#PlasticFreeJuly – 3
The last part of this series focuses on reducing plastic and waste in general when raising a baby. I don’t have any children of my own but my sister has done a great job with this so I am stealing all of her tips!
Currently 8,000,000 nappies are thrown away every day in Britain. That’s insane! It accounts for 3% of total landfill waste and they take HUNDREDS of years to degrade. So the nappies you are putting on your babies will outlive you and your babies….and their grandbabies most likely.
You can get biodegradable nappies, they will still take a while to degrade but less time. Unfortunately these are harder to find and more expensive (sometimes ‘Health Food and More‘ in Kirkcaldy has them on sale).
The best solution is real nappies. By this I mean reusable nappies (see the pic of my adorable nephew and his fluffy bum – this is actually the brand!). These are initially quite a large expense, and maybe not an option for everyone, however even by buying a few you will massively reduce on waste and you can slowly build a collection. They are cost effective over time when you think your baby will be in them for about 2 years. They work through using a very thin liner which can be disposed of which is much less wasteful than a full disposable nappy. There are a lot of brands, which can be hard to figure out, but you can go to Fife Real Nappy Library and they can give you options to try out and plenty of advice. They also hold coffee mornings to find out everything you need to know called Nappucino’s! My sister has had the most amazing collection of all different prints and colours and they are the cutest things. They will also grow with your baby so they can be made smaller or bigger depending on the need. Yes it’s more work with washing, but think of the impact you will have on your wheelie bin!
I have mentioned wipes before and how many problems they cause in sewer systems, in the sea and clogging up landfill. Reusable wipes are a great alternative. There are lots of brands you can use and i’m sure you could even make your own from old towels and essential oils but if you want something already set up then ‘Cheeky Wipes‘ are a great option. One clean box that you fill with water and a few drops of oil, one dirty box with a bag liner and some more oils and once the box is full you just pull the bag tight and put the whole thing in the wash. They come out good as new. The kit also comes with a travel bag to carry around with you. My sister tended to keep some separate for face and hands then another stash for the nappy wipes. Much kinder on babies bums and you only need 1-2 wipes for the worst nappies. I’ve seen people needing 6 wet wipes for a bad nappy!
3. Nursing pads
These don’t produce as much waste as they are fairly small and maybe not used for as long, but reusable breast pads are cheap to buy online (again you could probably find ideas on making your own if you so wish). Bamboo tends to be a great material for these and will wash brilliantly.
How many times do lids of cups go missing or start leaking leading to the other half being chucked into landfill or sulking in a drawer somewhere? There are a lot of good stainless steel options now for children’s cups. They come with silicone tips so no chance of soft tissue or dental injuries. They’ll last for ages and are great for being chucked around. The website Babipur has some great ideas for these. Again, these will probably work out more expensive initially, but better to buy 1 cup that lasts forever rather than 10 that end up going into landfill.
I don’t need to tell anyone how bad plastic straws are for the planet. David Attenborough has done a good enough job! There are tonnes of straw replacements now. Stainless steel ones are not ideal for kids as there is a higher risk of trauma to the mouth, but you can now get straws made from stainless steel with a silicone tip and a bend in it which is ideal.
Everyone raises their children in their own way and there’s no wrong or right way, but hopefully this blog might give some ideas for anyone looking to reduce their waste. If this is of interest there are some great Facebook groups, including Practically Plastic Free Childhood, which will give you lots of ideas!
Read the other #PlasticFreeJuly blogs|