6 Decisions Parents Can Make For A Sustainable Future

Before we had kids, my husband and I decided that we were going to be more environmentally friendly in this next big chapter of our lives. We were finally going to make a strong effort to recycle everything, we purchased new water-saving appliances for our home and began looking into driving hybrid cars. We really thought we had this whole green living thing on lock, and yes, we were feeling mighty proud of ourselves. When we had our kid, we knew we had made all the right decisions parents can make for a sustainable future.

But then we saw that with our sweet new bundle of joy came a lot more waste. It wasn’t until we saw the reality of garbage bags full of dirty diapers and a corner of our home full of packing peanuts from all of our online deliveries that we did some serious thinking about what kind of planet we would be leaving behind for our kids—and I’ll admit that in that moment, it wasn’t looking good.

It may seem like a mind-boggling task, but there are so many ways to live a greener life. To help take some of the confusion out of this whole sustainable living thing, Romper partnered with the all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to show you just how easy a greener life can be.

1Consider Cloth Diapers

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After seeing how many disposable diapers my baby went through, I can only imagine the amount the average American family will use up as well. Choosing disposable diapers might require a bit more effort, but the carbon footprint is certainly less. And you'll save money too, which is always a good thing when you have those extra mouths to feed.

2Buy Local And Organic

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Every parent wants the best for their baby, so buying local and organic products may seem like a no-brainer. But did you know it's also a very environmentally sound decision? Large-scale agriculture pollutes the soil and uses many valuable resources like water and land space, while buying local supports local farms and families. Also take into account that with less distance for your food to travel comes fewer diesel emissions, and that local farmer's market will start sounding even more appealing.

3Try Your Hand At Making Baby Food

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Now that you've got your local, organic fruits and veggies, why not try your hand at making your own baby food? It's a lot less time consuming than you'd think. Try freezing pureed food in ice cube trays for easy pop-and-go portions. If your kids are past the baby food stage, try cooking more of your meals at home to avoid generating all of that waste (read: plastic bags, utensils, and to-go cartons) that comes from ordering take-out.

4Switch To Energy-Efficient Bulbs

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"What do I look like, the darn electric company?" That's a phrase I heard my dad say often, when I was a child. Why? There were times when it seemed that every light in the house was on even though we were all huddled in one room together. Turning off lights when not in use is simple, but switching to energy efficient bulbs is all the better. Benefits? The United States Department of Energy says that energy-efficient bulbs can use 25 to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and last up to 25 times longer.

5Use Greener Cleaners

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There are plenty of great natural cleaning products on the market these days, but if you want to go ultra DIY, try using a diluted solution of vinegar and water for spot-free glass and streak-free mirrors. Or create a water and baking soda paste to scour tubs and tile. And I'm willing to bet you already have most of these items in your home, you champion-of-greener-living, you.

6Upgrade Your Car

Courtesy of Chrysler

Ah, the family car. It's your home away from home, but is your old set of wheels wreaking havoc on the environment? This is where the beauty of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid comes in. It boasts up to an EPA-estimated 33-mile electric driving range*, and with tons of built-in storage space, say goodbye to gas-guzzling trips home between work, school pickup, and soccer practice. This can help you become less dependent on gasoline, while simultaneously helping to lower your carbon footprint. And with available built-in entertainment for the kids, this thing will quickly become the newest member of your family. Plus, did we mention the 566-mile** total driving range, which can allow for those spontaneous road trips with the family? Talk about a smart move.

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This post is sponsored by the all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

*EPA-estimate with fully charged battery. Actual results may vary

**Based on manufacturer's estimates. Requires a full charge and a full tank of gas. Actual results may vary.

©2017 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler is a registered trademark of FCA US LLC.