As a new parent, there are dozens of things on your mind—from making sure your child is getting the best possible care to wondering how you're going to afford all the new expenses. One thing that may not be at the top of your list, but should be, is eco-conscious living. There are many small ways to make your home more environmentally friendly, and they can save you money in the long run! In this article, we will discuss nine simple swaps that parents can make to help reduce their environmental impact.
1. Cloth Diapers
The average baby will go through about 6000 disposable diapers in their lifetime. That's a lot of waste! Cloth diapers are becoming more and more popular, thanks to the many eco-friendly benefits they offer. Not only do cloth diapers reduce landfill waste, but they can also save you money in the long run. Also, many cloth diapers are made with organic materials, which is better for your child's skin.
Cloth diapers are now available in a variety of styles, so you can find one that works for you and your family. Here at Kinder, we offer pocket and cover style modern cloth diapers.
There are many other benefits to using cloth diapers, including the fact that they help reduce diaper rash and are better for your baby's skin overall. If you're interested in making the switch to cloth diapers, we suggest trying a few different styles of cloth diapers to find the one that works best for you family.
2. Unpaper Towels
Most paper towels are made from virgin tree pulp, which means they come with a hefty environmental cost. Unpaper towels are a great eco-friendly alternative - they can be used over and over again and washed in your regular laundry load. You can find unpaper towels made from a variety of sustainable materials like bamboo, hemp, or even recycled plastic bottles.
Unpaper towels are now available in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can find a style that fits your home. They're also usually more affordable than paper towels, so you'll save money in the long run.
3. Reusable Shopping Bags
Plastic shopping bags are one of the biggest environmental offenders. They clog landfills, pollute waterways, and endanger wildlife. Reusable shopping bags are an easy swap that can make a big difference. You can find reusable bags made from a variety of sustainable materials like cotton, hemp, or jute. Reusable shopping bags are convenient to keep in your car or purse and ideal for groceries, so you never have to use a disposable bag again.
4. Ziplock Bags
Ziplock bags are another type of single use product that is bad for the environment. They take hundreds of years to decompose, and they often end up in our oceans, where they endanger marine life.
Reusable ziplock bags are a great eco-friendly alternative —you can find them made from sustainable materials like silicone and cotton. Be sure to check the recycling symbol on your ziplock bags—if they are made from recycled materials, they can be safely recycled.
5. Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are made from a variety of synthetic materials that can be harmful to the environment. They often contain chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde, which can pollute the air and water.
If you're looking for an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets, you can try using wool dryer balls. Wool dryer balls are made from all-natural materials, and they work to soften your clothes while reducing static. And if you like fragrance, you can dab a few drops of your favorite essential oil on your dryer balls for pop of freshness.
Wool dryer balls are also ideal for using when drying modern cloth diapers in the dryer. We recommend against adding dryer sheets to your cloth diaper laundry because of the waxy substances on dryer sheets are designed to melt in the dryer and disperse all over your clothing. These substances can affect the absorbency of your diapers over time and cause them to repel liquids.
6. Reusable Containers
If you're looking for a way to reduce your plastic consumption, reusable containers are a great option. Instead of using disposable food storage containers, opt for reusable options like glass or stainless steel.
Not only are they better for the environment, but they also last longer than disposable options. They're a great option for packing your lunch or storing leftovers.
7. Glass Baby Bottles
If you're a new parent, you may be wondering if glass baby bottles are a good option. Glass is a great eco-friendly material because it's recyclable and doesn't contain any harmful chemicals. It's also non-toxic, which means it won't leach any chemicals into your baby's milk or formula.
Glass bottles are also easy to clean, and they don't accumulate bacteria as plastic bottles can. Additionally, glass baby bottles are durable and long-lasting, so you can use them for multiple children. There are also nipples and caps designed to be used with traditional mason jars, so that once you're done having children, you can reduce waste by using your bottles to store other goods in your kitchen and home.
8. BPA-Free Plastics
Many parents are choosing to switch to BPA-free plastics when possible. BPA is a harmful chemical that can leach into food and beverages from certain types of plastic. It has been linked to health problems like cancer and reproductive issues. If you're looking for BPA-free alternatives, opt for glass, stainless steel, or bamboo.
Bamboo is a sustainable material that is often used as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. It's strong and durable, making it a great option for reusable products. Bamboo is also naturally antimicrobial, so it doesn't need to be treated with chemicals like some plastics do. Additionally, bamboo is biodegradable, so it won't end up in a landfill like plastic will.
9. Natural Cleaning Products
Many commercial cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can be toxic to humans and the environment. If you're looking for a more eco-friendly option, try using natural cleaning products. There are a variety of all-natural cleaners on the market that work just as well as chemical-based options. They're made from sustainable materials like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
Some examples of natural cleaning products are:
- Lemon juice and vinegar as natural disinfectants
- Baking soda for general cleaning
- Washing soda to clean tough messes
- Castile soap as a multipurpose cleaner
- Peppermint oil as an antibacterial agent
These natural cleaning products are also biodegradable and non-toxic.
Making eco-conscious choices doesn't have to be difficult. There are a variety of simple swaps you can make at home to help reduce your impact on the environment. From natural cleaning products to recycled paper, there are plenty of options to choose from. By making a few small changes, you can help make a big difference for the planet.
Photo by: Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash