Turn Your Toddler Green! by ProQuest


Nurture children's interest in living things. Remember the endless renditions of "Old MacDonald"? And the (perhaps now rather embarrassing) memory of showing off your child's grasp of animal sounds to anyone who would listen? Build on the "What does a cow say?" "Moo!" and encourage an interest in garden creatures, farms and wild animals (both native to your country and beyond). As well as observing creatures in your own back garden, and learning about them, your children may be inspired by visits to working farms. [Emma] has a friend who buys potatoes and eggs from a local farm; "We take it in turns to drive up there and take the kids to see the animals, and then we share out the produce as a whole sack of potatoes is too much. It costs us half as much and only takes one car to make the journey."The home environment is where we have choice and it is up to us to decide what is appropriate for our children. One thing many parents have begun to do is to avoid buying both plastic and branded goods, and to request that friends and family buying presents do the same. When children are very young, it is good to get into the habit of saying that birthday gifts are not necessary, but if people do wish to buy a present, then ask please could they avoid plastic and instead buy something previously-owned and wearable or readable. That way, the child grows up and doesn't expect to have the (battery-operated) "moon on a stick" every Christmas and birthday. "Sometimes friends do pass on toys that we would never buy," says Eisa, "but Daisy loves them and it would be churlish to refuse. It's not that I want to keep her from the outside world, but I think there are better things to do and play with than the standard Babybjorn/Barbie/Bratz combo." However, often the "best" choices are also the most expensive.Linda, a breastfeeding counselor, agrees that "if you start off on a good footing with lots of cuddles and attention instead of lots of television and junk food, they are less lik

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									Turn Your
Toddler Green!

                                         Green Baby? Been
                                         there, done that, worn
                                         the (stained) T-shirt and
                                         washed the nappies.
                                         But what happens when
                                         your little one begins to
                                         wise-up to hand-me-
                                         downs and reject yard
                                         sale toys? What do you
                                         say when they are
                                         desperate to have what
                                         other children have and
                                         hang the ecological
                                         How do you keep your
                                         children green?

                                                by Alison Bayne

Page 20        NaturalLifeMagazine.com
F   irstly, start as you plan to continue, so
    that your children are used to receiving
toys without packaging (i.e. second-hand)
                                                 bag and sorting it out at the end of the week.
                                                 Sometimes, they take some of the card-
                                                 board boxes or margarine tubs to school for
or clothes without price-tags (passed on         crafting. If we have a few big boxes, we
from friends). Emma, a mother of two from        flatten them out and they love drawing a
Harrogate, North Yorkshire in the U.K.,          landscape on them; my eldest likes to draw
says “I have a few friends at the school who     a military camp, my daughter likes to draw
have kids of different ages, so we tend to       castles and fields, and my youngest son
swap clothes and even shoes when they are        draws roads. Then they get their action fig-
outgrown. Sometimes we have a coffee             ures/cars/dolls and play with them in the
morning and bring a bag of old clothes/toys      new land they made.”
and put them in the middle for pickings; the         Philip is a computer programmer and
rest go to charity.”                             active cyclist. Although he is a car owner,
    Charity shops are perfect hunting            cycling is his main means of transport.
grounds for home-ware, clothes and toys,         While your children are little and still open
especially those in the more well-off dis-       to suggestion, minimize car use as much as       While your children
tricts. “When my two were toddlers,” says        you can. He says, “Save on fuel costs, do
Emma, “I would buy them a toy from the           your bit for global warming/pollution and
                                                                                                  are little and still
goodwill shop as a treat. We got some great      get everybody fit. It’s a bit more effort with
bargains! My kids have never pestered me         a toddler but it’s worth it. Get a light-
                                                                                                  open to suggestion,
for toys as, luckily, they cherish all their     weight foldable stroller” – he recommends        minimize car use as
toys, but that makes it hard to get rid of old   you opt for a recognized brand so that it is
ones. I have two toy boxes and we keep           easier to buy wheel replacements when            much as you can.
several toys out to play with and then every     they wear out – “and leave your car at home
few months I empty out the toy boxes. The        when making short journeys. Try to use lo-       Cycling saves on
kids have fun seeing playthings they had         cal facilities as much as possible so that
forgotten about and we put the more re-          your journeys can be short but purposeful.”      fuel costs, does your
cently played with items to the bottom of            Emma also leaves the car at home as
the box.” Alternatively, store to
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