Eco-Parenting: How to grow greener children
Eco-Parenting,  Parenting & Family

Eco-Parenting: How to Grow Greener Children

I was raised by eco-parents. Of course, it was the 90s when not every parenting style had a label. You just parented how you wanted without the harsh criticism and judgment of every other person on the internet. But, looking back, that’s what they were: Eco-parents.

Our family grew vegetable gardens and composted. We recycled everything and we even had to sort the recycling back then. I remember my dad saving every single plastic container he brought home in hopes of reusing it again.

We spent time outdoors as a family, rescued animals, and drank fresh fruit juice that my mom juiced herself morning and night. (Just ask my friends – if they were around for juice time, they had to drink it, too!)

In our house, you could often find natural deodorant, natural toothpaste, non-toxic cleaners, a vegetarian dinner, and shelves of supplements to help take care of our bodies. It wasn’t the norm where we grew up, but it was a memorable childhood nonetheless.

What is eco-parenting?

Eco-parenting is simply parenting in a way that values a sustainable life. This is usually passed down to children through modeling eco-friendly behavior, teaching environmental ethics, and using or seeking products that are better for the earth and our health.

Teaching children about sustainability

Modeling

Eco-parents share a wealth of information with their children just by modeling. Think of all the things you do in a day and if any of those can be considered eco-friendly.

Recycling
Reusing or repurposing items around the house
Growing your food
Turning off the faucet instead of letting it run
Not running lights when you don’t need them
Walking or biking instead of driving short distances
Using non-toxic cleaning products

You probably do a lot of these things without even thinking about it. And you’re modeling all these positive, environmentally-friendly behaviors for your children without trying!

Teaching

Eco-parents also teach their children about sustainability and environmental ethics through instruction. This could be simply offering a short explanation as to why you do something:

“We turn off the faucet when we’re not using it so we don’t waste water.”

And this can get more involved as they grow and start understanding more:

“Clean, fresh water is a resource we may run out of one day, so we do our best to conserve it and not waste it for the next generation.”

Using eco-friendly products

Eco-parents will often look for eco-friendly or sustainably made versions of everyday consumables. We call these “swaps.”

This can be anything from kitchen swaps (using dish soap bars instead of plastic bottles, compostable sponges instead of synthetic, or reusable storage bags instead of single-use plastic bags), bathroom swaps (bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic toothbrush, soy candles instead of traditional paraffin wax candles), or even swaps like reusable diapers and wipes instead of disposable.

Raising Eco-Friendly Children: Eco-Parenting

How to be an eco-parent

If you are interested in living a more sustainable life and passing this lifestyle down to your children, simply make your values known through these tools: modeling, teaching, and swapping.

It’s never too early or too late to embrace green living.

Next up: eco-parenting through children’s stages – babies, toddlers, elementary, and beyond! Don’t forget to subscribe for my weekly updates so you don’t miss them!

How to be an Eco-Parent: The Baby Stage
The Ultimate List of Eco-Friendly Baby Products
Eco-Friendly Toddlers: How to Eco-Parent Through the Toddler Years
The Best Eco-Friendly Toddler Toys

Are you an eco-parent? Let me know in the comments how you model green living for your kids!

Related reading:

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Sustainability
Celebrate Earth Day Every Day
The Ultimate List of Eco-Friendly Laundry Products
How to Make Your Laundry Routine More Eco-Friendly
How to Pack a Zero Waste School Lunch
10 Ridiculously Simple Things You Can Do to Live a More Sustainable Life Today
Everything You Need for an Eco-Friendly Bathroom
Save Money & Time with an Eco-Friendly Cleaning Routine
Everything You Need for a More Sustainable Kitchen