I get it. Parenting is expensive. Expensive and trying. But you can alleviate some of the financial stress and environmental impact with a few simple tips and tricks.
#1. Join an online parenting group. Facebook groups like Twin Cities Parent Swap offer online sales of gently used baby and child items. This helps with the cost of all that baby gear your kids grow out of so quickly. Many sellers are in the metro area and most items are available for a discounted rate of wholesale pricing. If you want to cut your carbon footprint, you can even ask sellers if they are on, near, or willing to meet you at a public transit stop or hub.
Another social media site to consider is Twin Cities BabyWearing International. It has an extensive “lending library” where you can try out/check out baby carriers for a small fee before deciding to purchase one (perhaps from the Twin Cities Parent Swap). For additional information and support, the organization’s meetings are free and open to the public!
#2. Borrow what you can. Babies grow and transition so quickly. Most items marketed by big box stores are used only a few months before you ‘need’ something new. Ask family members and friends to borrow items their children have outgrown. Start a local parent swap chapter if you have a block full of neighborhood children! As a bonus, this cuts down on manufacturing, transit and shipping costs (aka carbon footprint) associated with newly manufactured toys.
Other ideas for Green Parenting include: “Lending Libraries” for toys and Little Free Libraries, which frequently have children’s books at no cost at all (especially those located near schools). Purchasing or borrowing a baby food processor can save on baby food costs when you make your own with locally grown produce. You could even try making your own compostable baby wipes with recipes from sites like Pinterest.
Wherever you look, there are possibilities for changing your habits as your little one changes your world. Trust me…the change on both ends is nothing but positive!