Raising Eco-Friendly Kids

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that we face today and it is one that will have a significant impact on our kids’ lives in the future. While it is our responsibility to act now to protect the environment for future generations, we also need to prepare our children to take on the role of stewards of the environment in the not-too-distant future.

Helping our little ones to cultivate an appreciation for the environment can be both empowering and fun – even at an early age! 

Here are some ideas for small steps you and your kiddos can take to instill a love for the environment:

  1. Wear Pre-Loved (Instead of New): Did you know that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, producing 20% of global wastewater and 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions? Clothing production is extremely resource-intensive and yet an estimated 9 billion items of clothing owned by U.S. consumers goes unworn each year. Here’s the good news; buying pre-loved clothing, instead of new, is a super easy step that everyone (including our kids!) can take to be more Earth-friendly. Invite your children to get actively involved in trading out their old, outgrown clothes and choosing pre-loved clothes to freshen up their wardrobes. Bonus – by involving kids, you stand a pretty good chance that they will actually wear the clothes and pre-loved items tend to be more affordable, so it is easier to let them browse and choose the items they want!
  2. Make Crafts from Recycled Materials: Using old materials to make new crafts is a fun way to teach kids how to repurpose and breathe new life into “old” items. Check out these fun ideas for recycled crafts from Mommy Poppins. And if you’re local to Hoboken, stop by Bounce Mkt’s shop to get a free “recycled” crayon for your kiddo with a purchase. Our friends at Cre8ive Crayonz take old broken crayons that our customers no longer use and turn them into beautiful “new” crayons that are ready for creating the next masterpiece!
  3. Reduce Single Use Plastics: Who said reusable totes are just for adults?! At Bounce Mkt, we sometimes give away mini reusable totes to our youngest customers – and we absolutely love how delighted the little ones are to have their very own tote!
  4. Choose Eco-Conscious Brands: When it comes to environmental impact, not all clothing brands are equal. Some of our favorite items at Bounce Mkt come from brands that actively take steps to reduce the impacts of production and prolong the life of their garments. For instance, we LOVE that Patagonia’s owner recently gave away his $3 billion company to a trust and non-profit to ensure that the profits go to “people who are actively working on saving this planet”; and we are delighted to offer pre-loved Patagonia clothing at Bounce Mkt. We also regularly have pre-loved items from other eco-conscious brands like Stella McCartney, Pact, and Molo.
  5. Share, Rather Than Buy, Toys: Let’s face it; our kids often lose interest in toys not too long after they’re brought home. That’s why we love anything and everything that lets us buy fewer toys for the home and share more toys collectively. Within Hoboken, kids can play with a wide range of toys free at the Hoboken Public Library’s Toybrary and swap out books at Hoboken’s Little Free Libraries, located throughout town. The local “Buy Nothing” Facebook group is also a great way to pass along used toys to new homes. We also love local play spaces, like the little play co., which let kids play with big (but super fun!) toy kitchens, pretend stores, etc., all while keeping them out of our (admittedly tiny) apartment!
  6. Compost Food Waste: Within Hoboken, we’re lucky to have access to a free residential compost drop off program that transports food scraps to farms to act as fertilizer, rather than a landfill. And with many of the drop off sites located in local city parks, it is easy to drop off the scraps on the way to the swings! Not in Hoboken? No worries – there are tons of online resources to help you get started composting at home.
  7. Shop at the Farmers’ Market: The food you buy at a local farmers’ market travels a shorter distance to get to you, producing fewer greenhouse emissions from transportation – and has the added benefit of, in our personal opinion, tasting better! Shopping the farmers’ market is also a great activity to do with kids as it gets them involved in the shopping, including picking out produce that is healthy and contributes to a well-balanced diet.
  8. Learn About the Environment: There are tons of fun ways to help your little ones learn about our natural resources and develop a love for our environment. Spending time in national and state parks can foster an appreciation for green spaces and, here in Hoboken, we’re lucky to have Liberty State Park just about a 15 minute drive away! Exhibits at science museums, such as Our Hudson Home at New Jersey’s Liberty Science Center, can help kids to understand the benefits of preservation efforts. And there are also tons of educational resources available online, such as NASA's Climate Kids, Earth Warriors, or Project Learning Tree.