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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.
- Have fewer children: Consider limiting your number of kids to two.
- Use reusable bags for everything: From groceries to library books, get lots of use out of your reusable bags.
- Use Gmail as a baby book: Record daily achievements in a dedicated Gmail account.
- Live simply: One of the easiest ways to go green at home is to simplify and acquire less.
- Let kids sort recycling: Get your kids involved when you're recycling.
- Be a good example: Be green to raise a green child.
- 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.
- Be happy with what you have: Learn to live with less.
- 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.
- Give up smoking: It's healthier for you, your baby, your family, and the environment.
- Try natural oils: Use olive oil to moisturize baby.
- Avoid overusing antibacterial products: Continued use of antibacterial products can lead to superbugs.
- Give oatmeal baths: Treat inflamed skin with oatmeal baths.
- Don't pump gas when you're pregnant: Stay way from gas fumes.
- Use calendula oil: Instead of diaper cream, try calendula oil.
- Use probiotics: Probiotics can treat poop problems, prevent allergies, and more.
- Ventilate your home: Open windows regularly to get fresh air in your home.
- 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.
- Use cloth diapers: Make use of cloth diapers that can be cleaned and worn over and over again instead of thrown away.
- Go biodegradable: Buy biodegradable or compostable disposable diapers.
- Reduce the number of diapers you use: Pick more absorbent diapers, and strategically time diaper changes to cut down on your diaper quantity.
- Wash diapers on cold: Save money on energy by washing your diapers on cold instead of hot.
- Potty train as early as possible: Cut down on the number of diapers you use by potty training early.
- Create old school wipes: Keep damp washcloths in plastic bags.
- 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.
- Give reusable Easter basket grass: Veggie Booty makes great edible basket grass.
- Shop online: Instead of hitting the mall, get your gifts sent to you.
- Give reusable gift wrap: Use gift wrap that can be used over and over again.
- Create a wish list: Avoid unwanted and unused gifts by using a wish list.
- Give gifts in reusable shopping bags: Instead of disposable gift bags, give reusable shopping bags.
- Donate to charity: If you have no use for a gift, just give it to a charity.
- Make fabric gift bags: Make these easy fabric bags to give gifts in.
- Wrap without wrapping paper: Wrap in newspaper with festive ribbon, or solid colors you can use all year.
- Start a book swap: Organize a book swap among friends.
These hacks will help lower your food's impact on the world.
- Breastfeed: Breastfeeding leaves virtually no carbon footprint.
- Eat safe and sustainable fish: Be aware of which fish are low in mercury and caught or farmed sustainably.
- Buy local: Support your local farmers market.
- Feed organic foods: Look for organic foods for your kids.
- Make your own ice pops: Blend and freeze your own ice pops to save resources and avoid toxins.
- Stop using paper towels and napkins: Make use of reusable materials instead of paper.
- Use washable breast pads: Instead of disposable pads, use washable ones.
- Skip bottled water: Cut out plastic bottles, opting for glass and other reusable containers.
- Don't use BPA bottles: BPA in baby bottles can cause health problems.
- Use washcloths as napkins: Use old baby washcloths all day as kid napkins.
- Go selectively organic: Go organic just for the worst fruits and vegetables, so you don't go broke.
- Eat alterna-meats: Vegetarians can eat healthy alternatives to processed meat.
- Buy frozen in bulk: It's not always easy to find fresh, local vegetables, to get them frozen if you need to.
- Let kids pick out vegetables: Kids are more likely to try something they chose themselves.
- Cut paper towel use: Clean your high chair, walls, floor, and more with a washcloth you hang in the kitchen.
- Buy only what you need: Don't waste food-buy only what you need.
- Avoid white sugar: Substitute honey, agave nectar, or raw sugar when kids are old enough.
- 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.
- Buy secondhand baby clothes: Pick up cheap used clothes that can be reused-and that have already been offgassed.
- Swap clothes: Use sites and networks like ThredUp to share clothes and other items.
- Save yourself from bedbugs in used clothing: Use pre-loved clothing without worry by following these steps.
- Hack a baby dress: Repurpose fabric into this super easy dress.
- Buy organic: Pick up organic fabric clothes, like cotton or bamboo.
With these hacks, your kids can stay clean and green.
- Go natural: Choose natural shampoos and other toiletries for your baby.
- Limit baby care products: Just use water to wash a baby instead of creams, soaps, and lotions.
- Wash hair with ketchup bottles: Rinse your child's hair with an empty ketchup bottle.
- Bathe with your baby: Share a bath with your baby, and save water while enjoying bonding time.
- 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.
- Styrofoam castle: Turn Styrofoam package inserts into a make-believe castle.
- Make nontoxic play-dough: Save money and avoid toxins with homemade nontoxic play-dough.
- Play with nontoxic toys: Give your baby safe, nontoxic toys to play with.
- Reuse Tyvek enveloped as homemade boats: Make sailboats with old Tyvek envelopes.
- Strawberry basket bubbles: Dip strawberry baskets into bubble solution for cheap and fun bubble machines.
- Play with cardboard boxes: Make houses and castles with large cardboard boxes.
- Use rechargable batteries: Buy rechargable batteries for toys and games.
- Scribble on telephone books: Let your kids use telephone books as scribble material.
- Create a reuse fun bin: Keep bottle caps, toilet paper rolls, and more in a bin to get crafty with.
- Use outdoor craft supplies: Make use of sticks, pinecones, and more.
- Go to a Home Depot kids workshop: Visit these workshops to teach your kids how to build birdhouses, flowerpot holders, and more.
- 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.
- Clean with baking soda: Put baking soda to work in your bathroom.
- Make your own laundry detergent: Here's how to formulate your own laundry detergent.
- Use natural cleansers whenever possible: Make or buy natural products when you can.
- Declutter: Clean out your clutter and sell it to cut down on the items in your home.
- 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.
- Live in a smaller space: Enjoy environmental friendliness, constant togetherness and limit too much stuff with a smaller home or apartment.
- 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.
- Bring a lunch box to school: Instead of a paper bag, use a lunch box, or repurpose old shopping bags.
- Send notes in junk mail envelopes: Repurpose old junk mail envelopes for teacher notes.
- Pack food in washable plastic containers: Instead of plastic baggies, use containers.
- Start an organic garden at school: Compost and start an organic garden at your school.
- 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.
- Use low-VOC paint: Look for low-VOC paint for your nursery or kids rooms.
- Kitchen utility cart changing table: Instead of buying a changing table, get a kitchen utility cart that you can put to use later.
- Buy a crib made from organic materials: Get an earth friendly, organic crib.
- Use sunlight: Turn off overhead lights and open your blinds instead.
- Decorate with DIY decals: Create eco friendly and reusable decor with DIY decals.
- Repurpose broken cribs: Old cribs can be used as baby gates and garden trellis.
Go green in your own backyard using these hacks.
- Go on litter patrol: Take your kids out to pick up litter in your neighborhood.
- Plant something: Teach kids how to take care of a living organism.
- Get kids to help with weeding: Pay kids a penny per weed.
- Start seeds in egg cartons: Start a kids vegetable garden with plastic egg cartons.
- Use natural alternatives to bug spray: Make your own natural bug spray.
- Play in the water sprinkler: While watering the lawn, get your kids to play in it and cool off.
- Plant a tree: Grow a memory and foster a love of nature by planting a tree.
- Catch fireflies: Collect fireflies for light and interest-and remember to let them go so they don't die.