Going Green for Nannies and Au Pairs

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Work in Honor of Earth Day

Cycle or Walk for Short Trips
Instead of driving to school or playdates, allow the children to ride their bicycles, scooters, skateboards, or walk instead. A walk of just half a mile takes less than 15-minutes. The children will love the fresh air, exercise, and time to talk to you. You will save fuel and the world will be spared more greenhouse gas emissions. The fresh air and exercise make kids and caregivers feel great any time of year.

Dress Children in Layers
The bulk of the energy bill is for heating and cooling, (not light bulbs). So, dressing children in layers keeps those costs down by allowing kids to bundle up or strip down as needed. Being able to control their personal body temperature can also help cut down on colds; in layers, kids don’t ever have to be too hot or too cold in their clothes.

Buy Organic Food for the Family
Studies have shown that human exposure to pesticides can cause neurological disturbances, increase the frequency of certain cancers, damage the immune system, and reduce fertility. Pesticides degrade soil and contaminate drinking water, leading to significant clean-up costs. A conventional farmer might use as many as 450 different authorized pesticides, whereas an organic farmer might use just seven natural pesticides, and only then in a controlled way. At least give priority to feeding organic foods to babies and young children. The average child has four times more exposure than an adult to at least 10 widely used cancer-causing pesticides. Pesticides can increase susceptibility to certain cancers by breaking down the immune system’s resistance to cancer cells. Infants and children are among those at greatest risk. Click here to download a list of which fruits and vegetables have pesticides.

Use Biodegradable Cleaning Products
In the local supermarket we can buy acids, phenols, oil derivatives, corrosive solutions, chlorine, and an entire arsenal of toxic products, all supposedly necessary for keeping our homes clean (according to the advertisements). Choose environmentally friendly and biodegradable household cleaning products that do not contain the most dangerous substances. You will be contributing to the preservation of the soil, air, water, and health of children.

Properly Dispose of Grease Before Washing Dishes
After cooking meat most people either pour grease down the toilet or down the kitchen sink. Neither method is good for the plumbing or the water supply. The best way to dispose of grease and oil is to solidify them as much as possible, and then throw the solid materials in the trash.

 

 These ideas from:
365 Ways to Save the Earth: New and Updated Edition
by Phillippe Bourseiller

Philippe Bourseiller teams 365 photographs with a daily ecological action. Each of the initiatives is accompanied by facts and statistics that illustrate the threats to the environment posed by our behaviors, and demonstrates the beneficial consequences of the recommended actions. Each day reveals the image of a wonder of nature along with the guidelines to preserve our planet.

Do you have any ideas on how nannies and au pairs can help children “go green” we didn’t think of?

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