How To Be Sustainable Parents

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Lady holding a leaf, showing sustainability

Having a baby is an exciting yet stressful part of life, many believe that they are not ready to be parents yet until the baby is actually here. But there are also that group of parents who know exactly what they want and how they want to raise their children. With the ever-growing threat of climate change and our seas being polluted by plastics, it is hard to see a bright future for our children and their children without sustainability. 

 

It is no secret that babies need stuff, a lot of stuff, but this doesn’t mean that everything a baby needs has to be single-use or harmful to the planet. It is now our job to be doing what we can to help clean our environment and to also teach our children the importance of sustainable living. Starting this when they are babies will encourage your children to be more conscious when they come of age, as these will be the people who will be carrying on the fight. 

 

In this article, we will go through some helpful ways in which you can become sustainable parents. There are so many easy swaps and lifestyle changes that you can make to become more sustainable and these will have very little impact on the timing of your day to day life, but will make such a huge difference in terms of your sustainability. As a parent, you will naturally want to save as much time as possible, so these changes and swaps will not only help with this but your overall sustainability. 

 

Dress Sustainably

Kids go through clothes faster than you can buy them. As soon as you have picked up a nice little outfit for your child, you’re then looking for the next size. There is no getting around this, so it is time to find a sustainable way of clothing our children. 

 

Luckily, there is a growing trend for sustainability so there are many companies that are now using sustainable fabrics and dyes such as brands like Pure Baby and Wild Wawa. They are also using closed-loop production lines to reduce waste. If you are unsure how sustainable a brand is, you may just want to look for brands that are GOTS certified which means their fabrics and colouring methods are sustainable. 

 

Other ways in which you can be more sustainable with clothing is by purchasing second-hand clothing or starting a swap group on a social media channel where parents can swap baby clothes so that you always have something new but without the need to buy and throw away. 

Sustainable Toys

Most children’s toys are made from plastic as they are hard-wearing, however, there are many sustainable toy brands out there that are using sustainable methods to help reduce pollution. There are numerous ways in which children’s toys can be sustainable, like buying wooden toys, rather than plastic. There are also brands out there like Green Toys that use 100% recycled plastics and deliver their products in cardboard boxes so that it minimises packaging. Other ways of having sustainable toys can be through buying second hand. This is reducing waste as it is being reused rather than being thrown away into landfill. 

 

This may be a difficult one to swallow but when it comes to birthdays, Christmas or other celebrations, write a list of the brands that they should buy from or if this is too much to ask, you could even ask them to buy second-hand products.

Reduce Packaging

Packaging is one of the hardest things to get away from, no matter what you buy these days, it’s covered in plastic, especially when it comes to bathroom essentials like shower gel, toothpaste, dental floss and much more. 

 

Fortunately, there are now many shops that are providing a sustainable way to shop, and there are more and more health stores popping up. Breastfeeding is obviously completely zero waste, but when it is time to start weaning your child onto hard foods it’s a different story. 

 

If you are not one of these parents who run around like a headless chicken and you have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, why not start making your own purees which will have more nutrition than a lot of the packaged alternatives and are much tastier. You can also freeze them into child or baby-sized portions so that you can just grab them when you need so that you are cutting down on food waste and ensuring proper portion sizes for your little one’s meals. 

 

Other ways you could be more sustainable could be by growing your own fruit and vegetables which you can have seasonal veg throughout the year. If this is available to you, there are a great selection of zero waste shops now where you can take in your old containers and refill them with what they have in store. 

Use Reusable Alternatives Of Disposables

It is understandable that some products are disposable and that yes, sometimes you need to take into consideration how much energy you use by cleaning products etc. However, there are still alternatives that have been made to make having a baby that little bit more sustainable. Two main alternatives are: 

Reusable Nappies

We all know that the most common artefact found in a landfill are nappies, it is estimated that a baby will go through at least 3000 nappies in their first year, and all of them go in the landfill. Just imagine how many are thrown away each year in the world! 

 

There are some fantastic companies out there trying to do their bit for sustainability such as BumGenius or Smart Bottoms who make nappies out of hemp and organic cotton with a waterproof outer shell, some even offer detachable inners so that you don’t have to clean the whole nappy. Most nappies cover a range of sizes meaning you can use them until they are potty training. 

Reusable Washcloths

Baby wipes are the second biggest item found in landfills and are also one of the biggest causes of blocked drains. With the number of baby wipes found on beaches doubling in the last five years, it is understandable why people are looking at alternatives. By 2030, the UK will be looking at completely banning wet wipes in any forms.

 

Many brands have now created some great alternatives such as reusable baby washcloths, they can be made from a range of materials such as bamboo, hemp or even organic cotton but it is always best to try and steer away from cotton due to the amount of water that is used to treat it, and yes, that is even with organic cotton. 

 

Final Thoughts

Becoming a sustainable parent isn’t just important for saving money or helping the planet but it is also important for your children as this will one day be their job to take control of sustainability they are going to be and this will be something that needs to be ingrained in them from a young age. 

 

It is a great feeling when you know you are doing your bit, if you know someone who is wanting to start being more sustainable, let them know there are options out there and give them that encouragement they need.

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