In societies where everything is packed and sealed, going zero-waste when bringing up young children is immensely difficult. Much respect to you for even trying. All the solutions on this page are contributed by parents with first-hand experience of seeking waste-free alternatives for birth and child rearing.
Here is one mother’s advice for Reducing Waste When Baby Arrives.
- Little Lamb wipes: Soft and so much more effective than disposable ones. Made of bamboo fiber, which is washable and naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (so they stay fresh longer than cotton). “Simply pop them into a small sandwich box or bag (not included) and pour a little water on them and they will stay damp for days, ready for when you need them.”
- Cambridge Baby: Absolutely wonderful children’s clothes made by a small team with strong values in all-natural fibers: organic cotton, wool and silk. “All our range is really good clothing – clothes that are wonderful for the skin and body, clothes that are sustainably produced in healthy, natural and organic fabrics, clothes that are carefully made with everyone treated well throughout. “
Washable nappies have progressed enormously in recent years, and are easier to put on, more comfortable, slimmer fitting and simpler to launder than the ones some of us dimly remember from our childhoods (no more big metal nappy pins or scratchy plastic over-pants!). The Nappy Lady is a good place to start, and she can advise on what might suit your particular baby and laundry facilities.
- Little Lamb nappies: Washable nappies in various organic fibers. The bamboo ones are particularly soft and absorbent.
- There is a huge second hand market for used cloth nappies, and there are lots of very thrifty eco mamas out there re-sewing elastics and generally rehabilitating nappies for new bottoms!
- For those times when cloth nappies really aren’t going to work (e.g. whole family has Norovirus, washing machine breaks down…) Moltex nappies are very high performing and have decent green credentials
- Here’s a wonderful idea: Snact make healthy snacks from fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste. They are vegan, gluten-free, and packaged in 100% compostable “plastic”!
Here are some lovely non-toxic, plastic-free toy retailers:
- Myriad: These wooden toys are so beautiful, and they sell playsilks, natural art materials and also toys made by people with learning difficulties.
- Babipur: Ethical shopping for kids
- Montessori Supplies
- Tegu: Handcrafted magnetic wood blocks, from carefully sourced trees, encouraging “boundless play“. The company was created to help Honduras (where the toys are made) through positive employment opportunities, tree-planting efforts, and by funding days of school.
- Plan Toys: Wooden toys made sustainably and without using chemicals.
- Little Acorns to Mighty Oaks: Lovely plastic-free drinking cups and food storage boxes and wooden toys…
Do you have solutions to contribute? Please use the form below.