As a Sprout family, you are already embracing a green lifestyle. Join us as we try a little harder and adopt a new green habit or two. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Serve locally grown food. Compared with foods that are hauled, shipped or flown to you, locally grown food creates a smaller carbon footprint. Consider joining a farm co-op or visit a local farm to pick your own.
Cut down on lunch packaging. Avoid "snack size" foods by buying in bulk and filling your own snack containers. Use refillable water bottles instead of juice boxes and water bottles.
Limit processed food. Cooking your own foods cuts out the fuel, energy and chemicals used in processing and packaging those foods. You'll also help curb childhood obesity, as chips, sodas and snacks are often loaded with unhealthy fats and sugars.
Buy non-toxic toys. Choose toys from local U.S. companies and opt for wood or hard-plastic toys over the soft plastic toys, which can contain PVC, a polymer known to impact hormone development.
Turn waste into art. Establish a craft drawer with materials that would otherwise be wasted: boxes, plastic lids or scraps of paper. Sprout your own creations as you protect the planet.
Get outside. On average, kids spend just 30 minutes of unstructured time outdoors each week. Whether hiking and camping as a family, or simply running around the backyard, go green with regular outdoor activity.
Use non-toxic cleaners. Avoid cleaners that contain ammonia or bleach or even artificial fragrances. You might even make your own safe household cleaner from distilled white vinegar and water (it's great for mirrors!).
Carpool. Kids are going to so many different lessons and events, but that's no reason to make tons of separate car trips. Set up carpools with friends. You will conserve energy -- your car's energy and your own.
Plant a garden. Even a few tomato plants grown outside in pots can help teach kids about the process of growing -- the importance of soil, water and sunshine and the reward of caring for plants that then produce flowers and food.
Cut down on consumption. Refrain from buying the latest gadgets. Get involved in swapping toys with other parents as kids outgrow them, purchasing used toys or making alternative toys (like playhouses out of cardboard boxes).
Get active. Encourage your local school to serve healthier lunch options in the cafeteria. Campaign to get soda companies out of the schools. Convince cities to use organic lawn products on the playing fields.