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100 Great Hacks for the Green-Minded Mom

January 18th, 2011

Becoming a mom means investing in the future. Your children, and your children's children will live on this Earth long after you're gone-and knowing that sort of thing makes a lot of moms more eco-conscious than ever before. A woman who may have thought little about recycling before can turn into a green-minded mom with a desire to make the world a healthier place to live. Whether you're a newly green mom, or a lifelong eco-crusader, these hacks offer great ways to help preserve the Earth for future generations.


Reduce, reuse, and recycle with these hacks.

  1. Have fewer children: Consider limiting your number of kids to two.
  2. Use reusable bags for everything: From groceries to library books, get lots of use out of your reusable bags.
  3. Use Gmail as a baby book: Record daily achievements in a dedicated Gmail account.
  4. Live simply: One of the easiest ways to go green at home is to simplify and acquire less.
  5. Let kids sort recycling: Get your kids involved when you're recycling.
  6. Be a good example: Be green to raise a green child.
  7. Recycle everything: Find a way to recycle everything, unless you can reuse it or find a way to not acquire it in the first place.
  8. Be happy with what you have: Learn to live with less.
  9. If you don't absolutely need to use it, don't: Cut down on waste and chemicals by simplifying.


Be healthy and green with the help of these hacks.

  1. Give up smoking: It's healthier for you, your baby, your family, and the environment.
  2. Try natural oils: Use olive oil to moisturize baby.
  3. Avoid overusing antibacterial products: Continued use of antibacterial products can lead to superbugs.
  4. Give oatmeal baths: Treat inflamed skin with oatmeal baths.
  5. Don't pump gas when you're pregnant: Stay way from gas fumes.
  6. Use calendula oil: Instead of diaper cream, try calendula oil.
  7. Use probiotics: Probiotics can treat poop problems, prevent allergies, and more.
  8. Ventilate your home: Open windows regularly to get fresh air in your home.
  9. Use an aspirator: Before turning to drugs, try using a bulb syringe.


Diapers are a fact of life for most families, but with the help of these hacks, they don't have to be an environmental burden.

  1. Use cloth diapers: Make use of cloth diapers that can be cleaned and worn over and over again instead of thrown away.
  2. Go biodegradable: Buy biodegradable or compostable disposable diapers.
  3. Reduce the number of diapers you use: Pick more absorbent diapers, and strategically time diaper changes to cut down on your diaper quantity.
  4. Wash diapers on cold: Save money on energy by washing your diapers on cold instead of hot.
  5. Potty train as early as possible: Cut down on the number of diapers you use by potty training early.
  6. Create old school wipes: Keep damp washcloths in plastic bags.
  7. Try elimination communication: Pay attention to potty patterns, holding your baby over the toilet when it's time.

Holidays & Gifts

Make the holidays and gift giving more eco-friendly.

  1. Give reusable Easter basket grass: Veggie Booty makes great edible basket grass.
  2. Shop online: Instead of hitting the mall, get your gifts sent to you.
  3. Give reusable gift wrap: Use gift wrap that can be used over and over again.
  4. Create a wish list: Avoid unwanted and unused gifts by using a wish list.
  5. Give gifts in reusable shopping bags: Instead of disposable gift bags, give reusable shopping bags.
  6. Donate to charity: If you have no use for a gift, just give it to a charity.
  7. Make fabric gift bags: Make these easy fabric bags to give gifts in.
  8. Wrap without wrapping paper: Wrap in newspaper with festive ribbon, or solid colors you can use all year.
  9. Start a book swap: Organize a book swap among friends.


These hacks will help lower your food's impact on the world.

  1. Breastfeed: Breastfeeding leaves virtually no carbon footprint.
  2. Eat safe and sustainable fish: Be aware of which fish are low in mercury and caught or farmed sustainably.
  3. Buy local: Support your local farmers market.
  4. Feed organic foods: Look for organic foods for your kids.
  5. Make your own ice pops: Blend and freeze your own ice pops to save resources and avoid toxins.
  6. Stop using paper towels and napkins: Make use of reusable materials instead of paper.
  7. Use washable breast pads: Instead of disposable pads, use washable ones.
  8. Skip bottled water: Cut out plastic bottles, opting for glass and other reusable containers.
  9. Don't use BPA bottles: BPA in baby bottles can cause health problems.
  10. Use washcloths as napkins: Use old baby washcloths all day as kid napkins.
  11. Go selectively organic: Go organic just for the worst fruits and vegetables, so you don't go broke.
  12. Eat alterna-meats: Vegetarians can eat healthy alternatives to processed meat.
  13. Buy frozen in bulk: It's not always easy to find fresh, local vegetables, to get them frozen if you need to.
  14. Let kids pick out vegetables: Kids are more likely to try something they chose themselves.
  15. Cut paper towel use: Clean your high chair, walls, floor, and more with a washcloth you hang in the kitchen.
  16. Buy only what you need: Don't waste food-buy only what you need.
  17. Avoid white sugar: Substitute honey, agave nectar, or raw sugar when kids are old enough.
  18. Make your own baby food: Create your own baby food at home.


