Eco-friendly parenting can seem daunting, but there are a few handy little switches that can make all the difference. From the recycled DIY cloths revolution to using less plastic for meal times — even when out and about — there are many ways parents can be more eco-conscious. Here are just some of our favourite tips for having an eco-friendly baby:
1. Reusable Food Pouches
Once your baby is a little older and perhaps moving on from milk, eating on the move becomes trickier, making shop-made plastic food pouches extremely tempting! An eco-friendly alternative when you’re on the go is to make your own snacks in a reusable baby-food pouch. With a tiny bit of pre-planning, these fantastic washable pouches will save countless single-use plastic pouches from reaching landfills.
2. Washable Nappy Set
Another classic for new parents wanting to be more eco-friendly is washable nappies. Although not for everyone, there are a host of great cloth nappies now available. These include reusable-nappy hire services, as well as all-in-one cloth nappies, which are made up of two parts (the outer usually being waterproof), lessening your wash load.
3. Recycled DIY Baby Wipes
If the thought of thousands of used baby wipes clogging up our land and waters is enough to send you up the wall, why not join the recycled-baby-cloth revolution? Disposable baby wipes are notorious for their effect on the environment, so a lot of parents are now opting to make their own washable cloths. Often made from old clothes (thin jumpers seem to work best), cut into squares, and hemmed at the edges when possible, these recycled DIY baby wipes are a fab eco-friendly parenting hack. Or, if that’s not for you, go for bamboo baby wipes, which can also be washed.
4. Biodegradable Baby Wipes
Alternatively, you can also grab a few packs of biodegradable baby wipes, just in case of emergencies!
5. Reusable Breast Pads
Another simple switch that can help you do your bit for the environment is reusable breast pads. Much like baby wipes, you will get through a large amount of these handy little items, so making the change to reusable ones is another great planet-saving idea — every little helps in the world of parenting!
6. Go Second Hand
An oldie but a goldie! Going second-hand for some of your baby wish list is a great way to reduce consumption and lessen the amount of new plastic in your home. Scout out a local second-hand shop, set an alert on eBay or Facebook Market Place or send a few messages to friends and family who might have some extra clothes, bottles or parenting products lying around. Finding that second-hand gem is a great way to get your eco buzz!
7. Opt for Organic Cotton
If there are a few items you want to buy new, it is more eco-friendly (as well kinder to your baby’s soft skin) to opt for organic-cotton baby clothes or blankets. This is because no harsh chemicals are used in growing the cotton, less water is used in the making, and it is handpicked. It is also more durable to boot! As well as baby bodysuits, Little Seeds sell super-soft swaddle blankets, sleeping bags and sleepsuits.
Find out more about why organic cotton is best for your baby.
8. Find a Local Toy Library
When it comes to eco-friendly toys, there’s nothing better than a toy library. These toys are all second-hand, and they will be rotated around local children, becoming “new” again and again — a great way to stave off over-consumption as a parent.
9. Get the Ultimate Eco-Friendly Baby Bottle
If you aim to be as plastic-free as possible as a new parent, why not consider a stainless-steel baby bottle. It sounds a little intense, but brands now offer a range of stainless-steel baby bottles that can last from birth to 18 months old — and even be passed on and used by other small babies after that! The Ulula Pure range offers a 0-18 month starter kit, complete with two sets of teats and covers.
10. Non-Plastic Tableware
Another top way to reduce plastic in the home of an eco-friendly family is to opt for cutlery and tableware made from bamboo or rice husks. These strong and durable materials make for great plastic substitutes — and they come in a range of very cute designs too!