Embracing the Challenges of Green Parenting

What are the green parenting obstacles for your family?  Is it the time to launder and use cloth diapers?  Is it the support of other like-minded families?  Is it trying to breastfeed while working full time?

For us, it’s a limited budget.  There are so many areas where going green saves us heaps of cash, as we point out in The Eco-nomical  Baby Guide.  I revel in the fact that shopping at thrift stores, riding our bikes, and using public transport have economic, environmental, and health benefits.  But it’s tricky for me to expand our grocery budget (which is already our highest monthly bill) on organic food. We eat less meat, less packaged foods, and more bulk foods, but it would be lovely to dine on fully organic foods at all times.

I also dream of a solar hot water heater and a hybrid car, but those aren’t conducive with a one income lifestyle.

So what do we do?  I’ve chosen to embrace our limitations.  If we had heaps of cash, we’d probably naturally consume more.  Our budget keeps us in this cozy home and lends a frugally adventurous element to our family life.


  1. Lack of money, time, energy. It’s hard to make changes sometimes! Many times for me the hardest part is the learning curve. I want to learn to garden, compost, make my own yogurt, etc. These are all things that would be costless or more frugal. But sometimes I just don’t have the energy to figure it all out, much less DO it. Inertia wins again.

  2. for us it’s trying to get extended family on board with our toy choices. that’s been a real struggle for us in not wanting to alienate them, but also not wanting them to continue to ignore our wishes for more natural toys.

  3. For me it’s two things:
    1. my inherent cheap-ness – many times being green is the cheaper option, but often it is not)
    2. my husband – he doesn’t have any interest in being green, so if a green choice means more effort for him, I won’t have his support in making it happen.

  4. I think for me, the challenge is getting my husband and extended family on board. I try to lead the way by setting a good example, but my efforts are often met with teasing and sarcasm. My husband is a little more open to it, but he still has a long way to go. He’s great about using the cloth diapers and wipes, but it’s the organic food and recycling that he stumbles on.

    And I also have the same problem as Reb with toys. Since Christmas our house is filled with a bunch of cheap/plastic toys that our son has completely lost interest in. Family members always ask me for ideas and I give them some great options, but they usually end up doing their own thing anyway…..

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