When I reflect on the last six years living and learning with my first son, Jack, and now my second son, Henry, I have to laugh. In life-before-kids, I had idealistic visions of what life might be like living ‘green’ with a family. While I have made some of these visions reality, I’ve also learned that a little compromise and a good sense of humour goes a long way when enjoying the parenting ride.
For all of you green-minded parents and parents-to-be out there, here is a round-up of family-friendly blog posts from the parents at Green Action Centre. Try one or two, or try them all, and please share your own tips with us!
Pull out those cloth diapers and rack up the savings. ASRTS staff member Shoni has costed out her financial savings from using cloth diapers. Feeling a little overwhelmed with all the laundry? My sanity-saving tip with my second son has been to use cloth whenever possible, and greener disposables when we’re out for the day, away on vacation, on a camping trip, or on those days when I just didn’t get them into the laundry in time. I call it the “hybrid method”!
Between friends, kijiji, yard sales, and used clothing stores, I’ve found an almost endless supply of used baby and kids clothing. Not to mention all of the baby paraphernalia (swing, stroller, exersaucer, balance bike, kids bike, etc.). I even have a favorite used kids clothing store in our parents’ home town. That way their gifts for my sons can be pre-loved as well. Haven’t found a favorite store yet? Come to Green Action Centre’s Second Chance Market on October 24th from 10am-4pm at Lord Roberts Community Centre. There will be baby and kids items!
Wondering how you’re going to transport yourself and your family while still staying green? Green Action Centre will keep you rolling with blog posts on commuting with your kids to work, school and daycare, walking with your child to school, biking with your family here there and everywhere, and walking and wheeling your children to school with a walking school bus. Teaching your child to ride a bike? Don’t make these seven common mistakes! If your children are getting ready to hop on transit by themselves, a little planning can go a long way for a smooth first journey.
Transportation has been something we’ve struggled with lately, with one child still too young for a bike seat and one much too grown up for a stroller. Our compromise? We bike, walk or sled almost every day to school; bike, walk or bus to work; but larger trips to the grocery store or other hard to reach places like Fort Whyte are done by car. How have you made it work with your family?
Some of our most memorable moments as a family have come from family trips together. With grandparents living in Ontario, we sure make a lot of trips back to “the big nickel”! My oldest son’s favorite method of travel is the train – it means vacation starts the moment you climb aboard. Bring your own snacks, pillows, blankets and games – it’s a long ride with an enjoyable view. We also had great fun on a weekend camping trip to Birds Hill – by bike! And if you’re just looking for a quick getaway, we also had a great time stay-cationing at Room to Grow.
HOLIDAYS, BIRTHDAYS and Back to School
There’s always reason to celebrate, and with celebrations often come gifts, sweets and waste. Shoni shares her great eco-conscious gift ideas for children. We’ve had great fun with experiential gifts for our family. Kids art classes from the WAG and a family membership to the Manitoba Museum were enjoyed for months after each gift was given. Getting ready for school each fall can mean a lot of shopping. Try greening your back to school plans with these tips. And with Halloween just around the corner, try out some of our greener Halloween suggestions, or share some of your own tips with us!
Composting with kids
Kids need the outdoors, they need to explore and develop a relationship with the environment. One of the best places to do that is in your own backyard. The miracles of composting can be a source of wonder for your kids. Get them involved and start your own backyard or vermi-composting bin and teach them about the cycle of food. They will love to check out the different bugs and worms that are working hard to break down the food. Also, try initiating a school composting program. We can help schools have a significant impact on waste reduction in the school setting.
Share your tips for living green with your little ones!