To raise a little green family means letting go of what the mass media tell you, and learn to go back to nature, and raise a child using your own wisdom, with a little help from experts who have gone before you. So out go plastic toys, McDonald’s Happy Meals, junk children’s TV and sweets at the checkout. And in come biodegradable baby soap, organic cotton clothing, rubber wellies for splashing in puddles on nature walks, and natural ways to send your child to sleep. It may not create much ‘economic growth’, but you’ll have a happier and healthier child!
To be a greener parent can be difficult in a modern world that encourages consumerism, mass media consumption and lack of parks and other natural spaces available. But these books can help to make it a bit easier, often it requires some vision and imagination, rather than heaps of money and access to ‘made natural spaces’.
If gardening with children and you live with animal friends, know that many plants are toxic to pets. See make garden areas safe for pets (also avoid cocoa mulch, pine mulch & fresh compost). Use no-dig methods to protect earthworms. If growing food, see humane methods to deter slugs & snails.
- Zero Waste Kids is a fun colourful book to help children cut down on waste. They’ll find 30 child-friendly challenges to reduce waste including lifestyle changes and learning about the state of our planet, and what happens when we over-consume.
- Growing Sustainable Together is a unique book for parents on how to raise children with respect for the earth, animals and each other, in a sea of consumerism. Packed with easy tips for toddlers to early teens, each chapter includes a ‘what to know’ section that breaks down sustainability knowledge like energy efficiency and renewables, and how to instill anti-waste and anti-consumerist values. From better transport and food choices to developing a lifelong love for environmental activism and volunteering.
- The Natural Baby is a green guide to parenting, which takes readers from conception to the first year, with tips on pregnancy, birth, skincare, natural remedies, nutrition and exercise. Includes a Natural Dad section in each chapter.
- The Green Parent is a beautiful magazine founded on a Cornish holiday some years ago. This quality publication has regular and guest writers on every subject, and parents can ask questions at the reader forums, if they are new to green parenting, where they will find friendly support and expertise.
- Frugi offers beautiful organic cotton clothing for children (and nursing mothers) along with organic cotton bedding, green toys and bamboo dinner sets. All clothing is made ethically in India, and sent in biodegradable packaging, made from potatoes! Babies with Love also sells organic cotton clothing, with profits helping babies in need.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Parenting is a no-preachy guide to getting your child outside in nature, and caring for the planet. From foraging for dinner to making green decisions, this book is not about being perfect, but about giving it a try.