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How to be an eco-friendly parent

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Earth-friendly parenting

Being a green parent is good for your health as well as your baby's health and future! Check out some simple, inexpensive and fun ways to become an eco-friendly parent.

Girl at Farmer's Market

Take a Stroll

Instead of loading your child in the car and driving to the park, why not walk there instead? Strap your child in the stroller, set some snacks in his tray and hit the road — well, sidewalk. If you love to bike, get a baby bicycle seat or tag-along trailer (depending on the child's age), and pedal your way to the park.

Be Car Conscious

While you're at it, rethink that giant SUV parked in your driveway. Most hybrids have more space than you think (for storing a stroller in the trunk, etc.) and they are so much more energy efficient. Just because you're a parent, doesn't mean you have to drive a minivan.

Nurture Naturally

Breastfeeding is probably the most natural thing you can do for your child. The antibodies that you are giving your child with that milk will keep him healthy, and it will save the environment as well. Formula is not only expensive, but consider the food miles, packaging, time and cleaning products associated with it. The World Health Organization recommends nursing for two years.

Get Cooking

Help your child become a little chef by introducing him to the fun of shopping! Take him to the farmer's market or a pick-your-own organic farm and let him select some of the produce. When you bring it home, allow him to help you make a simple, healthy and organic meal. The pride he'll feel by helping to select the produce and make the meal will translate to an empty plate!

Turn off the Tube!

In the name of conserving energy, turn off the television! Sure, there are some great educational programs for kids, but why not indulge her in an education of your own. Get outside and talk about nature. Explain why it is important to plant trees, to care for the natural surrounding habitat, and to protect the environment. Make it fun and engage your child. Let her know that it's up to her to make a difference!

Keep it Clean, but Don't Freak

Clean your children's toys and play equipment with a natural solution made with borax, vinegar, natural liquid soap and a bit of hot water, according to the Healthy Child, Healthy World web site. However, let kids be kids. They are going to go outside and get dirty. Let it happen. When it's bath time, select natural soaps and shampoos to wash away the dirt from the day.

Healthy Hygiene

Introduce your child to simple steps for saving water every day. Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth. Don't fill up the entire tub for bath time. Only flush when it's… well, you know. These little habits are the beginnings of helping him to becoming eco-friendly in his own right.

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