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What

does it take to go from business idea to lady boss? This column features an


entrepreneur, who happens to be a mom, each week—walking us through the process

of how you too can take your ideas from dream to reality. If you missed our

last article featuring Jenny from Fawn Design on how social media contributed

to her success, you can read that here. This week, we’re discussing the sixth

step many modern entrepreneurs need to make on the journey to success: building

a business plan.

The best time to create your business plan was a

year ago. The second best time is today.

A thoughtful and well-researched business plan not

only keeps your business on track, but helps you to realize when you’ve

accomplished something. In the world of being an entrepreneur there’s always a

million and one items on your “to-do” list, which makes it difficult to realize

when you’ve achieved something remarkable. A business plan can help remind you,

validate you, and guide you to the next stage of your business.

Kim

Thé runs Pebble Star Productions, a children’s

entertainment company that she co-founded in 2012 with her husband &

musician Will Stroet.

She

recently started a booking agency within their company in addition to handling

the tour planning, marketing, event planning, community partnerships and grant

writing for Will’s career.

With

two girls, Ella and June, she juggles her family, her marriage and both her and

her husband’s careers with a kind of zany grace. Never working on less than

three things simultaneously, she is a master at multitasking.

I recently

got to sit down with Kim to find out how she keeps it all together—and thrives.

You’re in a fairly unique situation managing your husband’s career. Tell

me what he does and what role you play?

Will is a

performing, touring musician for kids and he tours across Canada now. He also appears

on Wills Jams airing on Kids’ CBC weekday mornings. He does anywhere from 150

to 200 shows a year and has done more than a 1000 performances for kids across

the country.

I act as his Manager.

He started

writing kids music when we were first together, before we were married, when he

was studying to become a teacher at the University of BC. Things really took

off when he got a contract in November of 2005 to record and release his first

album which ended up being called “Let’s All Dance.”

I was working

for a children’s charity at that time as their Marketing Manager and I had a

background in Marketing so I started helping on that front. We haven’t really

looked back since. Now it’s a full-time job for both of us!

Before Wills Jams became a television show, what did his musical career

consist of and when did you come in to the picture?

Basically, when

he started in 2005, I had a full-time job in Marketing Communications. As he became

busier and got more popular, I got more involved with the management of his

tours and schedules. In 2012 we incorporated as Pebble Star Productions.

We both

realized that things went smoother if I organized and scheduled him, as well as did the pitching and negotiating for him.

As an artist it’s very hard to negotiate for yourself because people always want to undercut you. So it was much better to have me do it.

How did things change when you had kids?

When I

was pregnant with Ella, I booked him solidly after her birth, not knowing what

it was going to be like as a new mom. So he was basically booked solid for the

first three months of her life. He actually almost missed her birth.

I booked him

for so much and then I realized, okay well, maybe that wasn’t the smartest

thing to do.

It’s a lot,

solo parenting. Luckily I get tons of

grandparent help.

Why do you think his music is so popular?

Will has many

talents, but the most obvious one is connecting with kids. He really truly loves kids.

He’s a big kid himself and he knows how to speak to them, how to make them

laugh and smile. I call him the Pied Piper. He’s just a natural at what he does

because very few people can connect with kids that genuinely.

Will’s got a gift. ‘Cause he’s really truly is like that himself. He’s very kid-like.

How did the television show come to be?

That was a

long process! It must have been 2009 or 2010 when

we started making the music videos. One of the first ones was the “Bike Safety Boogie”. We approached Turtlebox Productions, a husband and wife team to produce the first nine videos, the would become “Will’s Jams”.

that are

video producers. They were excited about the idea and wanted to help us make

the music videos into a series that we could pitch to networks.

So we worked

with them over the course of a year to create and film this series, and then in

2011 we decided to pitch the show to broadcasters. Will and I knew very little about how to pitch to broadcasters. We went to the Banff Media Festival, in Canada, and I had lined up a

whole bunch of 5 minute meetings with all the kids TV executives.

Our first

meeting was with Kim Wilson, the CBC creative head at the time and the

first thing she said in our meeting was, “Hey Will! I totally know who you are,

we were just listening to some of your songs! CBC music is launching

its own kids portal and I actually hand selected some of your music for it. I

love it and I love your videos. How many do you have? Nine? Well we need to do

more. Let’s talk business.”

It was crazy!

