Part three of our sustainable swaps series! When it comes to having babies, as mothers we know that you want to do your best for them and why not team that with doing your best for the planet as well? We have put together some super easy sustainable swaps when it comes to babies & children.
Switching to cloth nappies was the first sustainable swap/change we made to our lives. After months of research, we took the plunge. You know what? It has been a lot easier than we imagined. If you’re main concern is cleaning them, or dealing with poop, I promise you it’s not as bad as you think! The fact is, when you have your own baby, their poop and bodily fluids won’t gross you out as much as you think they will. You just get on with it without thinking about it. You simply pop the poop down the loo, and place the nappy in the basket ready to be washed. We run a nappy wash every evening – it’s just easier that way for us.
This has to be the most simple swap out there! Cloth wipes are amazing! You can buy kits such as Cheeky Wipes! We got our colourful cheeky wipes (AFF LINK) on Amazon over a year ago and they are still going strong! We use a Tupperware box with some water and essential oils in, and it lasts us up to 3 days. As well as a stack of dry wipes for things like mucky hands, spillages, and then an array of flannels for face wiping!
Did you know that it’s recommended to use baby wiles on car wheels as they remove all the crap and grime? Yup. So, if it can do that to a car wheel, imagine what it can do to your little ones sensitive area?! Cloth wipes are super soft, durable, will save you some pennies and (hopefully) reduce the amount of fat burgs clogging up our sewage systems and prevent them from destroying our rivers and oceans.
Wooden and Handmade Toys
I have always had a special place in my heart for wooden children’s toys. I find they are more beautiful, whimsical and stimulate the imagination a lot better than plastic ones that play music, light up and do everything for the child.
This was before the use of plastic and the damage it’s having on the environment was everywhere. Now, there’s an even better reason to buy new wooden toys over plastic. The majority of plastic toys can’t be recycled, or at least not easily. A lot of plastic toys these days have many different components that need to be separated, meaning the toy needs to be pulled apart before recycling. Sometimes this is possible, sometimes this is not. Meaning the majority of plastic toys thrown away each year end up in landfill for many, many, many years. There are some companies out there trying to melt old toys to make new ones, and using recycled materials in general, making them more Eco friendly and easier to recycle – which is amazing in so many ways!
Shopping second hand
Now, It’s no lie that we are Charity shop lovers. We regularly hit the charity shops to see what bargains and gems we can find. From clothing, to books, toys for Molly to even furniture – we love it all! My very first flat was furnished with all second hand items. Even Molly first Christmas and Birthday gifts were mainly from charity shops or Facebook selling groups. There is nothing wrong with second hand items. Buying second hand can actually help the planet as you’re giving those items a new lease of life, and preventing them from going into landfill.
Homemade Snacks & Baby Food
It’s no secret that when you have a child, you automatically become a snack bi**h. Tiny human gets fussy, snack. They won’t sit still, snack. They hurt themselves and start to cry, snack, Snacks are used in multiple situations. The only problem is that most snacks come in single use plastic wrappers, especially the multi packs. You can try and buy snacks that come in boxes as apposed to plastic, but even then, I find there’s plastic in the box which defeats the whole reason you’re buying the box in the first place! We life to make our snacks. We take fresh fruit and I buy things like raisins in bulk. I make fruit leather ( wind ups ) and treats like cookies and rice crispy treats! Minimal plastic.
When you enter the world of weaning, you are inundated with advice and suggestions on what to feed your baby. There is baby food that comes in glass jars, which is fab and so much better than the plastic pouches. However, they still cost ££. Making your own baby food can save you money and a crazy amount of plastic! You could even head down the baby lead weaning route which has you skip the purees all together.
Making your own baby food is super easy! Basically, you puree the food you eat and keep it. You can buy reusable pouches that can be washed and used over and over, or you can put the puree in ice cube trays and freeze them, taking which ever flavours you want when you need them and heat them up either in the microwave ( watching for hot spots ) or over the stove.
I have a blog post of homemade snack and baby food ideas in the works, full of recipes that you can try to make healthy ( ok some aren’t super healthy ) snacks without so much single use plastic! So keep an eye out for that!
Reusable Drinks Bottles
Carrying on from reducing single use plastic and plastic in general, kids drinks bottles. Once your child moves on from breastfeeding or bottle feeding, they move onto a kids cup. Most of these cups are made out of cheap plastic that doesn’t last super long. It either brakes, or if it comes with a straw – you’ll loose that straw! There are so many Eco friendly alternatives out there now. Bamboo being one of the most popular choices of materials. However, for older toddlers/children, Klean Kanteen have a range of stainless steel bottles that are perfect alternatives! They keep drinks at the desired temperature for a long period of time. They are also easy to clean and incredibly durable.
When we made the decision to be more Eco conscious, I knew I wanted to get Molly a plate from Bamboo Bamboo. They produce beautiful bamboo plates in different animal shapes! There are elephants, Monkeys, Pandas and more! We have the Fox plate and the standard toddler plate, as well as the bowl and spoon! The fab thing with these plates is that they have a silicon suction ring on the bottom, meaning you have less of a chance of food going all over the floor.