Being a Green Mother
As the saying goes, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. As Moms we have a powerful influence on our families. Much of the day to day decisions of the home are in our hands. So, we can teach by example and make a big impact on our family life.
We all know that the best way to teach our kids about green family values is to set the example. You have already taught them about the 3Rs…reduce, reuse, and recycle. You may have taught them about turning lights off lights and conserving energy. Every little step helps.
But what can we moms do personally to help minimize our own ecological footprint? It just so happens that moms especially have opportunities to reduce their impact on the planet and make it a better place for generations to come. Here are some ideas:
Green Menstrual Products
The most common products available for menstruating women today are disposable tampons or absorbent pads. When disposed of, these items clog our landfills needlessly and there are alternatives available that make these products obsolete.
• Cloth pads are made of an absorbent fabric such as cotton or hemp and usually have a layer of waterproof fabric lining the bottom to protect clothing. Cloth pads are so comfortable that, once you’ve experienced cloth, you could ever desire to go back to paper and plastic pads and the money savings is significant too. One such brand is Glad Rags cloth pads .
• Menstrual cups are just what they sound like. They are small cups worn internally that collect to your monthly flow (similar to a diaphraghm but they offer no birth control protection). They are comfortable, easy to clean and care for, and their reusable nature makes them very earth friendly. While purchasing one is an up front investment, they last for years and save money in the long term.
In many households it is mom that does the shopping. Being a green mom means knowing the impact of their answer to the question “Paper or Plastic?” For environmentally savvy moms the answer is neither. They like to use reusable shopping bags made from sturdy canvas or nylon. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, and prints and larger sizes can easily hold the load of 3-4 plastic bags.
The easiest way to ensure that you have them while shopping is too keep them in the trunk or glove compartment. I keep mine in the back of my van all the time so I don’t forget them. Then I hand them to the cashier or bagging person and ask that they bag my groceries with the bags you have provided. This practice will save thousands of plastic bags from entering our landfills and vast amounts of pollution will not enter the atmosphere when plastic bag production is reduced.
Swap “Til You Drop
Moms are often in charge of the family budget. One practical way to ease financial constraints and be eco friendly at the same time is to avoid buying new household products. Either buy second hand or swap In many cities and town moms are joining swap groups where large groups of moms get together to swap unwanted clothing and household items for one that they do need. Why not plan one of your own?
Book swaps like PaperBackSwap are also available online (if you join tell them Carrie Lauth sent you!). You simply list your unwanted books and send them to a new owner when requested. In exchange, you can request books as well. This saves money and paper too. Another that just pays you cash for books (they pay postage too) is Cash4Books .
Household cleaning is another domain that moms often oversee. Conventional products have lots of unsavory chemical in them that are not healthy for your family or the planet. Instead you might opt to use green cleaning products that utilize safe ingredients such as olive oil, lemons, vinegar, and baking soda. There is also a growing number of cleaners made by green companies that available in specialty stores or online. Here are a few natural cleaning product reviews .