We were just on

this high! She kept her word and we worked with Turtlebox to produce two more series - 18 episodes in total - in the next

year and a half. Each episode is 2-5 minutes long and they’re branded as Will’s

Jams. Now they have 27 in rotation and they play twice a morning on CBC, Monday to

Friday.

How do you model the business to make it work for you financially?

Most of our income is still from live performance.

A small portion is from merch, and a growing portion is from songwriting royalties.

A word to any

other musicians out there, don’t sign up with a label. It just makes absolutely

no sense these days.

If you’re a

budding musician, try to do it independently as much as possible because there

isn’t much of a pie and if you sign with a label, they’re going to take a huge

part of that small piece of the pie.

Do you tour with Will?

Absolutely not. I mean, it doesn’t make any financial sense, we have kids. My life is here and I’m working. And besides, life on the road is not glamorous.

I’m not working from a tour bus, in a hotel with a mini bar, you know? Not with two kids – no way!

How important is creating a detailed business plan?

It doesn’t matter what kind of company you are, one of the things you should do before you launch is write a business plan.

We did a five-year plan and every year we look at it, update, and compare our performance to

it.

Did we meet

our objectives? Did we actually meet our targets? What have we achieved? It’s

funny, when you’re in it, you forget your objectives. It’s good to reflect and see

actually how much you’ve actually accomplished. It’s usually more than you

think.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs just writing their business

plans?

Don’t be

scared. You have to be kind of fearless and that should be reflected in your

business plan.

As an entrepreneur

you have to be willing to take risks, but calculated ones, right?

Never go in blindly without doing your research, but don’t be scared.

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How important do you think it has been to have those clear objectives?

Very

important. My background is in marketing, and you always start with objectives.

It’s not only important to have them,

but to write them down and stick to them, referring to them often.

What has been the hardest part of working as a

husband and wife team?

Separating

who does what so you each have your own job description, and sticking to that

because once you start interfering in each other’s areas, you’ll definitely have conflict.

But finding

that separation has been so good for both of us. That and outsourcing the

pieces that we can.

Why is confidence important when building a brand?

You

have to be fearlessly confident in your brand to have success. If you’re going

to try to sell your community or audience on your brand, you have to be

passionate about what you do and wholeheartedly believe in it.

People can smell deceit or hypocrisy from a mile away!

I can’t imagine Will doing what he does

if he didn’t like children and wasn’t confident on stage with them. Kids are

such an honest audience—they would cry, scream and run away and shout “I don’t

like this” and never come back!

How does being a mother impact the way you run your

business?

It

impacts our business every day since we’re in the business of children’s

entertainment and gives us great insight into what parents and kids really like

and want—especially when it comes to creating good music that won’t annoy

parents after the 100th time they’ve heard it in the minivan!

Will

gets inspiration daily from our own kids and their friends – Will wrote one of

his best songs about fruits and veggies called “Full of Beans” while our

first daughter Ella was learning to eat finger foods. It’s now one of his most

loved songs and really works to get your kids to eat their veggies.

It goes,” 1, 2, 3 broccoli, 4, 5, 6 carrot sticks…”

For

me, being a mom to two girls has taught me how to be extremely organized with

my time in work and my personal life. There’s no more time to waste unless I

want to accomplish very little in a day. I’m still trying to maintain a

work/life balance but find that being an entrepreneur allows me to fit in way

more in a day because I can manage my own schedule and work in a bike ride or

Bollywood dance class around my kids’ schedules and my own business and

housework!

Is there any one piece of advice you’d give to

aspiring lady bosses?

The

most important piece of advice is that you CAN do it! A wise female

entrepreneur friend told me that “You can have it all but you just can’t have

it all at once.” I try to remember this daily so that I don’t get as anxious or

frustrated by the many interruptions that stop me from achieving a “perfect”

workflow in my day.

I’m learning that “perfect” doesn’t really exist in life

and it especially doesn’t exist when you have two kids under seven. I try to

reflect on my successes more often with Will so that I don’t

forgot all the great things we’ve achieved together. The list of things you can

do never ends so it’s really important to take a moment to pat yourself on the

back and say, “I can do this! In fact, I am doing this!”

I’ll end with saying to all lady bosses out there, “You’ve got this!”

