Building a sustainable future can feel like a massive task. And that’s because the devil is in the details regarding sustainability. It’s a fact that being green supports children’s development. Recycling, gardening, upcycling materials and reducing waste all help support fine motor skills and nurture a sense of responsibility for Mother Nature.
Many parents want to save money and the planet. With a little effort, there are many ways to do both. For example, using reusable nappies and DIY baby wipes will help reduce the use of disposable plastic. Growing organic food will cut carbon dioxide emissions from transportation. Sourcing fair-trade, ethical and recycled products will also cut waste. Choosing sustainable building materials, low-VOC paints, and non-toxic glues can cut harmful chemicals from the home environment. Whether they were eco-conscious before kids or not, most people find that becoming a parent makes them more concerned about environmental issues. This is because having children shifts focus to thinking about the legacy they will leave (e.g., environmental). The transition to parenthood also changes people’s consumption and spending habits, which may directly impact natural resources. For example, studies suggest that people with children increase their purchases of environmentally friendly goods such as reusable nappies. This might put more pressure on natural resources, particularly water.
Help Your Child Grow
In addition to being good for the planet, eco-friendly practices are also good for your baby. Many green nursery products limit the toxic chemicals used, making them safer for babies who are likely to put their hands (and mouths!) on everything they see. An Eco-Healthy Child Care Certified uses only materials with top safety ratings and low emission levels of pollutants. Eco-friendly nurseries are helping to educate the next generation about the importance of sustainability in childcare. The children they teach will take these habits home and influence their own families too, which can have a massive impact on the future of our planet.
Environmentally responsible actions such as reducing energy usage, cutting down on paper and plastic, growing food locally and even donating excess produce can help to tackle big issues like climate change and reduced bio-diversity. But sustainable childcare goes beyond that – it’s about helping to invest in people and communities, too.
Help the Environment
We hear a lot about “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but there are other ways to care for the environment that you don’t always hear about. Purchasing products that are ethically sourced and eco-friendly helps to reduce the amount of plastic and waste on our planet. Choosing green childcare is important and can help your child better understand sustainability and how it benefits our world. It also allows your child to learn new skills that will benefit them throughout their life and help them make informed decisions about how they can help the environment in their way. Studies have shown that having children is associated with increased consideration of environmental protection, particularly when the decision is motivated by concern for the well-being of future generations. Thinking about the future may help to bridge the psychological distance between people and the natural environment.
Help Your Child Learn
In addition to juggling work, home and family life, new parents have an additional responsibility to teach their children. Luckily, eco-friendly childcare services are equipped to help children learn in ways that promote environmental sustainability. Many eco-friendly schools and centers provide hands-on lessons that teach children the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. They also introduce concepts that build brainpower, like the life cycle of flora and fauna, natural and weather systems, pollution and more. Other teaching methods that promote sustainable behaviors include piquing children’s interest in topics with storybooks and encouraging them to participate in home activities, such as upcycling waste for craft projects or gardening on-site. Similarly, enabling them to be mindful of the environment on the go, such as when they notice full rubbish bins or dripping taps, is a great way to encourage them to act sustainably. Ultimately, helping children develop a positive attitude towards learning is key to making them responsible citizens of the world.