Our children bring us new perspectives and help us consider how we can make a better future for them to grow up in. Having fewer children is certainly an effective action to help make a sustainable society, however so is teaching them to live in balance with nature. By bringing them up in a way which uses less resources, we can all nurture sustainable children!
Children are hungry for new things and compel us to buy to satisfy this craving. In our busy lives we can buy impulsively and don’t necessarily consider the impacts. So here we hope to inspire you with information about how you can provide your baby and older children with amazing things that don’t cost the Earth.
We have to buy a lot of stuff for a new baby and they need an awful lot of nappies! It’s a really difficult time, especially if it’s your first child. You want to get them the best.
Our members have contributed a great deal in this area and sometimes it’s easier learning directly from people’s experiences. Here are some quick “top tips” for a sustainable baby:
- Get some used items. Pushchairs, baby mats, rocking devices, reusable nappies, toys and clothing, these are all things other people are throwing out every day. You may want to get new stuff, but consider getting some of these things from other parents. Each of these items takes a lot of energy to produce and often they really aren’t used that much!
- Buy from ethical sources. There are numerous recommendations provided by our community that will help any parent find these otherwise unknown ethical product providers.
- Get reusable or compostable nappies. Getting reusable nappies, especially if second hand, really reduces impact on the environment, but not everyone’s got the time to continually wash and dry nappies! Compostable nappies and wipes are a great alternative, and if you can find a place to have them decompose, then they are a truly zero waste option. If you’re looking for tips on this, check out your local nappy bank or check out our community or recommendations for help.
Sustainable children’s clothes
Clothing children is costly. They need new clothes every 3 to 6 months for the first two years, and then every year after that. This demand, alongside a compulsion of friends and family to adorn your child with clothes, means that there is an abundance of underused children’s wear that you can tap into. Simply swapping clothes with parents locally or tapping into online exchanges is a great way of saving on money and environmental impact.
Dressing up costumes and some other children’s clothes, such as Christmas jumpers, are often made of synthetic material, which will either eventually be burnt or end up in landfill. It’s worthwhile checking labels for the materials clothing is made from, as well as thinking about how costumes may be hired for a purpose.
There are loads of recommendations here to help you clothe your sustainable children!
Sustainable children & playtime
Children these days have tonnes of toys and devices. Even with all these things, often they are attracted to the simple things like digging or making a playhouse out of a cardboard box or a tent out of a sheet. This playtime is good for adults as well. It helps us reconnect to the playful part of our brain, releasing endorphins that help us de-stress and make us smile.
We often buy things to give us more time to work or maybe for our social lives and social media. This cycle is affecting the wider planet. Toys cost the environment through the consumption of the materials needed to produce them and also when they are disposed of.
Here’s some top tips for playtime:
- Be creative and make something. Children remember making a card that they send to someone, the paper chain they hang in the house, the paper aeroplane or the hat which is made from newspaper. We have so many things around us which need reusing, so find these items and throw them into playtime.
- Plant stuff. Kids love getting their hands dirty and growing stuff. Get some soil and seeds and get planting, and then make it part of their routine.
- Get environmentally friendly, long-lasting toys. The best toys are always the ones made of hardy materials that are amazing to touch and have a great deal of detail. These types of toys can be difficult to find, but are often found from suppliers specialising in environmentally friendly toys. There are also options for leasing.
Celebrations & experiences
Gatherings of children often result in an excess of plastic in the form of wrappers, plates, toys, banners, cups and cutlery – things which we throw away quickly. We have found some alternatives which are just as easy to use, but are made out of paper and may be composted. You can check them out on our website.
You also may want to think about what kind of things you do when you go out and about. Nature should not be forgotten in this mix – it always makes an incredibly memorable outing, especially when nature is combined with games! Check out recommendations on Better Century that create these amazing experiences for your family.
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|BigGreenSmile||http://www.biggreensmile.com||Organic lifestyle, natural beauty, baby and cleaning products|
|Biobuddy||https://biobuddi.com/en/||Lego style building blocks made of biodegradable materials|
|Close Parent||https://www.closeparent.com||Re-usuable nappies|
|Eco Friendly Cards||http://ecofriendlycards.com/|
|Eco-Craft||https://www.eco-craft.co.uk/about-us/||Most of the paper and card are 100% recycled and the majority contain a large proportion of post consumer waste (ie. old brochures, print outs, etc.) ; Source raw materials from UK suppliers who source their waste paper from UK or EU mills ; Purchase all our energy from 100% renewable, non nuclear energy supplier Good Energy|
|Kit and Kin||https://kitandkin.com/||Biodegradable nappies|
|Le Toy Van Toys||https://letoyvan.com/pages/sustainabilityhttps://letoyvan.com/pages/sustainability||Toys made from wood|
|Little Cherry Ltd||https://www.littlecherry.co.uk||Eco friendly party supplies|
|Mud and Bloom||https://www.mudandbloom.com||Activities to engage children|
|Natural Baby Shower||https://www.naturalbabyshower.co.uk||High quality baby products|
|Palava Clothing||https://palava.co/||Provide womens & children fashion products|
|The Eco Friendly Card Company||http://www.ecofriendlycards.shop/|
|The Nappy Lady||https://www.thenappylady.co.uk/||Advice on sustainable nappies|
|Whirli||https://whirli.com||Provides a borrowing scheme for toys, which can massively help reduce consumptio|
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