1. Local Food
Not to disparage the health food store, but it is often not the cheapest source of healthy food. Head to your local farmer’s market and buy fresh produce. Because the food is from local farms, you won’t be paying for long transport or sprayed-on preservatives.
2. Grow Your Own Food
You can save money and teach your children about nature’s provision by growing your own food. Raised beds, vegetable planting boxes, and containers make it possible for just about everyone to grow some of their own food. Tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and squash are good vegetables to begin with, as they grow easily. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are good fruits for beginners.
3. Preserve the Harvest
Learn to can and/or freeze the extra produce from summer’s bounty, when the produce is so much less expensive. You can use the same containers year after year, and you won’t have to buy canned and frozen fruits and vegetables in the winter.
4. Breastfeed Your Baby
This single thing reduces waste and saves a tremendous amount of money. And if you breastfeed exclusively or “ecologically,” you will not have to buy bottles, pacifiers, tins of formula, and so forth. Bottles and pacifiers are plastic or rubber and rarely recycled. And formula alone is very expensive.
The longer your breastfeed, the more you’ll save. And it’s better for your baby! Check your local library or internet search engine for tips on ecological breastfeeding.
Okay, so many of us don’t want to go back to the “bad old days” when mothers had to deal with cloth diapers. But one of the most eco-friendly choices you can make as a parent is to use cloth diapers. Disposable diapers are filling landfills at a rapid rate. Backed with plastic and saturated with chemicals like bleach and absorbance-enhancing substances, disposable diapers do not biodegrade completely.
These days, there are many choices for parents who want to use cloth diapers. They can be washed and reused over and over, and a diaper cover made from water-resistant wool can help prevent leaks.
6. Cleaning House
Before cleaning house as an eco-friendly parent, you may have to – well – clean house! Go through your cabinets and get rid of all the chemical-based cleaners like scouring powders, spray-on cleaners, germ-killing sprays, etc. Replace them with simple, cheap, home-made cleaning products that are non-toxic.
White vinegar and baking soda can be used variously for an enormous number of cleaning jobs. Vinegar and water can be used to mop wood floors, wipe counters, and wash windows. Use baking soda to remove baked-on “gunk” in your conventional or microwave oven.
7. Teach Your Children
A very important aspect of being eco-friendly is teaching the next generation about the importance of preserving the environment. Include your kids in your eco-friendly decisions and projects. Check out books at the library and explore relevant websites.
Fostering a love of nature and the environment in your children doesn’t need to cost anything but a little time and effort on your part. And the harvest from that effort will be significant for the future of the planet.
We hope that Easy ways to become an eco friendly family on a budget helps you become a more eco friendly parent while maintaining a budget.