Whether you are a new mum, soon to be mum, or mum of many, you may be wondering how you can make your lifestyle choices more sustainable when you have a baby in the house.
Babies require lots of new items and their needs are constantly changing, they grow out of clothes quickly and get through a lot of nappies! All of these factors contribute towards your environmental footprint on the planet, producing greenhouse gases and causing climate change. Maybe it doesn’t seem possible to combine the two- tending to a new born and thinking about the environment at the same time, but there are plenty of small and simple changes that you can make that will let you lead a more eco-friendly life even with little ones around.
Here are my top tips to get you started on this journey and to keep both the environment and your babies healthy.
Reusable Cloth Nappies
According to the Independent, a baby will use around 5,000 nappies over their nappy-wearing life. If you choose a reusable option you would be saving the equivalent of 130 bin-bags of waste entering landfill! Disposable nappies take up to 500 years to degrade and emit harmful greenhouse gases in the form of methane, which contributes to global warming. There is no doubt that reusable cloth nappies have a huge positive impact on our environment. You can also buy them in a range of fun designs and they are chemical free.
Reusable Cloth Wipes
As we have just established- little babies get through a lot of nappy changes every day. If you are able to use reusable cloth wipes instead of disposable wet wipes, you would be ticking off another very eco friendly change. You will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill, thereby reducing the amount greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
Every mum needs a nappy bag, but not everyone needs to buy a brand new one. Why not try repurposing an old bag that’s been lying around in you cupboard? It needs to be something comfortable to carry, easy to get into, and preferably with a few different pockets to help separate the items. If you do want to buy a new one, look for cotton and canvas options.
It might seem like all baby toys are made from plastic, but that really doesn’t have to be the case. There are some great brands that offer non-toxic, eco toy options which are made from wood or rubber. Wood and rubber are more sustainable options because they require less energy to produce than plastic and are sustainable resources. At the end of their lifecycle they are biodegradable so can be disposed of in a safer way. Wooden and rubber toys last longer and are safer because they are free of chemicals. We also have a range of absolutely adorable toys made from residual sugar cane pulp!
Pre loved items are a great way to be more environmentally conscious. Babies grow so quickly that they can often grow out of their clothes after just a few wears. Ask friends and family members if they have any clothes that they could give to you. Items such as cots, buggies and car seats are also good to try and find second hand. Not only will it help the environment, it will save you money too! The more items you share between people, the less new products have to be produced. This saves energy and reduces harmful greenhouse gases from entering the environment.
100% Organic Cotton
Choose clothes, bedding and swaddles that have been made with 100% organic cotton. Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilizers. The methods and materials used in organic cotton farming maintain soil fertility and reduce negative impacts on rivers and fresh water sources close to the cotton farms. You may find that the price tag is higher than your normal high street brands, but the quality is better and they should last for much longer.
Give it a go!
You’ve got the information, now it’s your turn to give it a go! I hope this article has given you some ideas of how to implement sustainable living into a busy life with a baby. Don’t feel overwhelmed at the start, just begin slowly and then continue to apply more of the tips into your life when you feel ready. Why not suggest it to some of your friends and you could start the journey together- it’s always more fun when you have someone to test it out with!
Good luck Mummas!