Kids go through clothes at an alarming rate, but these hacks can minimize their impact.

  1. Buy secondhand baby clothes: Pick up cheap used clothes that can be reused-and that have already been offgassed.
  2. Swap clothes: Use sites and networks like ThredUp to share clothes and other items.
  3. Save yourself from bedbugs in used clothing: Use pre-loved clothing without worry by following these steps.
  4. Hack a baby dress: Repurpose fabric into this super easy dress.
  5. Buy organic: Pick up organic fabric clothes, like cotton or bamboo.


With these hacks, your kids can stay clean and green.

  1. Go natural: Choose natural shampoos and other toiletries for your baby.
  2. Limit baby care products: Just use water to wash a baby instead of creams, soaps, and lotions.
  3. Wash hair with ketchup bottles: Rinse your child's hair with an empty ketchup bottle.
  4. Bathe with your baby: Share a bath with your baby, and save water while enjoying bonding time.
  5. Turn the water off: When showering and brushing teeth, turn off the water until you need it.

Playtime & Creativity

Play green using these fun hacks.

  1. Styrofoam castle: Turn Styrofoam package inserts into a make-believe castle.
  2. Make nontoxic play-dough: Save money and avoid toxins with homemade nontoxic play-dough.
  3. Play with nontoxic toys: Give your baby safe, nontoxic toys to play with.
  4. Reuse Tyvek enveloped as homemade boats: Make sailboats with old Tyvek envelopes.
  5. Strawberry basket bubbles: Dip strawberry baskets into bubble solution for cheap and fun bubble machines.
  6. Play with cardboard boxes: Make houses and castles with large cardboard boxes.
  7. Use rechargable batteries: Buy rechargable batteries for toys and games.
  8. Scribble on telephone books: Let your kids use telephone books as scribble material.
  9. Create a reuse fun bin: Keep bottle caps, toilet paper rolls, and more in a bin to get crafty with.
  10. Use outdoor craft supplies: Make use of sticks, pinecones, and more.
  11. Go to a Home Depot kids workshop: Visit these workshops to teach your kids how to build birdhouses, flowerpot holders, and more.
  12. Reuse page a day calendars: Use old page a day calendars as doodling paper.

Household & Cleaning

Clean your house without hazardous chemicals by making use of these hacks.

  1. Clean with baking soda: Put baking soda to work in your bathroom.
  2. Make your own laundry detergent: Here's how to formulate your own laundry detergent.
  3. Use natural cleansers whenever possible: Make or buy natural products when you can.
  4. Declutter: Clean out your clutter and sell it to cut down on the items in your home.
  5. Be extra careful when washing play areas and toys: Be mindful of the products you use to clean the things your children use the most.
  6. Live in a smaller space: Enjoy environmental friendliness, constant togetherness and limit too much stuff with a smaller home or apartment.
  7. Dust with an old fashioned feather duster: An ostrich feather duster picks up dust and leaves a dry surface that doesn't attract more dust.


These hacks can make your child's school a greener place to be.

  1. Bring a lunch box to school: Instead of a paper bag, use a lunch box, or repurpose old shopping bags.
  2. Send notes in junk mail envelopes: Repurpose old junk mail envelopes for teacher notes.
  3. Pack food in washable plastic containers: Instead of plastic baggies, use containers.
  4. Start an organic garden at school: Compost and start an organic garden at your school.
  5. Walk, carpool, or take the bus: Get to school by walking, carpooling, or taking the bus.

Furniture & Design

Keep these hacks in mind when designing your child's nursery or bedroom.

  1. Use low-VOC paint: Look for low-VOC paint for your nursery or kids rooms.
  2. Kitchen utility cart changing table: Instead of buying a changing table, get a kitchen utility cart that you can put to use later.
  3. Buy a crib made from organic materials: Get an earth friendly, organic crib.
  4. Use sunlight: Turn off overhead lights and open your blinds instead.
  5. Decorate with DIY decals: Create eco friendly and reusable decor with DIY decals.
  6. Repurpose broken cribs: Old cribs can be used as baby gates and garden trellis.


Go green in your own backyard using these hacks.

  1. Go on litter patrol: Take your kids out to pick up litter in your neighborhood.
  2. Plant something: Teach kids how to take care of a living organism.
  3. Get kids to help with weeding: Pay kids a penny per weed.
  4. Start seeds in egg cartons: Start a kids vegetable garden with plastic egg cartons.
  5. Use natural alternatives to bug spray: Make your own natural bug spray.
  6. Play in the water sprinkler: While watering the lawn, get your kids to play in it and cool off.
  7. Plant a tree: Grow a memory and foster a love of nature by planting a tree.
  8. Catch fireflies: Collect fireflies for light and interest-and remember to let them go so they don't die.