It’s 6:30am. Your children have to be off to school by seven. Your youngest daughter is refusing to brush her hair, the baby needs a diaper change and everything seems to be falling apart. You are likely packing whatever you can find into their lunch bags at this point and calling it done. There’s probably not a thought in your mind about going green, or supporting the environment.
Even if you want to live in a more green manner, it may seem patently impossible on your time constraints. However, as I have learned through raising my three children, green living doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor. Today, I will give you some tips that will allow you to live a green lifestyle while still having time to do what you need to do as a mother.
Guide to Going Green for Busy Mothers
Don’t focus on the whole world
The first thing you need to do to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed while figuring out your green lifestyle is to narrow your focus a bit. Even though we wish the whole world would live in a more environmentally friendly manner, that isn’t likely to happen any time soon. For this reason, it’s necessary to narrow your focus down a little and think of your own children first.
Start by giving them the best possible environment to grow in. You can control what goes in their mouths, at least when they are home. You can control what goes on their skin, and the air they breathe, to a degree.
You are what you eat
Your children eat what you put before them. This means that if you put junk in front of them, they won’t be as healthy as they can be. Providing organic, natural meals may seem very overwhelming. It may be tempting to snatch something convenient — prepackaged and processed — from the supermarket and feed it to your kids.
Start at the supermarket
When buying food, it is important to try to buy as many organic options as you possibly can. Think about what your kids consume most often, and start there. It is difficult to afford a 100% organic lifestyle, so try to get the most value for your dollar. Taking a quick glance at the label will help. Try to avoid frozen or prepackaged meals as much as possible. Opt for whole-grain breads, organic meats from ethical farms, and fresh vegetables and fruit as much as you possibly can.
Preparing the meals
Cooking can be time-consuming. For that reason, set aside a bit of time once or twice a week so it doesn’t feel like you are always making meals.
Cook a few versatile, large meals. These should be foods that will last for a week and that are versatile enough to make good leftovers. For example, the hamburger meat left over from the organic patties you have on Monday can be used the next day to make spaghetti, and after that you could put it on an organic, homemade pizza.
When you have leftovers, bag them up and freeze them. That way, you can always have a healthy, organic meal whenever your family needs one. Furthermore, it only took a little time to make enough food to last a week.
Preparing school lunches
Making homemade baby food
If you have a baby, you can even make your own homemade baby food. Figure out which foods puree best in a blender and which need a food processor and then grind up what your family is eating. Spoon the puree into BPA-free ice cube trays and freeze it. One cube is one ounce of food. When it’s time to feed your baby, you only have to warm up the puree. In this way, your child can have a healthy, nutritious meal… even better and often more affordable than from a jar.
Make your own juice
A juicer is something is a very practical item to have. It allows you to make healthy juices for your children from any fruits and vegetables you have. It also allows you to control the amount of sugar, if any, that your children are consuming. If a juicer seems overwhelming with all the parts to it, you may opt for a NutriBullet. This wouldn’t be for juicing necessarily; however, it’s great for smoothies and for getting your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s small and simple to use and clean.
Use safe cleaners
Though cleaners don’t go directly into your child’s mouth, they can indirectly go there. That is why having an organic cleaner is important.
When selecting a safe cleaner, look for one which lists all its ingredients on the label. Make sure they ingredients are nontoxic.
If you’d rather make your own, that is also an option. Vinegar, lemon juice and Borax are all good choices. They will easily kill bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew, and you don’t have to worry if someone gets into it. Make sure to mix up a batch when you start to get low and keep it in spray bottles. That way, you can easily and quickly clean up any mess, saving yourself some precious time.
You won’t have to worry about breathing in toxic chemicals. This is especially important as your kids get older, and you give them more responsibility. You don’t want them ingesting toxic fumes and coming into contact with unnatural chemicals while they are completing chores.
What goes on their skin
Another area you as a parent can control is what goes on your children’s skin. For example, you can find organic soaps at most natural health stores and many specialty stores. Look for soaps, lotions and other skin care products made from as many organic ingredients as possible. Avoid those with perfumes or additives as much as possible. Your child’s skin is delicate, and perfumes, dyes and other additives can irritate it. As a rule, try to avoid products with sulfates.
You know babies go through a lot of diapers. However, the mass-produced disposable diapers aren’t the only option. There are actually environmentally-friendly diapering options.
The first option is eco-friendly diapering. These are actually the best for busy moms. They work just like the normal disposable diaper. However, they are made from recycled materials, without the use of dyes or perfumes.
Cloth diapers are also an option. Today’s cloth diapers are washable. Simply rinse them out and put them in the wash. This does involve more effort.
The air they breathe
It may seem like there are no ways to control the air your children breathe. However, there are actually several fast, easy, inexpensive things you can do.
Flowers like gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums can actually clean the air by removing harmful chemicals. For example, these houseplants can reduce the amount of formaldehyde in the air by 90%.
As an extra bonus, plants release oxygen by a process called photosynthesis. With little care, they will continue to purify the air for your family.
Living a Green Lifestyle
Even though living a green lifestyle while being a busy mom may seem like an impossible task, it doesn’t have to be. There are many things you can do to incorporate good environmental practices into even the most hectic day. You can feel good about taking care of your family and for modeling a healthy, environmentally-conscious lifestyle that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
My name is Serena, founder of Kittymoms.com. I’m a mother of three gorgeous children. I share with you the experiences I have had while homeschooling my child and living an active, fulfilling life. I hope my experiences will help you on your family’s journey to becoming healthy, happy individuals. You can find Serena and learn more about Kittymoms.com on FaceBook, Twitter and Pinterest.