Carbon and Kids - How to reduce your family's carbon footprint


Every parent knows the challenge of having kids, and everywhere you turn there are gadgets and tools to make parenting easier. But at what cost?

Disposable culture is still on the rise, landfills continue to fill up at record speeds, and the lessons we teach our children couldn’t be more important with global warming becoming more of a reality every day.

Here are a handful of little steps parents can take to reduce their family’s carbon footprint.

What IS a carbon footprint?

Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) contribute to pollution and global warming. Our carbon footprint refers to the amount of greenhouse gases generated by us or things we consume.

Things like driving a car, heating and cooling your home, and products we buy all contribute to our carbon footprint. The goal is to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible.

ECHOAGE

Echoage is a paperless birthday party platform, it starts as your birthday party invitation but then goes even further. Parents are offered the choice to contribute to one present the birthday child wants - 50% of their contribution goes to the present and 50% goes to their charity of choice.

The average person uses more than 700 pounds of paper a year, so the beauty of Echoage is that it eliminates birthday invitations, birthday cards, and gift wrapping. It also reduces car emissions from having to drive to a store for a present and it helps kids become junior advocates of change for both the environment and their communities.

You just visit www.ECHOage.com, choose your charity of choice, invite your guests and you’re done!

TOOTHBRUSHES:

In North America alone very year over a billion toothbrushes end up in landfills, representing more than 50 million pounds of waste. These toothbrushes are made from a combination of plastic (made from crude oil) and rubber for the hand piece, nylon for the bristles, and a mix of plastic and cardboard for the packaging. None of which are currently biodegradable.

Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes are the world’s most eco-friendly toothbrush. Every component of it is plant-based: bristles, handle, wrapper, and box. The handle and the box are compostable, while the bristles and wrapper are both recyclable.

Preserve makes toothbrushes out of recycled yogurt cups. A portion of each purchase supports wildlife protection, and when you’re ready to recycle it, you can pop it back into the container, the company provides you with paid postage so you can send it back to them.

PLASTIC STRAWS:

In the last 25 years, over 6 million straws and stirrers were removed from beaches during annual cleaning events, ranking in the top 10 for marine debris.

Some plastic items can be used over and over again like plastic shopping bags, plastic straws are meant for single time usage which has a huge impact on landfills.

Silikids produces reusable straws that are 100% silicone and come in different lengths providing an option for different height cups. Perfect for any size cup! They come in packs of 6 with three different sizes. Easy to use and keep clean, these straws are dishwasher safe.

FOOD and PLASTIC WRAPS:

Again, plastics make up the vast majority of the pollution found in our oceans. They are meant for one time use and are discarded for landfill. Straws and plastic wraps are not recyclable, and they aren’t biodegradable.

Abeego beeswax food wrap is all natural and biodegradable. It is made out of beeswax, tree resin, jojoba oil, hemp, organic cotton and was designed to let food breath like a rind or peel, thus preserving it better than commercial plastics.

Its fluid and air resistant beeswax coating keeps food fresh and is easy to rinse clean for reuse. Abeego is durable and designed for daily use. Wash in cold water with eco-friendly dish soap. Lasts one year or longer.

And it saves food – 1 in 4 produce items gets thrown out due to spoiling.

DRINK IN THE BOX:

Kids love juiceboxes, but 130 billion juiceboxes end up in landfills every single year and they take 300 years to decompose due to the lining on the inside.

These Drink in the Box boxes come in fun colours, and they are leak proof which is great because nobody wants a soggy backpack. We even put water in bed with our little one so she can have a drink in the middle of the night if need be so leak proof is crucial.

One of the original ideas behind these was to wean your kids off juice boxes which contain unnecessary sugar and contributing to childhood obesity. So not only are they great for the planet, but they are also much better for your kids. They can house fruit infused water, smoothies, home made juices, and more!

TEXTILES:

In Ontario, 85 per cent of discarded textiles end up in a landfill site, meaning just 15 per cent are recycled or reused. In a single one year period, the textiles thrown into Canadian landfills would be the equivalent of 3 Skydome’s made entirely out of clothing and textiles and it takes centuries for natural fibres to decompose in a landfill.

Eve Likes Green is a company that takes discarded couture and designer fabrics – leftovers that were heading to landfill – and turns them into gorgeous table linens, hand towels, napkins and pillows.

Most importantly, at the very least make sure you’re donating old clothing to any box around the city. Any donation box will happily take your old clothes and textiles regardless of the condition their in. What cannot be reused is shredded, sanitized and recycled into rags and upholstery. Do not send old ripped or stained clothes to landfill! Donate it and it will find a home.

All featured products can be found at ECO EXISTENCE

http://www.ecoexistence.ca/

Rebecca Wise
Event Planner, Entertainment & Family Content Creator, Spokesperson, Guest Expert on CTV's The Social, The Marilyn Denis Show, CHCH and mom to the most amazing little girl in the whole world
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