When someone gets to know that they are expecting a baby, one of the first things that comes to mind is all the stuff one will need to buy for the new arrival. But take a moment and think…is there a sustainable, eco-friendly, zero waste option? Here are some green parenting tips you should consider:
Each baby will use approximately 5,000 nappies till they are potty trained, each one takes almost 500 years to decompose! Even though disposable nappies are more convenient, they are detrimental to our planet. The eco-friendly option is using reusable nappies, which are made out of cloth, designed to be easily washable in a washing machine. As a backup, there are also biodegradable nappies, which are less harmful to the environment.
2. Baby wipes
Another important eco-swap is changing wet wipes with either a cloth wipe or opt for a biodegradable wipe. 90% of wet wipes contain plastic, so they take a long time to decompose and are a major source of pollution.
Breastfeeding is the most zero-waste feeding option available. However, this is not always an option. Make sure when you are purchasing alternatives to read labels, try to find products which are natural, organic and that come in sustainable packaging such as glass. As the baby starts to grow, it is best to prepare your own baby food, as you know exactly what you are putting into the mix, ideally using seasonal local fruit and veggies as these will be richer in nutrients.
Baby grow so quickly that they don’t get to make extensive use of the clothes they usually have. Secondhand clothes are always a great option to ensure baby clothing gets a longer shelf life. If you do choose to buy some new baby clothes, avoid synthetic fibers and dyes and look for 100 percent organic cotton or hemp. There’s less pollution in the production of these materials and they’ll decompose a lot quicker than synthetic materials, reducing the damage to the environment at the end of the life span of the garment.
Play is an important aspect for the child’s development. Today, most toys are made of plastic, but there are eco-friendly alternatives which are made of sustainable materials, such as wood. One thing to keep in mind is that babies quickly out grow their toys, so you can easily find lots of second hand toys in excellent condition, whether from a family member, friend or on the many Facebook groups set up to sell or exchange second hand items.
These are just a few green parenting tips of how you can be more sustainable when buying items for your baby. Raising your baby in an eco-friendly way is hugely beneficial not just to the environment, but also for the baby’s future, as they will enjoy the benefits of living in a healthier planet, with less plastic, toxins and pollution.