Teach your toddler to live sustainably

It’s never too early to start teaching your children how to reduce their carbon footprints. Sustainablog recently posted a few really great, effective ways to make sure you’re helping your kid get off on the right foot. Here are five of our favorites from the 10 tips to help teach your youngster to live responsibly.

1. Use Cloth Diapers
If you didn’t discover the joy of cloth diapering at the birth of your child, it’s not too late. Collective wisdom preaches that cloth diapers make potty training easier and faster. And, if you do cloth “right,” your child will have less of an environmental impact than if she stayed in disposables.

2. Make Toys; Don’t Buy Them
Toddlers don’t need the plastic bells and whistles that are made in China and advertised on television. Your one-year old will be just as happy banging on a pot as she is hitting a store-bought drum. Your two-year old doesn’t need the latest toddler gadget when there are sticks and rocks to play with. When you make toys with your toddler, they learn the value of repurposing materials. When you play pretend, you are allowing your child to flex his creative and cognitive muscles, work through tough emotions, and develop large and fine motor skills.

3. Buy Organic and Local Foods
Food bought locally (and in season) does not have to be transported, extensively packaged, or frozen for long periods of time. Organic food does not contribute as heavily to the overload of chemicals and pesticides in our environment. Plus, taking your toddler to the farmers’ market is almost always a fun and educational experience.

4. Teach Your Toddler the Three R’s
It is easier than you think to teach a toddler how to separate trash. My son has known where the “plastic recycling” and “paper recycling” are and what goes in them since well before he was two-years old. He loves the responsibility of putting things in the recycling bins, and he also loves accompanying us to the recycling drop-off.

5. Skip the Assorted Useless Plastics
Sippy cups. Toys. Plastic plates. Toys. Plastic silverware. Toys. Beds. Oh – and toys. Many of the plastic things marketed to and for toddlers can be replaced with suitable (or superior) substitutes made of wood or metal. The added benefit is that wood or metal objects will likely be more durable and can be passed on from child to child or between generations.

Leave a comment and let us know how you’re teaching your child to live sustainably!

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