If you want to raise an environmentally conscious kid, it’s important to serve as an example. If you’re having a baby and want to make green choices, there are many options open to you. Some of these could even save you money. Joining a toy library, recycling food containers, and buying some baby items second-hand – all these green practices for parents can all make a difference.
Let’s find out what exactly you can do to cleanse your karma and the environment.
1. Buying Second-Hand Baby Items Or Get Free Baby Items
Buying baby items second-hand reduces the amount of resources and energy needed to make them from new – and could save you money. Think about:
- asking friends and family for things their children have outgrown;
- getting items for free using websites like Freecycle or Freegle;
- buying from online auction sites, or trying car boot sales and charity shops;
- going to a nearly new sale run by the National Childbirth Trust – you can find one near you on their website;
- passing on your items for reuse when you no longer need them.
Safety advice when buying second-hand: There are some baby items you need to be careful about buying second-hand, like car seats, shoes, and mattresses.
2. Preparing A Greener Nursery
When you’re decorating your baby’s nursery, try to choose paints with a low impact on the environment.
Low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and water-based paints are good choices. This article explains why VOCs are better for the environment.
If you’re buying wooden furniture, look for items made from wood
that hasn’t harmed the environment.
‘Greener furniture, fittings, and flooring’ has advice on this.
On the topic: 15 Safe & Stylish Houseplants For Kids Room
3. Breastfeeding And Bottle-Feeding
Breastfeeding is not just right for your baby – it’s also environmentally-friendly because it doesn’t use energy to make and transport milk formula.
As the milk is the right temperature, there’s no need for energy to heat it either.
If you’re bottle-feeding, buy only one or two of your chosen type of bottle at first, in case your baby
doesn’t respond well to it and prefers another sort recycle your old bottles. Think about
buying equipment like sterilizers or bottle-warmers.
4. Choosing Nappies
You can make greener nappy choices whether you use disposable or reusable nappies – this is one of the best green practices for parents.
Disposable nappies are thrown away each time you use them. Try making them greener by:
not buying too many nappies in one size, especially newborn size, as your baby may
outgrow them sooner than you expect considering ‘eco-nappies’.
In essence, these are often made from recycled materials and contain fewer chemicals.
5. Reusable Nappies
Reusable nappies (also called washable, cloth, or real nappies) are made from fabric and are washed and reused many times. The way you wash and dry them makes a big difference, so try these tips to make them as green as possible:
- wait for a full load before washing
- soiled nappies need washing at 60 degrees Celsius to kill all harmful bacteria
- wet nappies only need washing at 30 degrees
- dry them on a washing line or clothes dryer instead of tumble drying, which uses a lot of energy
- when you’re replacing your washing machine, choose an energy-efficient one by looking for an ‘A’ energy label rating
Buying second-hand nappies, reusing nappies for your next child,
and passing them on when you’ve finished with them will also make them greener.
6. Making Baby Food Greener
Making baby food out of meals you’re cooking for yourself can be a great habit and efficient green practice for parents. It cuts down on the resources needed to make and transport jars of baby food to the shops.
Try freezing portions of homemade baby food in ice cube trays for future use, so you don’t waste food.
If you buy ready-made baby food, try to recycle all the glass and plastic containers you use.
Better still, reuse them to store homemade recipes or odds and ends.
7. Choosing Greener Toys
Many toys are only used a few times before babies outgrow them. Throwing toys away wastes
all the resources and energy that went into making them.
You can borrow toys for a small fee, and sometimes for free, from a toy library. There are lots of such organizations.
Other toy-related eco-friendly practices include:
- opting for toys that don’t need batteries or electricity, like wooden blocks or wind-up toys;
- looking for a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label on wooden toys to be sure that the
wood was produced in a way that hasn’t harmed the environment;
- donating or selling unwanted toys.
What are your going green examples? Share your green practices for parents to inspire us!
Cover image source: Pexels