4 Earth Loving Practices to Incorporate in Your Home
We know parents don’t agree on everything. (and that’s okay!) but we get extra excited about one thing we hope we can all agree on -- and that is the importance of loving our planet well!
We can’t all do everything, but we all can do something. We’ll break down 4 great ways to incorporate earth loving practices in your home, along with their lifestyle hurdles. Pick one, pick two, or pick all 4! Whatever it is, it’s your journey & you’re doing a great job!
1. Cloth Diapering
It likely comes as no surprise that our favorite way to love the planet is Cloth Diapering! It’s also generally the one that can feel overwhelming, not realistic, and too inconvenient for parents. But what if I told you it doesn't have to be ALL or NOTHING? 🤔
Replacing just one or two disposable diapers a day can make a drastic impact on the volume of disposable diapers headed to our landfills. An easy way to give cloth a try is in the comfort of your own home. And like all things, once you get the hang of it -- it becomes easier to take on more.
But What About Laundry???
A very, VERY, fair and valid concern. The easiest way to ease into cloth (in my opinion, others may disagree) is to start with a cover + insert system… and don’t forget the flushable liners!
Cloth Diaper Cover: think of the cover as the “shell” of your cloth diapering system. Covers are super easy to wipe and re-use more than once, because the inserts are what absorbs pee, and those you’ll change out. The fabric of most all covers is waterproof which also makes them easy and low maintenance for washing along with your other regular loads.
Insert: With cloth, just plan on keeping a separate laundry basket for soiled liners and covers. Liners will need to be changed out for fresh ones, just as you would with a disposable diaper. Except liners won’t end up in the landfill!
Flushable Liners: For the dreaded POOPS -- place a flushable liner on top of the insert inside of the diaper. This makes for a quick toss and go for diaper changes, especially when there is a poop. For newborns and infants, this is a little more challenging when their poop is not solid, but definitely still a huge help!
Along with the many environmental benefits of composting (naturally enriches our soil, reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, reduces methane emissions from landfills, lowers your carbon footprint, etc..) -- this eco-friendly practice creates free nutrient dense soil to use in your garden and potted plants.
It’s not as complicated as you might think. All you’ll need to get started is a pail or tupperware container in the kitchen to collect scraps and a composting bin. (or a spot in the yard for a pile) Bonus: there are many super easy, kid friendly, videos available to help you get started!
But what if I don’t have a garden or anywhere to use my beautiful composted soil? Ideally, the backyard is the best and easiest place to compost - set up a container, learn the basics, and you're set. However, if you don’t have a yard or don’t want to deal with tending to a compost pile, there are places all over that love nothing more than to receive your waste. You can find a full list of where to compost, by state, here!
3. Eliminate Unnecessary Gift Wrapping Materials
Contrary to popular belief, a lot of wrapping paper cannot be recycled, and can actually contaminate the recycling, which leads to even more waste in our landfills. Each year Americans alone use 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper to the tune of seven billion dollars. Half of that number ends up in a landfill. Getting creative with how you wrap your gifts and what you use to wrap them is a fairly simple and hassle free way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Is there like a quick cheat sheet I can use? Absolutely! ...
Wrapping paper that CAN be recycled:
- Kraft paper
- 100% paper products
- Lightly inked paper, or paper colored using organic products like vegetable dyes
Wrapping paper and products that CANNOT be recycled:
- Wrapping paper with glitter, foil, plastic, velvet, or any texture at all
- Wrapping paper lined with plastic (the really, really thin stuff sold in dollar stores and a lot of bargain bins)
- Wrapping paper still stuck with tape
- Bows, ribbon, sticky tags, glittery greeting cards (glitter is just a no-no across the board)
And did we mention kraft paper gift wrapping with nature accents is literally cute as heck?
4. Teach Your Kiddos About The Earth
One of the most powerful thing a parent can do is to begin instilling Earth-loving habits and concepts in their little ones at a young age. After all, children are our future! This doesn’t have to be a big event, but can be little things you teach them everyday. Teaching eco-friendly practices can look like everything from having them watch FernGully to explaining to them about where food comes from while you’re walking through the grocery store or preparing their lunch. Here are a few of our favorite ways we incorporate teachings into our day-to day.
- Teaching the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” (Cloth diapers, reusable snack bags, and reusable straws are a great way to re enforce this concept)
- A trip to the local farmers market. Explain to them why it’s important to support local farmers and to cook with fresh fruits and veggies.
- Conserve water. Explain why it’s important and show them how much we use on a daily basis.
- Donate gently used items or shop at a thrift store. This shows that clothing and toys are not disposable and the value of good quality items
- Grow a garden. Go all out with a garden, grow a tray of microgreens, or get a few potted plants to give kids a hands-on learning experience of the magic of nature
Zoolikins is committed to sourcing products from vendors who share a value of reducing waste, creating reusable sustainable products, and using recycled materials. We love partnering with brands and parents alike who aspire to raise up a generation with values that will create a better world for us all. What are some of your favorite ways to love our planet with your littles? A favorite book? A healthy habit? Let us know in the comments!