Pollution can permanently damage a child's brain: UNICEF — The Times of India (Dec 6, 2017)
Microplastics found in drinking water — The Hindu (Sep 7, 2017)
Poison on your plate — The Hindu (Jun 4, 2015)
Toxic dyes, lethal logos, cotton drenched in formaldehyde... How your clothes could poison you — Mail Online (Jan 19, 2012)
If your paint label doesn’t say ‘lead less than 90 ppm,’ don’t buy it — The Hindustan Times (Nov 2, 2017)
Reading all these headlines published in various newspapers reminds us that trying to remain untouched by pollution is now a challenge. From the food we eat to the water we drink to the garments we wear to the paints we apply on the walls of our homes to the transport we use, we are surrounded by seemingly innocuous-looking, indispensable products of daily need that can harm both our health and the environment.
While our materialistic habits and recklessness with nature have put us into this precarious situation, not all is lost.
Adopting green parenting practices can decrease pollution and its various side effects. Here are some tips to help you go green and help nature survive and flourish, and allow it to take care of you and your family.
- Be prudent with your choices: While walking through a store with a shopping cart, we often go on a compulsive buying spree. Instead, we can be prudent with our choices and only buy what we need. Also, we should focus on buying what can be recycled rather than ‘use-and-throw’ items. This way, not only would we conserve our resources but also create minimum waste.
- Say ‘no’ to plastic: The invention of plastic and its subsequent use to create various products has benefitted mankind in a number of ways. However, the overuse of plastic, its careless disposal and non-degradable nature have made it a major contributor to environmental pollution. Some of the things you can do to reduce plastic consumption are: replace plastic household items like bottles and jars with those made from glass, use a jute or cloth bag when you go shopping, and purchase products that are packed using biodegradable materials.
- Opt for organic food, beauty and health care products: Overuse of pesticides and fertilisers has not only affected the soil, but also caused these chemicals to enter the food chain. Research studies have linked agrochemicals to a number of diseases. Choosing organic food products will decrease the amount of chemicals we consume as well as prevent the use of agrochemicals. Similarly, choosing organic healthcare and beauty products can further bring these levels down.
- Use non-toxic cleaning materials: There are a number of chemical cleaning preparations available in the market. But, the chemicals used in the preparation of these products can remain suspended in the air and cause problems like irritation of the skin and mucous membranes in children. With a little bit of research, you can prepare your own cleaning solutions at home. Most of them can be prepared using baking soda and vinegar.
- Conserve energy: While governments and big corporations are doing what they can to create an energy-efficient world, you can also contribute your bit to the same. Some of the things you can do to conserve energy are: switching off electrical appliances when not in use, turning off taps properly to prevent leaking, setting the refrigerator, room heater or AC to the required temperature, and pooling cars or using mass transport.
- Use rechargeable batteries: A lot of toys and other appliances require batteries to function. Buying rechargeable batteries can bring down the amount of toxic waste we generate.
- Shun the car and bike: Instead of taking your car or bike to go around your neighbourhood, opt to walk or ride a cycle. If safety isn’t a concern, and the school is nearby, then encourage your children also to go to school on foot or by riding a cycle.
- Go out: Nowadays, most adults and children favour spending evenings at home sitting in front of the TV or in the company of gadgets. Not only does this affect our health, but also wastes a precious resource like electricity. You can easily reverse this trend. Along with your family, go to the nearby park or garden and spend your evenings there. This will help your bodies get the much-needed exercise and help you bond together as a family as well.
While you attempt to turn yourself into a green parent, also try to teach your children about nature and how to conserve it. This way, not only will they be able to contribute to your efforts but also grow up into green citizens.
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