By Srikant Chellappa @ Zenoobi
it or not everything we do has a direct environmental impact, some of which can
last generations and have a profound undesirable impact on the ecosystem. As busy parents, we are often too busy
running around and raising our children to pay too much attention to
eco-friendly ways. Fortunately, living an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have
to be an all or nothing effort, even small things which require minimal effort
and expense can go a long way. You don’t have to buy an electric car and
install solar panels on your roof to be eco-friendly! When raising a child, small habits started young can lead to
your child respecting the environment and can create a generation of low impact
are 3, high impact - low effort,
eco-friendly, green actions you can take with your child.
1. Ditch the
disposable plastic bottled water.
disposable water bottles have a deep impact on the energy consumption and
environment even if they are “recyclable”. According to a recent study, bottled water can produce
plastic waste in tune of 1.5 million tons in a year. Not to mention, this
plastic takes an estimated 47 million gallons of crude oil. It is also estimated that around 80% of
these bottles may never be recycled. Even if they are recycled, it is more
energy and consequent pollution required in recycling. This is not a win-win as
may be perceived. Your best bet is to get a high quality water bottle that you
can use for several years. There are several BPA free and eco-friendly bottles
in the market, some of which have double lining so they don’t sweat if you
carry them around in your child’s school bag. Look at some options on
eco-friendly bottles online here at http://www.zenoobi.com/essentials/sippycups.html or look at your local stores to see if they carry
some good options for you. You can also use some of the newer versions with a
built-in filter if you are concerned with water quality in your area.
eco-friendly with re-usable lunch boxes.
trash is a growing problem in our schools. Here is another overlooked area with
the common use of zip-lock style bags and other materials that end up in mixed
trash, never to be recycled. It is estimated that an average elementary school
generates 18,000 pounds of school lunch waste. Obviously not all of it is the
packaging. There is a growing trend towards “no-waste” lunch. Here is how you
can work towards that goal:
- Get a high
quality lunch box preferably made with eco-friendly material. There are several
high quality steel, BPA and PVC free plastic with “safe” paint coating.l
Use a lunch bag that will
last a long time and keep your child’s food warm or cold as the case may be.
- Pack real
silverware and cloth napkins that won’t get thrown away
- Pack foods
your child will eat. (We know this one is the hard part!)
3. Take a
walk and get outdoors.
use of electronics, TV, video games as entertainment for our children not only
takes a toll on the environment (electronics and batteries are notoriously toxic
for our environment and are hardly recycled) but also impact the behavior of
our children. Ironically the
easiest and cheapest form of entertainment for a kid is to be in natural
surroundings. Looking for a fun activity to do with your child, work in the
garden or take a walk in the park with your child. The best way we wean our
little one off their request to watch TV or play a game on the computer of iPad
is to go on a mock treasure hunt in our back yard or pick some flowers or herbs
for our flower vase or the next meal we are making. Hiking in your local
preservation is a great way to get your child one with nature and appreciate
the gift we have. Recent studies have identified new symptoms around “Nature
Deficit Disorder”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_deficit_disorder.
Walking creates better neighborhoods, more social interaction and reduced
incidence of social behavior disorder. Next time your child is bored and wants
to sit in front of the TV, take a walk!
the blogger: Srikant Chellappa is a dad of a 4 year old and loves to promote
eco-friendly lifestyle. He believes the our children are never too young to
learn about the environmental impact of our actions and can be an active
participant in families living an eco-friendly and sustainable manner. Srikant
also founded Zenoobi.com, an eco-friendly ecommerce site for babies and kids
products. Learn more at http://www.zenoobi.com/