Hi, Emma here.
I have always been aware of the how the choices we make and the lifestyle we choose to live affects the planet. It wasn’t until I had my daughter and subsequently decided to start Flicka that the implications started to hit home to me. Becoming a parent, I think sometimes you feel stronger about things, especially when our children are the future.
I never want to come across as judgemental when discussing the topic of being eco-friendly. I understand completely the struggles of juggling life with a baby or children and appreciate sometimes parents just want to survive the days, let alone attempting to be the perfect eco-friendly parent!
So just a reminder, you don’t have to be perfect, small changes make a huge difference.
Here are my 5 tips for parents who want to reduce plastic usage;
1 – Switch to cloth nappies
Did you know 8 million single use nappies are thrown away each day in the UK, each one takes up to 500 years to decompose.
By using cloth nappies, you immediately cut out this waste and it’s also better for your bank balance. On average you will spend £1200 on a baby’s nappy supply, whereas 20 re-usable cloth nappies cost on average £250-£300 The water consumption used for washing them is nowhere near compared to the water used to produce disposables.
2- Use bamboo toothbrushes
Bamboo toothbrushes are a simple, just as effective at cleaning your teeth alternative to plastic. Compared to a plastic toothbrush that can spend hundreds of years in landfill or floating around in the ocean, bamboo will break down leaving nothing left to pollute the planet.
3- Buy sustainably sourced wooden toys, borrow or buy second hand
Wooden toys are well-made on the whole, rarely come with pieces that could easily be broken by a child and even adults would find them difficult to break which makes them not only safe for your babies but also durable and long lasting which allows them to be passed down to future generations.
By purchasing a wooden toy that’s sustainably sourced and made from certified wood, you’re playing a small part in reducing the need for the mass production of plastic.
Try to recycle plastic toys where possible. I’ve often heard of parents rotating toys amongst each other which I think is a great idea!
4- Ditch the wipes
Not only are baby wipes not the kindest on skin, wipes commonly cause trouble in our wastewater systems, in fact wet wipes made up 90% of the material causing sewer blockages in the UK in 2018. They can find their way into oceans and cause untold problems for the marine environment. A washable flannel or cloth is one of the best alternatives, soaked in warm water or in a home-made solution similar to baby wipes such as baby oil and chamomile tea.
5- Ditch Soap/Shampoo bottles
Shampoo packaging is causing environmental harm. It's reported that 552 million shampoo bottles go into landfills every year, and landfills are a huge producer of harmful greenhouse gases. There are some fab pebble shampoo/conditioner bars and some great refillable stations local to Norfolk.