Welcoming your new baby into the world is one of the most rewarding, exciting and humbling moments - you have created life. Soon, you realise it comes with great responsibility to care not only for your baby, but also the environment. With a stake in the future of the planet, it's important you consider sustainable swaps you can make to help to protect the environment for future generations and create a healthier and more sustainable future for your child and the planet.
Needless to say, it can be overwhelming trying to navigate the world of parenthood while also trying to make sustainable choices. That’s why we have put together a list of some sustainable swaps you can make as a new mum.
Simple eco-friendly choices you can make:
Sustainable baby food
Breastfeeding is not only the most natural and healthy option for your baby, but it is also the most sustainable - in fact there’s no food more environmentally friendly! You can reduce the amount of waste associated with formula packaging and also reduce the carbon emissions from production and transportation. When moving to solid foods, opt for organic fresh produce. By choosing organic, you reduce your baby's exposure to potentially harmful chemicals such as pesticides and additives and ensure they are getting the healthiest and most sustainable option possible. There are so many fantastic zero-waste organic baby meals and food pouches available to explore too!
The great debate. It may be a step too far for some, but reusable cloth nappies are a fantastic sustainable swap you can make. If you’re not quite sure and feel most comfortable with using single-use nappies, consider a biodegradable option and ensure you use a biodegradable bag to dispose of it.
For most new mums, baby wipes are an essential part of daily life, however they cause a huge amount of damage to the environment. With about 80% of baby wipes being non-biodegradable, they are a huge contributor to landfill. As with nappies, the most sustainable option is to swap your single-use wipes for reusable baby wipes or washcloths. We’re not all going to be able to be 100% perfect, so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you choose to opt for single-use wipes, just make better choices. Choose biodegradable or compostable baby wipes manufactured from plant-based or natural materials such as organic cotton to avoid further harm to the environment.
Buying organic: Many items are made of synthetic materials and chemicals. Not only is this dangerous for your child, but is incredibly damaging to our planet. Buy organic and biodegradable where you can.
Multi- use products: Try to buy items which have multiple functions, so you can save space at home and reduce wastage!
Saying no to plastic
Another important aspect of sustainability as a new mum is to reduce your use of plastic in the home. Plastic is one of the most pervasive and damaging pollutants in the world - and it is rife in baby products. Plastic can be found in everything from toys, to bottles, to pacifiers. By choosing to use fewer plastic products, you can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the environment.
Buy second-hand kit
There is no need to spend huge amounts of money on brand new accessories and kit, when you can buy exactly what you need from another mama. Some kit is only used for a very short amount of time, so consider buying nearly-new instead. By giving another mama’s kit a new lease of life, you can prevent lots of barely used items ending up in landfill! Look for the likes of baby carriers, rockers and electricals that are almost good-as-new. Family and friends are a good starting point when it comes to hunting down baby gear that is no longer needed, or consider buying pre-loved kit through the FTC Collective, where our community of mums list their preloved baby kit.
Ethical maternity & postpartum clothing
As a new mum, it’s important you focus on you too! You have gone through a lot - so don’t forget to enjoy a little self care and invest in your wardrobe to make you feel more you. It doesn’t have to cost the earth either. While your body is still changing, you can rent your maternity and postpartum wardrobe instead of buying new. Make a more sustainable choice and instead of spending money on throwaway items of clothing, or a brand new wardrobe which will no longer serve you in 6 months time, spend your money wisely by building a capsule collection of clothing. At For The Creators we have everything you need, from renting occasionwear and every-day looks, to purchasing preloved clothing from another mama through the FTC Collective.
Education for the future
One of the best sustainable choices you can make as a new mum, is to continue to educate yourself and your child about the importance of protecting the environment! We’re all constantly learning about new ways in which we can make a difference - adopting new eco-friendly brands and products and taking on new behaviours. By teaching your child about the importance of sustainability, this will help to create a new generation of eco-friendly individuals.
Becoming a new mum is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is also an opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment. By making some simple sustainable swaps and better, eco-friendly choices, you can help to protect the planet for future generations and set a good example for your child.