Will’s

kids’ TV series, Will’s Jams, airs weekday mornings at 7:25 AM and

9:25 AM on Kids’ CBC in Canada and is available in the U.S.

and globally (outside of Canada) on Kidoodle.TV

To

try Kidoodle.TV for free for a month,

click on this link and use the promo code “WILL.” You can also check out

Will’s Jams on Kids’ CBC’s TV for Me app for

iPad or on YouTube (Canada only).

For

more about Will and his music, check out www.willmusic.ca and connect

with Will on Facebook, Twitter @willstroetmusic, Instagram @willstroetmusic and YouTube. You can connect with Kim on Facebook @Pebblestarpro and Twitter @pebblestarpro

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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

This article is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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When you're a mama on the move, safe car seats are a necessity but can be a budget buster, especially if you're looking to upgrade or have to furnish multiple cars. Luckily, Target is here to fix that.

Target is bringing back their popular car seat trade-in program from Tuesday, September 3 – Friday, September 13.

Just bring your old car seat to the recycling bin near Guest Services and a Target team member will give you a coupon for 20% off a new a new car seat, booster seat, car seat base, travel system or stroller. And the coupon can also be applied to select baby gear, such as high chairs, swings, rockers and bouncers. 👏

The coupon is eligible through Saturday, Sept.14, 2019, so if you don't see the seat of your dreams in store when you drop off your old one, you'll want to check out the online selection and act pretty fast.

With the exception of the small format stores, all Targets will be taking car seats between September 3 and 13. (You can find a participating store near you here.)

Target has held several of these car seat trade-in events since 2016 in an effort to help parents recycle the seats, which are not eligible for curbside recycling and take up a lot of space when sent to landfills. The retailer hands over all the old car seats to Waste Management, and the materials are recycled to make grocery carts, plastic buckets and construction materials like steel beams.

The event is really a win-win—we get to keep our kids safe while giving the car seats that protected them a second life. Just another reason to love Target.

[A version of this post was originally published April 18, 2018. It has been updated.]

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News

This is birth: A surrogacy journey shares the incredible story of how one surrogate came to carry four children for a couple, and how they all became like family to each other in the process.

We had the honor of catching up with surrogate Jessica Pretz to learn more about how this incredible story came to be.

Five years ago, when surrogate Jessica met intended parents Sharon and Lake, she felt an immediate click. "It was like going on a first date and meeting with someone you knew you were supposed to be aligned with. We all just felt that connection."

Jessica had given birth to three of her own children, and had recently finished her first journey as a surrogate, carrying twins for another couple. Jessica agreed to be a gestational carrier for Sharon and Lake.

Throughout that first pregnancy, the intended parents, Jessica and her family all became very close. Jessica, who is currently a Surrogate Coordinator for Circle Surrogacy, clarifies that this is not always the case with surrogacy—this particular connection is unique.

"The relationship I have with Sharon and Lake is quite different than the one I have with my first intended parents. I respect the level of contact and communication that each intended parent desires. Their family was very involved with the pregnancy and wanted to take part in as many appointments as possible, help with fundal height measurements."

Watch their surrogacy journey captured by Jennifer Hamilton of Mamarazzi Photography here:

Sharon and Lake were by Jessica's side throughout the birth of their first child, Campbell, and even "caught'" him when he was born. When they asked if she wanted to carry a sibling for him just moments after Campbell was born, Jessica says she didn't need to hesitate before saying yes.

"There was no doubt in my mind that I would love to carry another for them. They are everything I could ask for in intended parents and they are a joy to go through pregnancy with."

Less than two years later, Jessica gave birth to Sharon and Lake's second child, Sailor, in what Jessica describes as an "amazing, fast water birth."

After carrying two of their children, she initially hesitated to take on another surrogacy journey.

"I knew after the second journey that they had remaining embryos left. I had six pregnancies under my belt at that point, all of which were vaginal and unmedicated births. I had no complications as of yet, and I was fearful of something going wrong. I tossed up the idea of them using another surrogate to carry their remaining two over the course of two more journeys. I only would have done one more pregnancy as I was ready to not be pregnant or pumping breastmilk and spend time focusing on my own family."

But after some discussion and consulting with her family, Sharon and Lake, her birth team and reproductive endocrinologist, they all decided to do one more journey together—and transfer the last two remaining embryos. Both took— and they became pregnant with twins. In their birth film, you can see the emotional moment when the twin pregnancy is confirmed, while Jessica is on the phone with Sharon and Lake from the ultrasound room.

