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Six baby steps to becoming an eco-friendly parent 2

The prospect of achieving and sustaining an eco-friendly lifestyle can seem impossible for new parents. But if the planet is also on your mind, read on as we explore some simple ways to practise sustainability as a new parent.

Parents aren’t perfect. They are already tasked with the biggest duty of care, with plenty of changes to adapt to before considering the planet. We appreciate that parenting is a challenge in itself, and the ‘green parent lifestyle’ may not be attainable for many.

But for those who wish to nurture the niggle of exploring sustainable parenting, we are here to share our non-judgemental, no-strings-attached guide. If you choose to adopt just one of these eco-friendly tips when becoming a new parent, be assured that Mother Earth is grateful.

 

#1 Second-hand shopping

During pregnancy and beyond, purchasing pre-loved items is one of the best ways to consume consciously as a parent. From the beginning, set the standard by borrowing a friend’s maternity clothes, or seeking out some looser garments from your local charity shop. Browse online marketplaces for nursery furniture, changing bags, prams, newborn clothes and more, ready for baby’s arrival, and keep this up once they’re here. You’ll discover much of what they need is short-term, forever growing out of clothes and toys. So the best thing you can do before buying new? Say yes to second hand.

#2 Plastic-free swaps

Inevitably, there are things you’ll need to buy new during the parenthood journey, and there is almost always an eco-friendly option. Brands such as Hevea make it easier to care for baby and the planet, with plastic-free alternatives to many mass-produced plastic baby products on the market. From dummies and rattles made from non-toxic, natural rubber, to baby bottles made from sustainably sourced, heat resistant glass, there are plenty of eco essentials to explore as a new parent. For weaned babies, we encourage opting for soft silicone and smooth bamboo baby bowls and utensils.

#3 Home-cooked baby food

When your baby is ready for solids, a cheaper and more planet-friendly solution to pre-made baby food is making your own. Cooking in bulk helps to reduce food waste, and allows you to control the quality of ingredients that baby eats, since shop-bought baby food can be highly processed – containing more sugar and less nutrients. There is no shame in needing emergency jars though. In fact, pre-made baby food is often packaged in glass jars, which we encourage you to get crafty with. But meal-planning, batch-cooking and freezing purees and finger food can help to make life a lot easier, resulting in more nutritious meals and less explosive nappies…

#4 No-waste nappies

The main concern around raising a baby while keeping waste to a minimum? Nappies. Sadly, single-use nappies are harmful to the environment, ending up in landfill where they struggle to decompose. Reusable nappies such as Totsbots are a great way to save money in the long-term and cut back on this wasteful process, reducing your environmental impact by 40% (even with laundry taken into consideration). There’s no avoiding the poop for any parent, which is caught in a handy liner that can be disposed of or reused, depending on your preference. Find out more on the fuss-free ways to use and wash reusable nappies and liners here.

#5 Natural baby products

Your baby will thank you for choosing products with natural ingredients, which are gentle on their fresh, sensitive skin. Whether an allergen-free bath bar, a natural dusting powder or a vegan baby balm, look out for products which are carefully developed to be as kind on the environment as they are on your child’s skin. Natural products are perfect for nappy rash, with soothing and protective qualities to nourish and repair any sore spots. And of course, all of which typically come in plastic-free packaging which can be reused, repurposed or recycled.

#6 Green cleaning

Parenting is messy business, and having cleaning products to hand is an absolute must. Many parents swear by disposable baby wipes, but there are a range of reusable cloth wipes available that make a huge difference to the planet and your purse. From day one, reusable wipes are a perfect alternative to cotton wool or regular, disposable wipes. But it’s not just baby who gets messy; your house will too. You’ll go through a lot of household cleaning products, so it’s a great idea to switch to greener cleaning brands ahead of the many spills and messes to come. Visit our ultimate guide to eco-friendly household cleaning to get started.

Becoming a parent can be a magical but overwhelming time. We hope these tips help you to feel less daunted by the prospect of sustainable parenting. Remember, it’s all about baby steps! Share your sustainability advice for new parents in the comments below.

      Written by Hannah Stark

2 Comments

  1. I was born in 1932 so nothing is wasted in our house. I was brought up in the war and used to help her plan for the rations to go round to feed a family of five.
    My father was Technical Production Engineer on the Sunderland Aircraft and worked long hours and would come home ready for his Supper.
    I know how hard it was for her.

    1. Thank you for your response Joy 🙂

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