Constance-Coco.jpeg Being a good role model for my daughter, Coco, is very important to me. I want her to grow up and be able to enjoy all that the earth has to offer. That’s why I think it’s imperative to teach kids at an early age to be environmentally conscious, especially reminding them to think before they toss! Here are three simple ways to be a green parent:
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle. I can’t say it enough!
  • Buy greener products that are composed of recycled materials.
  • Utilize craft books that inspire and teach kids how to use materials/items you have in your home to make new unique toys and gifts.
I recently started building “fairy houses” with Coco, using old, unused planter pots. It’s a lot of fun for us, but it’s also a great way to teach her about upcycling. She now loves to think of ways we can turn old, broken things around the house into something fun and useful! We’ve turned old scarves into capes, and voilà, Coco becomes a superhero. Coco has found a wonderful amount of joy in giving some of her friends old toys that she has loved but outgrown, so they become gifts from the heart and great toys for someone else. An old Elmo doll that has been loved and has her smells on it becomes another child’s favorite snuggly toy.

Searching for like-new items

I also search and scour eBay for any “new” items my daughter has put on her Christmas or birthday lists before going to a store and buying brand new. Vintage books are a big hit in our household as well. Kids don’t care about new or used, I promise. They’re just happy to get it. Plus, I can’t stand all the plastic packaging that takes hours to get through. Any clothes of Coco’s that are too soiled to hand down to a friend or sibling are cut into hankies, napkins, blankets for fairies, etc. The fairies and dolls don’t care if the edges are sewn, by the way.

E-waste education

In an age where technology is becoming increasingly more prevalent, I want to make sure to recycle my outdated appliances right, and teach Coco to do the same. Instead of creating e-waste, I donate my old cell phones to those stationed overseas. I have saved a couple old phones for Coco to play with as a toy phone instead of purchasing new plastic ones. And, when she gets tired of playing with it, you know what we’ll do? We will give it to Electronic Recyclers International to recycle properly. Reusing can be fun, plus you get to spend more quality time with your child. Just remember: THINK BEFORE YOU SHOP! If it can’t be reused, then find the best way to recycle it. Reduce, reuse, recycle, Constance Zimmer