Initial fears aside, Jessica explains how the decision itself was, ultimately, second nature: "Deciding to carry all four of their kids really wasn't a hard decision. I am a big part of their lives and most importantly their kid's stories. It would have been odd for me to not help them complete their family."

Watching the birth film, it is truly powerful to witness the love, support and familial connection between Jessica, Sharon and Lake while their twins are born. In one sweet moment, Sharon is embracing Jessica during labor as they both cry.

Even after the birth of their twins, Sharon, Lake, Jessica and her family have all stayed close—even vacationing together. Jessica says she and Sharon are close friends who talk about parenting, marriage and life in general. "It's really a beautiful connection we share."

On how it feels to be a surrogate, Jessica shares, "The best part of being a surrogate is getting to see a couple become a family and the look on their faces when they first see their baby or babies. It is truly an honor to carry these babies and be entrusted with their care."

As a mother of four children herself, we wanted to know more about how Jessica's family has reacted to her surrogacy journeys. "My family is extremely supportive of my surrogate pregnancies and quite proud of the joy I have been able to bring to others through surrogacy. The intended parents I have carried for have become family to us and my own biological family regularly communicates via social media with them."

She continues, "My kids are little advocates and educators on surrogacy. I feel that my children have learned selflessness and sacrifice through my journeys. I always say that while it is the woman who is pregnant, the journey of surrogacy takes the whole family's support."

We're so thankful to both of these families for allowing us to share their incredible surrogacy story.

This is birth: A Surrogacy Journey was captured by Jennifer Hamilton of Mamarazzi Photography.

We started our This is: Birth film series to give representation to the many varied ways women give birth. Watch more curated birth films here.

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Life

When women become mothers, they usually have two options: Go back to work or stay home with the little one. This is how it was when I had my first child, and I was angry that there weren't more flexible options for mothers who wanted to work, but on their own terms.

It can be tough to feel inspired when you're thrown back into (or continue to remain in) a 40-hour workweek that isn't flexible. Luckily, we can create better working options (and a happier life in general) for mamas, but we're going to have to do it ourselves, starting with our mindset.

Here are nine phrases we can tell ourselves to be productive and efficient mamas:

1. "My kids come first, but so do I."

It's okay to carve out time that's just for you, whether that means quiet time alone, meeting up with a friend or signing up for a class. At the end of the day, a happy, fulfilled mama leads to happier kids.

2. "My kids are young, but I can still achieve my goals."

If you want to start your own business, or move to another country or accept that promotion, do it now. Only you know when it's the right time, but it's a myth that your motherly duties require you to wait until your kids graduate from college before you can start doing what inspires you.

3. "It's never too late to make a change."

Maybe you invested time and money to get a degree, and you're afraid of veering off-course to do something you really love that's completely unrelated. Or maybe you're intimidated about rejoining the workforce after taking a break to raise kids. I've seen over and over that it's never too late to find out what happens when you follow your passion.

4. "I'm not ready yet, but I will be."

What does "ready" look like? Spoiler: you won't be ready for every challenge that comes your way. But that's okay. Figuring it out as you go is the only way to learn when you're in uncharted waters. Not feeling ready means you have some self-awareness about your weaknesses, and that's a great place to start. When you embrace the unknown, you learn more about yourself and will likely have a lot of fun along the way.

5. "I can do it all...with help."

Mothers are superhero multi-taskers, but doing it all can have a negative impact on your life and relationships over time. Establishing boundaries is key to a happy, healthy life. At work, giving someone else an opportunity to shine shows that you're a team player, not just in it for yourself. This applies to your children, too. You know what your kids are capable of and can help them build confidence by giving them responsibility.

When we're honest and open about our struggles, it draws people in. Leaning on a community will lighten the load and deepen your relationships with the ones you let in. Use Facebook groups and social media to find your village. Find your village today.

6. "I'm okay just the way I am."

People may look very polished and shiny when they post photos on Facebook or Instagram, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Comparing yourself to others is not helpful; you have to find what works for you and block out the rest. If it works for you, then you're doing it right.

7. "I have to leave early to take my kid to __________."

If you're leaving work early because your daughter's ballet recital is important to you, own that, and don't apologize, because you're not alone.

8. "I will be present in every moment."

I know it's tempting to check your phone while you're watching your kids on the playground, but dividing your attention doesn't make you more productive. Moms are awesome multi-taskers, but give your full attention and be present wherever you are. Whether at work or with your kids, quality is more important than quantity.

