Sustainable Parenting - 7 Tips from a Sustainability Expert

image of tree on green landscape

We’re so excited to launch our new podcast, “Nessle Together - A Parenting Podcast” where we’ll invite experts to talk about a variety of topics that are relevant to our Nessle community, such as pre-and-postnatal care, childbirth and lactation, infant and toddler development and care, all things “parenting” and, last but not least, self-care for parents at all stages of the parenting journey. 

During our first podcast, we interviewed our own CTO,a mom to two kids, Michelle Cunningham, who also has her own podcast called Toasted Earth - which hosts founders, visionaries, and environmentalists pursuing novel ideas in sustainability. 

Sustainability - Preserving Our Planet for Future Generations

Michelle was inspired to become more involved in sustainability after experiencing the wildfires in Northern California, which razed forests, took many lives, and destroyed people’s homes. As a new parent, these terrible fires got her thinking about what life would be like for her kids when they grow up. She felt she needed to do her part in helping reduce the human activities that contribute to climate change such as the burning of fossil fuels that cause pollution and dumping non-compostable waste in our landfills. If you would like to become a more environmentally conscious parent but aren’t really sure where to begin, read on! 

Sustainable Parenting Begins at Home

Collective actions, and changes in our daily life and behavior can make a big difference in preserving our environment. Here are some examples of how you can implement sustainable parenting best practices at home: 

  1. Use Biodegradable or Cloth Diapers - Imagine the number of disposable diapers that are being thrown in our landfills daily! Consider using diapers that don’t add to the piles of non-compostable waste. There are compostable and cloth diaper pick-up services, such as Redyper that will help make this transition easier for parents. 
  1. Transform Your Gifting Habits -  Encourage friends and loved ones to limit gifts or avoid gifting altogether, or to give gently-used items such as pre-loved books or toys instead of brand-new ones.
  1. Reuse When Possible - Clothes, toys, and furnishings can be purchased second-hand or handed down to younger siblings. Consider consignment shopping for your clothes and donating outgrown clothes to charities or selling them to companies such as ThredUp. 
  1. Reduce Plastic Waste - One of the most significant contributors to landfills is plastic bottles and containers. While disposable plastic bottles and cups may be more convenient - especially when traveling - they do not help the environment!  Instead, keep plenty of reusable thermoses, bottles, plastic glasses and cups to use at home and in the car. 
  1. Rethink Your Transportation - Consider “going green” by buying an electric or hybrid car, using public transportation when possible, or using bicycles. Decreasing our use of fossil fuels will go far in reducing the negative impacts that lead to climate change. 
  1. Re-evaluate Your Lifestyle -  When we become cognizant of how our daily life impacts the environment, we realize that there are many things we can do without. For example, having a growing family doesn’t necessarily mean a larger home or car. Having a smaller space combined with the use of energy-efficient appliances is an excellent way to conserve and protect our planet. Bear in mind that children observe our values and how we live - and consume - so by prioritizing the environment, we are setting a good example.
  1. Go Vegan or Vegetarian- An inconceivable amount of energy, water, and land is used to power the meat and dairy farming industry. It also plays a significant role in land, water and air pollution. By embracing a mostly vegetarian or vegan diet, or even eating vegan meals once or twice a week, we not only improve our health but reduce our carbon footprint. 

We hope these tips have inspired you to make lifestyle changes that will help us and our planet! Remember: every small effort helps because you’re establishing a mindset shift that will carry over to future generations. 

Here is the link to the entire podcast: Sustainable Parenting with Carly Buxton and Michelle Cunningham. 

Helpful resources that we talked about during our podcast:

Diaper Services:


Cloth Diaper Service 

ThredUp - Online Consignment Store

Vegan/Vegetarian Diet Resource

Other Podcasts on Sustainability recommended by Michelle:

  1. Sustainability Defined
  2. Sustainable Minimalists
  3. TED Climate
  4. My Climate Journey
  5. Reversing Climate Change

For other helpful parenting resources check out our blog

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