How to be a greener mum

Simple ways to become a more environmentally friendly eco-parent.

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  • How to be a greener mum

    Having children is a time of massive consumption. There are so many things you need to buy - you can find yourself disappearing under piles of clothing, toys, bedding, equipment...

    Your environmental footprint is likely to increase dramatically.

    But there are some simple ways to keep your consumption under control. And they don't have to compromise your quality of life.

    Read on ... 

  • How to be a greener mum

    Think before you buy

    We hold the purse strings of the companies that are polluting the planet. If we care enough, we can stop funding them and support greener, fairer products instead.

    Indeed, parents already care so much that 70% of the baby food on the shelves is organic. Before buying something in the supermarket, ask yourself whether it’s over-packaged, fairly traded or has travelled a long way.

    If you’re not happy with the answer, look for an alternative – which might not be in the supermarket at all, but at a farmer's market, car boot sale, or a local shop you can walk to with the buggy.

    Check out the environmental rating of products at www.ethicalconsumer.org

  • How to be a greener mum

    Change to a green energy tariff

    When we have babies we tend to use more energy in heating, lighting and washing. So one of the simplest and least time-consuming green steps you can take is to change to a power supplier that generates its energy from renewable sources, such as wind power.

    Check out the options at www.greenelectricity.org

  • How to be a greener mum

    Spend more time where you live

    Living green means reconnecting to the places we live: spend more money in your high street and you help to make it a more thriving place to push your buggy about.

    Order a local organic vegetable box and you help to preserve the landscape – we literally eat our view. Local food also cuts down on food miles, packaging and emissions of environmental toxins and carbon.
     
    If there’s nowhere to go with babies where you live, why not invite a few new mums to your place and start an informal playgroup?
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  • How to be a greener mum

    Pass on skills

    Show your children that you have the skills that make life sustainable – grow a few herbs in a windowbox or blueberries in a pot, knit a baby blanket or bootees, cook up homemade purees or make a toy from a wooden spoon or cardboard box.

    Plant a tree – each one traps a ton of carbon in its lifetime.

    Breastfeed for as long as you can.

    Then your child grows up understanding that things don't have to come from shops, and that green living is what you do as well as what you buy.

  • How to be a greener mum

    … and then buy some green stuff

    Washable nappies cut your climate-change impact by a quarter – and try eco balls instead of conventional washing powders which pollute water courses and irritate the skin.

    Baby clothes and cot linen made from hemp and bamboo cut pesticide use, combat soil erosion and wear brilliantly.

    Check out organic soft toys with the Öko-Tex logo.

    Organic fruit and vegetables, dairy produce and meat are a priority; for organic baby lotion and shampoo look for a Soil Association, BDIH or Ecocert logo.

    Toys, cots and high chairs made from reclaimed timber or bearing the FSC logo, which shows the wood is from sustainably managed forests. Buy loo roll with this logo, too.

  • How to be a greener mum

    Thanks to Susannah Marriott, author of Green Babycare, published by Dorling Kindersley for these tips on how to be a greener family.

    Green Babycare, £12.99, is your guide to practical solutions for greener parenting, so you can give the very best to your baby while making planet-friendly lifestyle decisions.

     

Last updated on 15 April 2008

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