Let’s face it, raising a little one can produce a lot of waste. Diapers, baby wipes, formula containers, and onesies can quickly fill up your trash can. Add on the plethora of “must-have” baby items and it’s easy to find yourself consuming more than you thought possible.
If you’re interested in learning how to raise your baby in an eco-friendly way, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up some of the top tips to make raising a little one a bit more sustainable.
Check Your Consumption and Waste
The first step to reducing your waste is to take note of how much you’re producing! How much has your trash increased since you welcomed your little one into the world? What makes up the majority of this waste? After looking at what’s in your trash can, you can start exploring what you can reduce.
Remember that while baby products lead to an increase in waste, being a new parent can also lead to more waste. It’s not uncommon for new moms and dads to rely on takeout or prepackaged meals rather than low-waste home cooking. And this is nothing to feel feeling guilty about! Rather, it’s a chance to notice your actions and think about how you can make small but meaningful changes.
Consider Reusable Alternatives
Two of the biggest waste products associated with raising a baby are diapers and baby wipes. While you certainly can’t avoid these products completely, you can choose reusable products!
Cloth diapers may seem like a thing of the past, but plenty of modern moms rely on these reusable diapers for their children. Just like disposable diapers, there are all sorts of cloth diapers. Before you invest in them, it’s a good idea to check out multiple brands and styles in person. You can even join the Cloth Diapering Singapore Facebook group for tips from other parents.
You can also consider switching over to cloth baby wipes. There are all sorts of soft baby clothes available today, and products range in size and thickness. That means you can find an option that works for feeding, diaper changes, and bathtime.
One thing to remember about switching to reusable options is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing! You can use cloth diapers at home and disposable diapers on the go. Start small and see how you like the reusable options before committing.
Investigate the Origins of Your Baby Products
A baby requires a lot of products! Raising a little one typically involves everything ranging from car seats to bottles to baby toys. While many of these products are necessary, you will have choices for what brands you support.
Before buying a product, especially a large purchase like a stroller or crib, it’s a good idea to take a look at the brand’s practices. Do they use sustainable packaging? Do they have programs to offset their carbon emissions? Exploring these questions will help you find brands that commit to sustainable production practices.
You should also look for any harmful chemicals that were used in production as well as any harmful compounds present in the final product. Some things to look out for include heavy metals like lead and mercury, phthalates, BPA, and parabens.
Does Organic Matter?
When you’re looking at products produced from natural materials like wood, cotton, and vegetables, you may be able to find organic options. While organic is often considered eco-friendly, what does it really mean?
The exact organic certification standards will depend on the type of product. However, most organic products will be free from synthetic pesticides and grown without synthetic fertilizers. Many organic producers also use sustainable practices such as integrated pest management and landscape conservation.
If you’re interested in organic baby clothes, wipes, or formula, you’ll have options to choose from. More and more organic brands are popping up, and established companies are developing organic lines.
Consider Buying Used
Along with looking for eco-friendly brands, you can also buy second-hand. We all know that infants and toddlers grow up right before our eyes, and that means they’ll use many clothes and toys for a short period of time.
Buying used prevents products from heading to the landfill and eliminates the energy and materials needed to produce a new product. Plus, buying second-hand can help save you a good bit of money.
Along with buying used, consider selling or donating items when your little one no longer needs them. By sharing with other parents in the area, you can help reduce waste and share products you love. Check out facebook groups like SGMummiesUnited if you would like to bless your used baby stuff to others. If you know someone with a child a few months younger than yours, consider offering them clothing that your baby no longer fits into.
Of course, you should always look over used products before you let your baby use them. It’s especially important to double-check items like car seats and high chairs.
Sustainable Baby Brands We Love
If you’re looking for companies that value the environment, check out this list. These brands can help make raising your little one a bit more eco-friendly.
- GroVia produces organic, all-in-one cloth diapers.
- Kalila Organics is a Singapore-based brand that produces clothing, bibs, swaddles, and more. Not only are all of their products organic, but they also donate 1% to plant trees.
- Babyletto produces cribs, bookcases, dressers, and more. They use sustainably-harvested New Zealand pine, and all of their items are free from lead and phthalates.
- Burt’s Bees Baby carries everything from organic baby clothing to crib sheets. All of their products are made from organic materials. They also use recycled polyester thread and buttons.
- Babo Botanicals makes wipes, shampoos, lotions, and other baby body care products. Their products are free from products that harm both the environment and your little one’s skin.
Get Started With Raising an Eco-Friendly Child
When you think about the products you use and actions you take as a parent, you help create a more sustainable world. Additionally, as your child grows, they will learn to think about how their actions impact the environment. Remember that no step towards sustainability is too small, and you don’t have to make changes all at once.