Tips Toward "Greener" Parenting


July 14, 2007

If you've got young kids, there's probably no shortage of trash at home. Between diapers and wipes, you probably need your own landfill, but if you're interested in going green, and becoming a more environmentally-friendly mom or dad, it's not as hard as you might think.

Studies show that 56 percent of moms say that they started to rethink their approach to the environment and a green household when they became pregnant.

Tina Sharkey is chair and global president of babycenter.com, a great on-line resource for new and expectant parents. One of the website's latest causes has been helping moms and dads to go green.

"Turning the water off while you brush your teeth; that's a great thing to teach a 2 year old," said Sharkey.

Teaching kids about this when they're young means they'll do it for life.

"Those are the kinds of habits that build as they get older and as they get more responsibility in the home," said Sharkey.

Other things you can do are don't run the dishwasher unless it's full,
saving energy by using cold water to wash clothes instead of hot.
Also, check all your faucets and pipes to make sure there aren't any leaks that could be wasting about 20 gallons of water a day. Fluorescent bulbs save money and electricity.

Then there are the diapers. On babycenter.com, you can buy something called g-diapers which, instead of filling up our landfills, get flushed down the toilet.

If you really want to dive into eco-parenting, how about baby clothes made of earth friendly soy products?

Sharkey advices parents to start slow and get everybody involved in the process.

"It can be a family activity that you can do together and you can make a check list of things you can do right away and things that you can do over time," said Sharkey.

The most important thing is you can make positive changes that won't cost you any money at all. In fact, in the case of conserving energy and water, it might actually save you some cash on your monthly bills.


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