Top 10 Ways Breastfeeding is Good for the Planet

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural acts in the world and a tremendously nutritious renewable resource.  Animals across the globe do it without thinking twice.  As we celebrate Earth Day tomorrow, we’ll all be contemplating ways to take cues from nature, improve our environment, and help the planet.  We can’t think of a more ecological and naturally healthy way to celebrate than breastfeeding.

In honor of Earth Day we’re sharing our top 10 ways breastfeeding is good for the planet:

10 – No manufacturing required:  Breastfeeding is a manufacturing-free experience.  Well, unless you count the hard work it takes you to make breast milk.  Manufacturing formula, formula dispensers, bottles and bottle accessories all take a toll on the environment, from factory and transportation emissions, toxic waste and water pollution, to non biodegradable materials used in the manufacturing and packaging process.

9 – No contamination:  When you breastfeed, you know exactly what you are giving your baby.  There’s nor risk of contamination through manufacturing, packaging, shipping and living on the shelves at a store.  When you think about it this way, the purity of breastfeeding takes new meaning.

breastfeeding good for planet__1458691543_162.206.228.388 – No shopping required:  Your breast milk is always available, anytime day or night.  Forget extra trips to the grocery store to buy feeding supplies.  You have everything you need right on your body.

7 – No plastics required:  Breastfeeding is plastic-free.  Plastics are not easily bio-degradable and therefore remain for years taking up space in landfills.  Even when you pump and store milk, the plastic impact on the planet is far less than the alternative.

6 – No packaging waste:  Breastfeeding simply requires you and your baby without the fuss of packaging.  Therefore, you’ll have no disposable packaging waste.

5 – Less energy required:  Breast milk is always the right temperature…your temperature.  Save energy on warming bottles by breastfeeding.

4 – Less water required:  Breast milk is made of water but it’s the water you are already drinking.  Formula requires water to make and water for warming the bottle.  In some countries, water is a precious commodity and hard to come by.  Conserving water is great for our planet.

3 – Delayed Menstruation:  Breastfeeding moms typically do not return to regular menstrual cycles for an average of 14 months.  Less menstruation creates less waste on sanitary products.

2 – Less healthcare impact:  Because breastfeeding offers phenomenal health benefits for babies and mothers, both get sick less.  This means they aren’t taxing the healthcare system, which requires tons of resources and money.

1 – Resources can be used elsewhere:  When poor health, land and air pollution and waste disposal are less of a burden on our communities, resources can be spent improving our environment in other ways.

Join us in celebrating Earth Day by breastfeeding!  Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day Activities to do with your Baby

If you think your baby is too young to participate in Earth Day, think again.  There are several fun things you can do with your baby to celebrate the Earth and discover ways to be a better environmental citizen.  Today we’re sharing Earth Day activities to do with your baby.

Enjoy Nature:  Although the traditional nature Earth Day activities like planting a tree or cleaning up a nature preserve aren’t appropriate for your tyke, you can still enjoy the wonders of nature by visiting a park, nature center or local botanical garden.  Describe the scene to your baby including all of the beautiful colors and sounds found in nature.  Let her touch what’s around her as well so she can feel the difference between grass and dirt and a tree’s bark.

Earth Day with baby__1458691891_162.206.228.38Plant if you Can:  Depending on your baby’s temperament and mobility, you may be able to do some light gardening projects with her help or her observation.  Without being too ambitious with your project, plant a few seasonal items – perhaps some pretty flowers or vegetables she can watch grow throughout the spring and summer – in your garden bed or low pots.  Help your baby dig in the soil with her hands or a small shovel.  Show her how you put the seeds or bulb in the dirt and let her help you cover it back up.  If anything she can be amused by your toiling from the comfort of a nearby picnic blanket.

Visit the Library:  Fostering a love for reading shouldn’t be expensive.  In fact, with a library card, it’s free and good for the environment.  Borrowing books is a terrific way to cut costs and the environmental impact of textiles and transportation of goods.  Spend your Earth Day reading books at the library and taking advantage of any infant programs they offer such as story time or sing-a-longs.