9. "I am good enough."

If you're having a moment of self-criticism, stop and ask yourself: Would I say this to a friend? If you would never utter bad words to someone else, don't say these things over yourself Be kind and give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You are good enough.

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Learn + Play

As a parent, you might want to do the right things for our environment, especially knowing your children will inherit it. At the same time, with a tiny human relying on you, time is incredibly valuable.

What is a carbon footprint?

Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon emitted as a direct or indirect result of an activity, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases and others. Unfortunately, carbon is being released at a much faster rate than it can be absorbed by natural processes.

Currently, the average U.S. per capita carbon footprint is 18.3 tons, and the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project reports in order to hold the global temperature rise to 2˚C or less, everyone on earth will need to average an annual carbon footprint of 1.87 tons by 2050. This seems like a lofty goal, but there are things we can do to shift emissions in a more positive direction.

As a scientist focusing on sustainability, here are nine ways to reduce your carbon footprint in under five minutes:

1. Host a kids clothing and toy swap party.

It's no secret that kids outgrow clothing and toys quickly. Consider gathering fellow parents and friends, pooling together the items your kids no longer need, and going "shopping" for what you need.

Exchanging what you already have reduces greenhouse gas emissions in a few ways. It lowers the amount of power needed to produce brand new clothing and toys, and it shifts demand away from the plane and truck fuel used to fulfill online orders. Plus, it's an opportunity to socialize and save your hard-earned money.

2. Offer chores that save energy.

Recycling and turning off the lights, air conditioner and the heat may be simple tasks, but they'll teach your little ones how to keep a green household. Explain that the less power you consume, the lower your carbon footprint and that by properly sorting recycling and food scraps, the less greenhouse gas emissions there'll be in landfills. You can have kids help to place recycling in the right bins each day.

3. Encourage other modes of transportation.

Biking and walking are fabulous ways to reduce carbon emissions. Encouraging your kid to get on two wheels or to take a family walk to dinner. If you have to drive, see if you can carpool with friends or family to cut down on the amount of car time.

4. Use reusable diapers when possible.

Producing disposable diapers costs a lot of energy and emits greenhouse gases. While disposable diapers can be totally necessary, using reusable diapers even just a small percentage of the time (perhaps only on the weekends) helps lower our overall consumption and landfill waste.

But, if you must use disposable diapers, buy biodegradable ones that can be composted after you use them.

5. Switch to clean makeup.

Putting on makeup can be a moment of self-care, but clean beauty is more environmentally-friendly and healthier than traditional makeup, which can be made with harmful chemicals. Plus, many women love the peace of mind that comes with using makeup free of harmful chemicals around their children.

Most traditional makeup brands use ingredients derived from fossil fuels, while clean makeup companies use more plant-based ingredients. Going clean shifts demand away from non-renewable resources towards more renewable ones which ultimately helps the environment. Clean beauty companies are also much more likely to use energy-efficient manufacturing practices, use fewer resources including fewer ingredients, reduce packaging waste, and be more responsible about sourcing ingredients in a way that's kind to the earth.

6. Consider how you feed your baby.

Breastfeeding is great for the environment! You can make your impact even bigger by choosing eco-conscious products like reusable breast pads, or reusable breast milk storage items.

If you are bottle-feeding, opt for glass bottles if possible. And when you buy formula, see if you can find large containers instead of small—it will reduce the amount of garbage you throw out.

7. Encourage your kids to conserve water.

The more water-efficient your house is, the better as treating and pumping water uses energy. Teach your children to turn off the faucet when they're brushing their teeth, and get them in the habit of taking showers of a reasonable length instead of baths that require three times more water than a shower.

8. Use reusable grocery bags.

Producing paper and plastic bags takes energy. Find a few reusable bags–it's a bonus if they're cute and fun to use–and bring them with you to the store. If you forget to use the bags, store them in places you always see. For example, you might put the bags in the driver's seat next to your purse on your way to the store. And once you get home and unpack the groceries and put them in your entryway where you'll see them the next time you're heading to the car.

9. Join your energy provider's energy-saving program.

Many energy providers offer the free option to get your power from energy-efficient sources, like wind power. Place a quick call and ask about your options. They should be able to switch you over immediately and once it's done, you don't have to worry about it on your to-do list anymore.

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