Top Tips from eco-experts, at the Science Museum, on Green Parenting and how easy it can be:
1. The main carbon and environmental impact of cotton clothing is in its production. Taking hand-me-downs from friends and family or getting clothes from charity shops extends the life of a garment and diminishes its carbon impact.
2. The same goes for baby furniture. If you use second-hand buggies, cribs, highchairs etc, you are extending the life of that object and meaning a new one doesn’t have to be created.
3. Babies are incapable of staying clean for longer than five minutes. This means lots of washing is unavoidable. Keep the washing machine set to 40 degrees C and if possible always air dry clothes as the tumble dryer uses enormous amounts of energy and adds a big chunk on to baby’s carbon footprint.
4. Breast is best for so many health reasons, but it’s also a really green source of food for your baby. The milk you produce will be environmentally friendly because it doesn’t need to be processed, packaged and shipped to the shops, unlike formula milk.
5. Once baby is ready to be weaned you can try to keep their diet as low carbon as possible. Choosing foods that don’t need a lot of extra resource when they are been grown means less energy is wasted so less carbon is produced.
6. Try to feed baby seasonal fruit and veg. It’s less likely to have been grown in a greenhouse which requires a lot of energy to keep warm and have huge carbon footprint.
7. If you have the time and the green fingers, growing food at home is fun and rewarding.
8. One of the best things a parent can do is create eco conscious offspring. Talk to your kids from a young age about the importance of a low carbon lifestyle and explaining your reasoning. They will grow up to follow your example and pass the message on to their own babies.
Celebrity Green Parents
Jessica Alba launched her new e-commerce, eco-friendly and non-toxic baby product company Honest.com in January 2012, and has released ‘The Honest life’ guide to Green Parenting.
Halle Berry reportedly spent nearly $60,000 to create a sustainable nursery, which features everything from organic bed sheets to cotton-stuffed toys that are completely chemical- and pesticide-free.
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Matthew McConaughey choose cloth nappies for their children.
Daryl Hannah says: “Turn off the TV, go for a hike, move to a smaller house, get solar power, don't poison your kids, pets and yourself by using toxic cleaning products. Choose biodegradable, non-toxic ones, plant an organic garden and shop at your local farmer's market - it's fun for the whole family."