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Tiny Footprints, Big Impact: Eco-Living Tips for Growing Families

Tiny Footprints, Big Impact: Eco-Living Tips for Growing Families

Happy Earth Day, PBC!

We love thinking of creative ways our families can take care of the planet. Let's face it: a lot of resources out there don't understand parenting. Sometimes a mess calls for regular old paper towels. Sometimes you deserve a long, hot shower. And reusable diapers - forget it.

We believe eco-friendly living doesn't have to be that intense! Your family comes first, and we believe these simple tips are doable, practical, and even fun for you and your kiddos!

Here are our best ideas for eco-friendly living as a young family:

1. BYO Grocery Bags

Bringing your own grocery bags to the store is so easy once you get in the habit. Here in Colorado, we were forced into the change - but after some adjustment, I don't mind bringing a few grocery bags with me to the store when I shop. I don't worry about my milk cartons tearing through that thin plastic anymore, which is a win in my head!

2. Make Trash Pick-Up a Habit

On my first date with my husband, we went on a hike and he saw a discarded water bottle along the path. Without hesitation, he picked it up and carried it the whole rest of the hike until we found a trash can at the end. That's when I knew 😍

In all seriousness, picking up trash outside is just a habit you get into! And when you get your kids involved, it can be a fun "treasure hunt" on family walks. Pro tip: stay sanitary and bring a Wet Dry Bag with you to carry the trash so you don't have to hold it the whole way.

3. Skip Plastic Water Bottles

You've heard this one before, but a reminder never hurts! Skip the plastic bottles and opt for your favorite emotional support Stanley instead;) Get your kids on board by letting them pick out a water bottle they are excited about!

4. Go Thrifting with Your Littles

I love thrifting, and bring the tinies along just makes it more fun. A simple shopping trip turns into a scavenger hunt for that diamond in the rough - and I'm telling you, most of my favorite clothing items are thrifted throughout the years! Plus, it saves so much money when you make it a habit.

5. Use Recycling for Crafts

Some of my favorite memories as a child were when my mom set us next to the recycling bin with a roll of scotch tape and said "get creative." Obviously, removing anything that's sharp or dangerous, the recycling bin can be the best place to build a little doll house or "robot." The opportunities are endless!

6. Buy in Bulk

S/O to Costco 🙌 Buying in bulk doesn't just save money, but it reduces packaging and waste. If you know you'll use it, buying in bulk is never a bad option (especially when you have all those mouths to feed!)

7. Donate > Trash

It might be tempting to toss old clothes, shoes, or items. But donating to your local Goodwill doesn't just help the environment, it also gets you a tax break at the end of the year (win-win;)

8. Burp Cloths > Paper Towels

Why clean up a mess with paper towels you'll toss in the trash when you can wipe it up with a burp cloth you can toss in the wash and reuses over and over again? Our Burp Cloth sets come in 4-packs so you never run out. Plus, they're oversized (11"x20") and designed with 6 layers of muslin cotton, so they really can soak up any mess.

9. Opt for the Emailed Receipt

Paper receipts add up and waste a lot of paper. Opt for the paperless email or text route - plus, it's harder to lose when it's on your phone!

10. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies

A lot of mainstream cleaning products use toxic chemicals that polute nearby streams and rivers - and aren't the safest option for your family, either. A while back, we put together an article on Baby-Safe Cleaning Supplies that are actually safe for your baby and the environment - without charging you extra for no reason. Check it out here!

11. Don't Ditch Leftovers

Extra food on baby's plate? Don't toss it - save it for the next day. And for leftovers from a big meal, pack in tupperware and refrigerate! That small gesture won't just save on your grocery bill - add it up and you'll be making a big impact on how much waste your family produces.

12. Unplug Devices Before Traveling

When your devices are plugged in, even if they aren't turned on, they're still sucking energy. Before you leave for vacation, make sure to unplug everything you can (your microwave, toaster, hair dryer, computer, lamps, etc.) You'll save money on your electric bill and save energy that's not even being used!

13. Show Your Kids What They're Protecting

Kids might not immediately catch on to your eco-friendly initiative, and that's okay! It's not the easiest concept to understand. Instead of overwhelming them with facts, get them outdoors and show them what they're protecting. It can simply start with "see these big trees? When we turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth, more water goes to them." Adjust your approach to their age, of course - but it can start really simple!

14. Make Your Own Baby Food

Baby food is expensive, and because it's sold in such small quantities, a lot is wasted on packaging (think of all those little jars!) Making your own baby food at home is easier than you might think - this article is super helpful to start the process! 

15. Lead By Example

Your children learn best from your example, so the more they see you living intentionally, they will want to follow! It doesn't have to be complicated - it just takes an extra thought, step, or minute to take care of the earth better than we were before.

Thanks for reading, mamas! Before you go, make sure to check out a few of our favorite Parker Baby Co. products for spring and summer (you don't want to miss out!)

Wet Dry Bag for Holding Trash and Dirty Diapers

^^ The Wet Dry Bag is the #1 most important diaper bag accessory you need! Keep trash, dirty diapers, and soiled clothes separate in your diaper bag with our waterproof, leak-proof bag. Great for picking up litter;) Order here!

Burp Cloths for New Parents

^^ Using Burp Cloths to soak up all the messes of parenthood helps the environment and keeps cleanup simple. Toss in the wash so it's ready to use for the next mess. And with 4 to grab, you'll never run out before laundry day. Pick your favorite sets here!

Diaper Bag for New Parents

^^ Our Birch Bag Diaper Backpack is your ideal companion when you're out adventuring with your little ones. Bring a changing pad and Wet Dry Bag inside for the ultimate setup! Complete with insulated bottle pockets, stroller hooks, and 10+ pockets. Order here!

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