.
Give up disposable wipes
Disposable wipes are convenient, but they pollute a lot more than you might imagine! It turns out that they are very unsustainable for our planet (especially considering that, on average, we consume about 23 kg per year). They cannot be recycled, and – if disposed into toilets – they clog the sewage pipes. One solution to this problem is to use cotton cloths and oil-lime liniment, both of which can be bought or produced at home.
Prepare home-cooked meals
It can be challenging to give up the time-saving convenience of ready-made infant food! However, making mashed potatoes, soups, and compotes (perhaps with seasonal vegetables) is a real panacea. While you are helping the environment, your babies are getting a very healthy diet based on seasonal products that are richer in nutrients. An added benefit is that children can be involved in the preparation phases and learn about nature, its products, and how to compost biodegradable waste!
Tips to reduce the environmental impact of children four years of age and up
Continue to prepare home-cooked meals
As your kids grow up, cooking at home is an excellent skill to teach them. Your family can make food that is more nutritious and creates a lot less plastic waste than fast food or prepackaged meals. It is also cheaper to prepare your own food, which means you will have more room in your budget to shop for organic options.
Create recycled wardrobes with second-hand clothes
Children outgrow their clothes in a matter of months, so there is no better example of the circular economy than reusing children’s clothes. Clothes can be passed down to younger siblings, but when that is not possible, the best solution is to give away or sell clothes that are too small, and buy secondhand clothes at thrift exchanges or specialty stores. Most younger children haven’t yet been programmed by advertisers to care about fashion or style, but helping the planet is something that will concern them very much in the long run! Follow these simple tips, and you’ll see that shopping sustainably for your children’s wardrobe is a fun habit:
- Buy locally produced clothing when possible and look for durable items designed to last, so that the clothes can be reused by another child later.
- If you buy secondhand clothes even if they are already a bit worn out, you’ll save money and won’t get stressed at the first slip on your child’s knees or elbows.
- Do some research online: there are many services dedicated to buying and selling secondhand baby clothes! You’ll be amazed at how many cute things are out there!
Toys: less plastic, more fun
Choose toys (and play activities) that are not made of plastic or unrecyclable resources. It will be a fun and educational way to get your kids thinking about the impact of their choices on the planet. On the topic of eco-friendly toys: did you know that all Adventerra Games products are made with 100% recycled and recyclable materials?
Green living for adults and children
To continue receiving tips on how to live an eco-friendly life, follow Adventerra Games on Instagram and Facebook, and don’t miss the posts we publish on our blog, which are dedicated to the environment, nature, and the preservation of our planet’s resources.