You recycle. You buy organic. You have a low flow toilet, use compact fluorescent bulbs and you rescued your pup instead of buying one with a fancy pedigree. Done. You pat yourself on the shoulders and carry on with your life.

But after watching “An Inconvenient Truth”, “The 11th Hour” and “The Cove”, you are reminded that some pretty scary things are happening, and someone needs to do something about it. But what can one person do to change the current dramatic situation? You have done your part. The rest must be up to our governments and NGOs. They can’t expect us to do all the work. Mmmhh… why do you still feel guilty then?

There’s so much more that we all could be doing, but we don’t because it’s inconvenient, time-consuming or just plain unattractive. And let’s be honest, it’s probably not at the top of your priority list. But then something happens and suddenly your world is turned upside down. You are going to have a baby. You research, you read, you ask. You need to make sure you are ready to give this baby the best possible start in life. And the more you read, the more you learn. Wow, you didn’t know that diapers may contain chlorine and toxic chemicals or that the products you wash your clothes with may not just pollute our streams and oceans, but could potentially harm you and your family as well.

Now you feel compelled to make greener choices and to do more, but you must admit the reasons are selfish. You not trying to save the planet, you are just trying to save your children.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Often kids are a great gateway for parents to embrace healthier and more sustainable lifestyles.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthier, and most of these choices have the added bonus of also being better for the environment. And there’s more: In less time than you think, you will be a role model for that little one of yours. He will learn from your example. So what feels like a major shift in your lifestyle will become second nature for him. For your children, protecting the planet will not be an option, it will be a necessity. And that is something every parent can feel good about.

Quick ideas to get you started….