Eco parenting tips for a more sustainable childhood and tips on how to help ditch the plastic

Eco parenting tips for a more sustainable childhood and tips on how to help ditch the plastic

Eco parenting tips for a more sustainable childhood and tips on how to help ditch the plastic

Raising children is a joy but it also comes with its worries, naturally, and it can really change our perspective on the world as a whole. Whether that's how child and parent friendly the world is or how we treat our planet and the kind of future we want to create for our offspring.
Kids are a great leveller for these sorts of questions that would possibly never have occurred to you before. That's ok!! Holding your own little baby in your arms for the first time is a massive life changing event. It would be odd if it didn't change your outlook on...well, everything really.
Many of is would love to embrace all that comes with being an eco parent and make choices that are kinder and gentler to the planet, hoping to leave it in decent shape for the new generation we have created. Thing is, convenience is a beautiful thing and life can be busy and fast paced. It can be hard to stick to those greener options because some of them DO take a bit more time and organisation. 
Adult holding babies hand

How to tackle the issue 

The key is to find those things that are an easy win for YOU. You're unlikely to be the perfect eco parent, so let's ditch that idea from the start and focus on the things you can change that can make a difference. After all, small changes can add up to bigger impacts!
From eco-friendly swaps to top tips, we've got the lowdown on how to dial down your plastic use and navigate the world of parenting with a bucket of realism and a whole lot of green enthusiasm.

Nappy know how

Let's tackle the elephant in the room – nappies. The amount of disposable nappies clogging up landfills is enough to make anyone cringe. But fear not! The world of reusable nappies has had a huge makeover in the last decade. Modern cloth nappies come in an array of funky designs and are as easy to use as disposables, The Nappy Lady has all the info you need. There's lots of different types so it's good to do some research and start as early as possibly to make the upfront cost worthwhile in the long run. 
If you're really not thrilled at the thought of washing and drying reusable nappies check out more eco-friendly disposable options. Although there's no such thing as an environmentally friendly disposable (they go to landfill after all) some are superior to others such as Kit and Kin and Pura.
And don't forget you can always mix and match using disposables sometimes and reusables at others. Any reduction in waste going to landfill is a good thing!
Did you know You can pick up reusable nappies second hand for a fraction of the price new.
reusable nappies and disposable nappies next to each other in a pile

Wet wipe woes 

This is a super easy one that can make a BIG impact. Swap your wet wipes for reusable ones. Cheeky Wipes do an amazing system that you can use for nappy changes without the ick factor or the hint of a whiffy smell in the air. They're super cost efficient and you need way less per bottom change than you do with conventional wipes. 
If you're not keen on using them as part of a nappy routine, then you can always have them on hand in the kitchen (or living space) so rather than reach for throw away wipes for sticky fingers and faces you can use a reusable cloth that can be rinsed, reused and washed. Once you've started using reusable wipes you really won't want to go back!
Did you know If you are opting for the throw away variety, there are lots of options that are now biodegradable such as Tesco own brand and Pura among others.
Wet wipes

Sippy Cup Sensibility

Say cheerio to plastic sippy cups and hello to their chic counterparts made from stainless steel or glass. These sturdy alternatives are not only better for the planet but also free from toxins found in plastic.
Plastic is a parent's friend when it comes to leaks and wear and tear (they'll stand a lot of bashing and throwing!) so if you're investing in plastic cups for your child think long term and pick a design that can grow with them. Sometimes the most eco friendly choice is the one that can be used for the longest amount of time, so think years rather than months and choose a design that has your child's needs in mind and can be passed on to a sibling.
Did you know That sites like The Octopus Club sells bundles of weaning accessories such as sippy cups, spoons, plates and bowls. So you can get all you need second hand.
 Young boy holding a green sippy cup standing in the road

Foodie babies

Feeding time can be a plastic jungle, but fear not! There are plenty of plastic alternatives such as bamboo or stainless steel cutlery and plates for your mini-me. A big win is to swap out single-use plastic snack bags for reusable ones or go old-school with a trusty Tupperware. When it comes to baby food, did you know you can buy reusable pouches? Yep! Exactly like the supermarket ones except you can wash them out and keep using them over and over. 
There are also some fantastic reusable food thermoses designed for feeding baby on the go. Again it's worth an investment here because it is something that the whole family can use and your baby will continue to use as they grow up. 
Children's fox shaped plate with food on it made of bamboo

Toy Treasures

Plastic toys may seem unavoidable, but fear not! You don't have to outright ban the plastic because lets face it, kids to plastic tat are like moths to a flame. We have a rule that plastic has to be second hand, so hit up local charity shops or toy swaps to find pre-loved gems that have stood the test of time. Good quality plastic does last.
There are some really beautiful wooden toys on the market and are timeless for a reason – they're sturdy, open ended, and far kinder to the environment. They usually have amazing resale value so as well as buying second hand you can also sell many outgrown wooden toys once they are no longer used. 
There's also some really great manufacturers out there who are recycling waste materials into toys such as Green Toys and Eco Earth soft toys. It's always worth doing a bit of research before you buy.
baby hand on top of wooden toy

Fashion Forward

Mini outfits for our mini humans can be irrisistable, but those fast fashion finds not only haven't been ethically made, they often come swathed in plastic packaging. When shopping online look for brands that pledge to be plastic free with their packaging from their mailers to their individual packets.
Try and avoid polyesters and opt for organic cotton or bamboo clothing – it's soft, breathable, and kind to delicate baby skin. If you're buying new consider spending a little more on less items that will hold their value meaning you can sell them on when they're outgrown. Brands that are eco friendly and are always sought after are Toby Tiger and Frugi with whole facebook groups dedicated to them!
Second hand shopping obviously lends itself perfectly to cutting down on the impact your clothes make on the planet by fuelling the circular economy. You don't need to rely on local charity shops, sites like Vinted can be used just like ASOS or similar to find exactly what you need but for less money and less impact on the planet.
Did you know you don't even have to buy clothes for your baby anymore?! You can rent a capsule wardrobe with new bundles delivered as your baby gets bigger. Services like Bundlebee and The Little Loop can not only save you money they can also make sure your little one is super on trend.
Row of brightly coloured children's clothes close up

Bathtime Brilliance

Splish, splash – time for a plastic-free bath! Is that even possible? Yes it is! Bid farewell to plastic bath toys that can be breeding grounds for mould and instead, opt for bath books, rubber ducks made from natural materials, or even just raid the kitchen for some water carrying vessels and spoons. Less is definitely more, so choose one or two key items to make bath time more fun.
When it comes to baby wash and shampoo, you don't necessarily need to get sucked in to buying special 'baby' products. Castile soap is the purest, most gentle soap you can get your hands on and will cover your baby top to toe in that first year. Dr Bronner's baby soap is a great option to buy in bulk and let is last as you only need a tiny amount each use. 
close up of 3 rubber ducks on side of a bath tub

Sustainable swaps that aren't silly?

Hopefully we've given you some great ideas on easy swaps you can make here and there to lessen the impact of adding to the human race. Having a baby, unfortunately, does come with a big environmental impact, it's kind of unavoidable. But being aware of it and changing what you can, where you can, is a great way to set an example for the next generation. 
Remember it's not about being perfect, because that's not a sustainable choice! Well not for the many anyway. Believing that every small action can add up to make a big impact is the takeaway and even if you swap out one thing, you've made a positive step towards a greener tomorrow.
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