February 09, 2023 4 min read

It is important now, perhaps more than ever, to educate the next generation on the importance of looking after the environment. The climate is crucial for the lives and wellbeing of people on Earth, but will become even more important when our children are grown-ups and have to live with the potential consequences of the current climate crisis.

To help combat climate change and prevent our children from dealing with the aftermath, we have to make some lifestyle changes — and that includes how we approach being parents. Despite the fact that “a quarter of new parents said it was ‘impossible’ to be more eco-friendly with a newborn,” there are ways to “green” your parenting practises. 

In this guide, we help you do just this. Keep reading for our top green tips to help you master eco-friendly parenting, starting from when your children are babies. 

1. Switch to Reusable Nappies 

Nappies represent an estimated 2% to 3% of all household waste, with around three billion thrown away every year in the UK. Indeed, by the time justonebaby is potty trained, they could have used 4,000 to 6,000 disposable nappies — most of which will end up in landfill. This is because most nappies are made from non-biodegradable materials that can’t be recycled, and will take hundreds of years to break down. 

The alternative? Reusable nappies. Reusable nappies can be worn, washed and reused for years, reducing the amount of waste you produce. This is more cost-effective and, as nappies can be reused for multiple children, you can reduce your overall cost for nappies per child.

In addition, reusable nappies can be the gentler option for your child. While disposable nappies often contain chemicals and fragrances that can cause skin irritation, reusable nappies are made from all natural materials. 

And it doesn’t stop at nappies. Think of other single-use items, like breast pads, wipes, baby toothbrushes and cleaning products, that you can replace with sustainable alternatives. 

2. Reuse or Buy Second-Hand Clothes, Toys & Books

Most of the things that are purchased for your child are used for a short amount of time, and then chucked in the bin. Instead of buying new then, borrow used clothes and items from friends who no longer need them, or shop second-hand. This cuts down on waste, but also saves you money in the long run. 

  • Rent toysor purchase them second-hand: The toy industry is the most plastic intensive industry in the worldaccording to the United Nations Environment Programme, with millions of barely used toys sent to landfills every year. 
  • Invest in sustainable clothes, or purchase used: More than 183 million kids' clothes are thrown into landfill each year. 
  • Rent books in the local library instead of buying new ones. 

When you’re done with your clothes, toys and books, you can give all a new lease of life by selling or donating them (again). 

3. Use Bamboo Plates & Bowls

While end-of-life plastic contaminates our air and waterways, end-of-life bamboo biodegrades and produces zero greenhouse emissions. This makes bamboo plates and bowls a much more sustainable option than their plastic counterparts. 

Not to mention that bamboo is safer, as plastic often contains chemicals that can leach in stored food items, as well as more durable and easier to clean. 

Want to learn more? Read our full guide All You Need to Know About Bamboo Plates for Babies.

4. Wash at 30°C

Washing at the lowest possible temperature helps you to cut CO2 emissions, save energy and help the environment. Despite the common misconception that this doesn’t clean your clothes, cold(er) water washes are just as effective as warm water. In fact, cold water helps preserve the colour and shape of your clothes better than warm water — find out more in our post on greening your laundry routine.

 5. Eat Green 

Lots of the food we purchase for our children not only contain ingredients that are bad for the environment, but are wrapped in them too. To eat more green and reduce your plastic and food waste: 

  • Shop local and organic where possible.
  • Invest in dry goods and preserves at a zero-waste store. 
  • Make your own baby purees. 
  • Eat less meat. 
  • Make vegan and vegetarian meals with sustainable proteins, like lentils. 
  • Store food in beeswax wraps.

The one exception to this is reusable nappies, which will need to be washed at a higher temperature to remove bacteria. 

6. Teach Young

From a young age, teach your children about the importance of the environment, as well as how to be more sustainable. This could be as simple as encouraging your child to turn off the light after they leave the room, or your tween to take shorter showers. Implementing  recycling rules can also help ingrain sustainable behaviours in your home, when your children are old enough to get rid of their own rubbish. 

As your child gets older, you can bring up more “serious” topics around the environment to encourage them to engage with sustainability in adolescence and beyond. 

Remember to lead by example, but be forgiving if your child doesn’t always get it right.

Wild & Stone's mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our home & lifestyle products on our website.

Share your plastic-free swaps with us at hello@wildandstone.com or tag us on Instagram #wildandstone.

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