Eco Hacks: 10 Parenting Tips to Reduce Waste

More and more parents are looking for ways to live more sustainably - and looking after little ones can produce a lot of waste! We've rounded up some tips to help you navigate changing, feeding, weaning and more, while also being kinder to the planet.

Our in-store Eco Hacks event is taking place in our stores this week (March 14-20th), where you book an appointment with our customer advisors who will give you eco-friendly tips, essential advice and product demonstrations. Plus you'll enjoy 10% off our sustainable favourites and receive a free goody bag with a purchase.

Book your place

Donate outgrown clothes

Did you know nearly a third of clothes in the UK end up in landfill? Help reduce the astronomical numbers by putting your child’s outgrown clothes to good use. We’re currently taking donations via our From a Mother to Another clothing recycling initiative, which passes on our customers’ second-hand clothing onto to families in need across the UK and Ireland.

 

Avoid pre-prepared fruit & veg

Not only can pre-peeled and cut produce cost up to three times more than when it’s bought whole, it’s hard to avoid the plastic packaging it comes in. Yes, loose onions, carrots and pineapple are a bit of a hassle to prepare but try setting aside half an hour each week to do the prep. Google is your friend when figuring out how best to store prepared fruit and veg for optimum freshness.

 

Prepare for the unexpected

When you’re preparing to leave the house, get into the habit of packing a canvas tote bag, a reusable water bottle, and a couple of containers. You never know when you might stumble upon a bulk food shop or bakery to stock up on groceries, or if you stop off for food, you can take leftovers home without the need for extra packaging.

 

Consider reusable nappies

The average baby will get through 4,000-6,000 disposable nappies before they are potty trained, and with each nappy taking 500 years to decompose, switching to reusable nappies is a no-brainer. They can seem a little daunting at first, but rest assured reusable nappies have come a long way since the terry cloth days! Made from modern fabrics which are both ideal for sensitive skin and easy to clean, our reusable nappies make making the switch super simple.

Switch up the baby wipes

A baby will get through thousands of wipes each year, most of which are made from plastic fibres. At best, these will end up in landfill – taking generations to decompose. And at worst, they will make their way into the oceans after entering the water system through being flushed down the toilet, where they will break down into microplastics and damage the ecosystem. Consider switching to biodegradable, plastic-free wipes or go one step further and opt for reusable wipes to prevent waste altogether.

 

Little by little

When it comes to starting your little one’s weaning journey, take baby steps to help avoid food waste. Babies have tiny stomachs and probably won’t put much food in their mouths. With finger foods, offer them small amounts, say a couple of pieces of pasta or two steamed baby carrots. You can always offer more if they are hungry or interested.

 

Family friendly weaning

Offer your baby food that you like. If you’re partial to smashed avocado on toast for breakfast, cut off a couple of avo slices while you’re preparing it and offer it to your baby. If they like it, great! If not, more avocado for you – win-win! It definitely beats pureed broccoli. Use this concept when preparing family meals too – offer any suitable ingredients to your baby instead of preparing something separately.

 

Cover surfaces

During weaning, don’t be surprised if most of the food you’ve lovingly prepared ends up on the floor. This can end up in a lot of food waste, which is one of the biggest culprits of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Consider using a washable, wipe-clean PVC floor mat to cover the floor underneath your baby’s highchair to hygienically save dropped food for later.

Switch to powder

When it comes to laundry, capsules are really convenient but if you’re trying to reduce your use of single-use plastic, it might be time to go back to powder. Not only does powder generally come in cardboard boxes rather than plastic tubs or bottles, cost wise, it works out at roughly 30% less per wash. Keep in mind powder usually comes with a plastic scoop but it’s still less waste than the plastic tubs and bottles that capsules and gel are sold in, albeit recyclable.

 

Buy in bulk

Although more packaging-free refill shops are popping up around the country, they’re not always convenient or the most affordable option. If you have the budget and the space, consider buying your dry groceries in bulk. Rice, cereals, pasta and spices may still come in plastic, but generally larger volumes require less packaging than the equivalent amount split into smaller packages. Plus, you’ll find the cost per kg is considerably cheaper.

 

 

 

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