Becoming more eco-friendly was something that was on my mind a lot when I was pregnant, and still is something that I am passionate about now. I think a lot of people are considering how they can become more economical in general, and I could write A LOT about other ways that I am trying to live more sustainably, but I thought a post with some simple but very effective steps to being a more environmentally friendly parent may be helpful to some people. So here we go, 5 eco-friendly purchases to consider when having a baby;
1. Cloth Nappies
Stay with me here, I know I've gone straight in at the deep end but that's because this is one of the biggest ways that parents can reduce the impact that having a baby has on the environment. The average baby gets through 4000 disposable nappies by the time they are potty trained - no, that is not a typo! Cloth nappies may be more expensive from the offset but if used properly it will work out cheaper overall. Or even if you just bought one or two as a trial to start you off, swapping one disposable nappy a day for a cloth one would save 365 nappies a year from going into landfill! So it doesn't have to be a big, scary commitment and it doesn't mean you are never allowed to use a disposable nappy either, just start small and build from there. The smug feeling you get knowing you are making a more eco-friendly choice for the planet and your baby is so addictive that I guarantee you will want to buy more nappies once you have got the hang of it anyway!
www.thenappylady.co.uk is a fantastic site full of advice and with lots of nappy options to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming when you first start looking into it but they do have a questionnaire that you can fill out which allows them to email over some personalised recommendations to you. It's a fantastic place to start!
2. Reusable Wipes
Another big one but this is honestly such an easy swap! Cloth wipes are essentially tiny flannels that you can store in any tub, like a spare lunch box, with a little bit of water so they are ready to use whenever you need them. We have a white set for nappy changes and a multicoloured set for wiping hands and faces after mealtimes. They actually do the job better than wet wipes too, where you would sometimes need 2 or 3 disposable wipes just one cloth wipe will do the job easily. Then, once you have used them, just chuck into the washing machine and wash with your regular loads - I always rinse the soiled ones first. Cheeky Wipes do handy starter kits with tubs for clean and dirty wipes if you wanted to properly kit yourself out, but we have got by just fine with a little bit of water in a lunchbox. Try this one and you will never look back, it couldn't be simpler!
3. Natural Soaps
Obviously we want to be avoiding harsh chemicals and fragrances in any of the products that we are using for our babies anyway, but an even better way to approach this is by purchasing natural soap bars instead of baby shampoo/body washes that come in plastic bottles. So not only will you be washing your baby with a soap that you know is going to be gentle on their delicate skin but you will be consuming less plastic too! Win win. There are so many soaps available online, we loved the Kokoso Organic Baby Soap when Errol was first born.
4. Pre-loved Clothes
It's said all the time - because it's true - "babies grow so fast". Which also means they grow out of clothes quickly! I have spoken to so many people over the years who say they have had clothes that haven't even been worn by their children, or they only came out once for a special occasion, We've all done it. This also means that there are so many good quality second-hand clothes online that are pretty much like new. It is definitely worth checking out some of the online selling sites for clothes bundles, especially for the basics or seasonal items. When you need back-up vests and sleepsuits for those 'just incase' moments, or clothes suitable for messy play, does it really matter if it's second hand? And when you end up with some outgrown garments that have still got a lot of life left in them make sure you pass them on to a friend or sell them on yourself to get the best use out of them. If second-hand really isn't your thing try to go for organic cotton clothing from an eco-friendly store as much as possible. www.welovefrugi.com is a favourite of ours, especially their waterproof puddle suits that are made out of recycled plastic bottles!
5. Second-hand Toys.
Much like clothes, babies can grow out of toys quickly, and the most environmentally friendly toys you can buy are toys that already exist. It's always worth looking on selling sites or in charity shops for toys to not only be kind to the planet but kind to your bank balance too! There are always some bargains to be had. If you do want to buy new there are some lovely wooden toys out there from places such as www.scandiborn.co.uk - Errol's favourite at the moment is this Grimm's Mini Pastel Rainbow.
I hope this post has inspired you to try to make some more eco-conscious decisions when it comes to your baby. If you have any other tips on being a more sustainable parent I would love to hear them too, so please do get in touch with your comments or even just to let me know if you have had any experience with any of the suggestions above .
Thanks for reading, Amy x