Donate Toys and Clothes: As your baby grows out of her clothes, pass them along to a friend.  Even if you think you may have another baby down the road, start a hand-me-down chain where you can eventually get all of your items back.  Do the same with toys as they are no longer age-appropriate for your little one.  Reusing clothes is great for the Earth and saves you money too.

Make your own Play:  Forget the store bought stuff and make your own finger paints, clay and bubbles.  These activities can be fun for hours and you’ll feel great knowing you made them from scratch with all-natural ingredients.

Walk Somewhere Instead:  Make a point to walk to one destination on Earth Day.  Whether it’s the supermarket, a park or a coffee shop, pack up the stroller or put your baby in a carrier and hit the road by foot.  This is wonderful exercise, a great way to enjoy some fresh air and scenery, and helps reduce your impact on your community.

We hope you all enjoy these Earth Day activities to do with your baby!  Happy Earth Day!

How to Celebrate Earth Day with Kids

Tomorrow is Earth Day and a wonderful opportunity to start teaching your little ones the significance of protecting our environment.  It’s important to celebrate Earth Day with your kids and to start environmental education early.  Most kids love nature because there are endless possibilities for adventure, exploration and play.  A love of nature is a great place to begin educating children about the environment because it is something they can understand and experience.  From there, the conversation and actions can expand and become more complex as your children grow.

Not sure how to get things started?  The best way for kids to learn is by getting them involved…and letting them get their hands dirty!  We’ve got some fun ways to celebrate Earth Day with kids:

How to Celebrate Earth Day with KidsGarden and Plant a Tree

Whether you have a yard full of gardening opportunities or one flower pot to fill, gardening is a fun, kid-friendly activity.  Depending on your children’s ages, you can let them help select the plants, dig in the dirt and water the plants.  Planting flowers, a tree or a vegetable garden will allow kids to see the “fruits” of their labor in a short time.  Begin a discussion of what plants need to grow – sunlight, water and nutrient-rich soil – all parts of the environment that we can protect with responsible practices.

Build a Bird House

While you make your yard a more beautiful place, welcome the birds as well with a new bird house.  If you are especially handy you can cut wood pieces to fashion a bird house.  Otherwise, you can buy a kit of pre-cut pieces.  You can also use an empty milk carton by cutting a large window in the side or the age-old pinecone with peanut butter to help the bird seed stick.  Hang your bird feeder outside a window where your children can watch their bird friends enjoy the new home.

How to Celebrate Earth Day with KidsRead Books about Nature

One of the best ways to get kids in the right mindset for Earth Day is to read books on different nature and environmental topics.  Some of our top picks are The EARTH Book by Todd Pharr; The Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by Nuria Roca and Rosa M. Curto; Earth Day, Birthday! by Maureen Wright; Curious George Plants a Tree by Margaret and H.A. Rey; and The Lorax by Dr. Seus.

Talk About and Demonstrate Earth Friendly Behavior

As you know, kids learn so much by watching your habits and behavior.  Set an example by living an environmentally responsible lifestyle.  If you don’t already, Earth Day is a great time to get started recycling, reducing the use of paper and conserving water.  Donate used toys and make a commitment to buy more used items, which cuts out on manufacturing, shipping and packaging costs.  Get your kids involved by having them collect items they no longer use for donation or have them decorate a special reusable grocery tote.

Go on an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt and Pick Up Litter

An Earth Day scavenger hunt takes absolutely no planning and set-up on your part.  All you need is two bags – one for nature items and one for trash.  Find a safe place for a walk, such as a local park, nature trail or around your neighborhood.  Challenge your kids to find certain things in nature, perhaps a leaf, a wildflower, a stick or a rock.  Also have them pick up litter and/or recyclables you may see along your way.

Make an Earth’s Birthday with Meal of Local Foods

While your kids may not understand Earth Day, they certainly know about birthdays.  Celebrate Earth Day with kids by having an Earth Day birthday party with a meal made with local foods.  Teaching the value and environmental advantages of eating local is a fantastic Earth Day lesson.  Plus you can get your kids involved in the cooking process, which may encourage them to try new foods.

Happy Earth Day!  We hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with your kids!