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Talking Green with Your Family

Cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers.Emily L. Goodman

Earth Day is a wonderful holiday, all about how to keep our earth green and our impact in it smaller than it might be otherwise. It’s also a great opportunity to talk about all of those things that you can do the rest of the year—little changes that might just make a big difference by the time you’re done with them. Take the time to talk with your kids, and then discuss one little change that all of you might make together. For example…

Cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers. Emily L. Goodman

Cloth diapers.

Some families use them anyway.  Some families use them part-time. Other families have never even touched one.  Take advantage of Earth Day to go check out a few local stores that carry cloth diapers (Knoxville’s Buy Buy Baby has bumGenius in stock).  There’s also the Natural Parenting Expo on Saturday, when all sorts of cloth diapers will be on display.

Cloth napkins.
Cloth napkins. Emily L. Goodman

Cloth napkins.

There are plenty of cheap options out there (including using dishcloths as napkins) that are also cute, functional, and, as a bonus, ultimately cheaper than the number of napkins you’ll go through over the lifetime of that cloth napkin.  Do some research, and look into using cloth napkins just one night a week.  Why not?

Kitchen towels.
Kitchen towels. Emily L. Goodman

Kitchen towels.

Be honest:  how many paper towels do you go through in a week?  A roll?  Two?  Do you find yourself buying a case of paper towels every time you go to the grocery store?  For the price of one of those big cases, you can pick up several kitchen towels, which work just as efficiently as paper towels.  Sure, you have to wash them and reuse them; but they’re a lot more earth-friendly!

Plant something!
Plant something! Emily L. Goodman

Plant something!

Not everyone can plant a tree, but everyone can plant a rosebush, some herbs, or a tomato plant!  Think about something that your kids will enjoy through the summer months.  Watching a tree grow is a long process that may or may not have rewards in the end, but planting a little mini garden can have immediate benefits.  Live in an apartment or don’t have a big enough yard for a real garden?  What about planters just outside the door, or an herb garden on the windowsill?  There’s nothing like reaching up and pulling a pinch of fresh basil off of your own plants.

Cloth menstrual products.
Cloth menstrual products. Luna Pads/lunapads.com

Cloth menstrual products.

If you have an older daughter, educate her about reusable menstrual products!  That might not be something she’d be comfortable with at school, but chemical-free options are much more comfortable, have fewer negative effects on the body, and ultimately lead to a cleaner, more earth-friendly lifestyle.