Sustainable Parenting: Ten Simple Suggestions To Help You Become Greener

Making our homes greener is probably something that a lot of us are interested in, but it can be hard to know how to begin.

There are so many things, especially for parents, that are labelled as being more convenient, even if they aren’t exactly environmentally friendly. In many cases it’s difficult to figure out how to parent in a more environmentally sustainable way that isn’t inconvenient with a busy parenting schedule. We have some ideas that could be a helpful starting point.


sustainable parenting


1. Reusable Nappies


The first thing on the list is reusable nappies. Disposable nappies seem like more of a convenience but it’s not necessarily true. In fact, as well as being better for the environment, reusable nappies could work out cheaper in the long-term for you.

It may be more expensive initially, but over the length of time that your child is in nappies, it saves you money. Also, by utilising roughly 20 reusable nappies you use around 2.7kg of raw materials, whereas for 4000 disposable nappies, you’ll use around 150kg of raw materials.

Some great reusable nappy options include Miosolo and Mother-ease Wizard Uno, but you can see a more comprehensive review and breakdown here.


2. Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding is another way to protect the environment. Making formula uses a lot of water, and energy, so it has a high carbon footprint. Breastfeeding doesn’t need water, or energy, so it has a much lower carbon footprint. However, not everyone can or wants to breastfeed for several different reasons. If you’re not breastfeeding, try not to feel worried about it, as it’s always best for a baby to be fed, regardless of whether it’s breast milk or formula.


3. Make Your Own Baby Food


Packaged baby food can be heavily processed and contain more sugar than you’d like your little one to be having. Making your own baby food means that it could have a higher nutritional content, less sugar and less salt. It doesn’t need to be complicated. You can try some of these NHS recipes or you could just mash or puree some of your own food as long as it’s suitable for babies.

Alternatively, you could try baby led weaning, and wait for your little one to be able to manage finger foods. Simple foods, like boiled carrots, or toast soldiers make fantastic finger food options.

As well as being good for your little one, home-made baby food doesn’t use the same amount of packaging, so you get to reduce your household waste as well.


4. Toys


A lot of children’s toys are made of plastic, but you can reduce the environmental impact you have here too.

You may want to try buying toys made from natural, sustainable materials. There’s a wide range of wooden toys available, and many companies have toys made from other natural materials as well, such as cotton. Some companies making more sustainable toys include Envirotoy, Early Learning Centre and Conscious Craft.

The biggest downside to sustainable, natural toys is that they can be more expensive than their plastic counterparts. However, your second option is to buy second-hand. Second-hand toys, and other baby items, still have plenty of life left in them, and cost a fraction of buying new items.

You could also have toy swaps with fellow parents. This involves trading toys with a child of a similar age to your little one, so that each family can experience a fun and exciting refresh at no cost, whilst helping the environment too.


5. Leave The Car At Home


Wherever possible, think about leaving your car at home. Consider walking instead when you can.

You could cycle with your little one in a bicycle seat, or trailer when they’re old enough. If you’re going further afield, think about using a baby carrier and taking the bus or train.

It will be beneficial for the whole family to explore in the fresh air, and leaving your car at home is better for the environment.


6. Natural Baby Products


Since babies’ skin is sensitive, it’s a good idea to use natural products when you can. Our Sudocrem Naturals Nappy Cream is made of 96% naturally derived ingredients such as camomile and apricot kernel oil. It comes in a recyclable tube made from 95% renewable materials including sugar cane.

So, when considering anything from bath products to clothes, look for natural ingredients and materials. If this doesn’t work for your budget, you may be able to find natural baby clothes second-hand.


7. Houseplants


Keeping houseplants doesn’t just make your home look more inviting, they’re good for the environment as well.

Houseplants can help improve the air quality in your home. They can remove some of the harmful chemicals and release oxygen into the air.

Some great plants you may want to consider having in your household include a Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Monstera, ZZ Plant and Succulents.


8. Green Cleaning Products


As your little one grows and learns, there may be quite a few messes and spills to clean up. Switching to greener brands or making your own cleaners at home can help to reduce the impact on the environment.

It’s not difficult to make cleaning products at home if you have some extra time, and you only need basic ingredients like baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon juice. These can be great for removing build-up such as coffee stains or cleaning kitchen surfaces and mirrors.


9. Grow Your Own


Growing your own fruit and vegetables means that you have less impact on the environment. There won’t be any air miles on your food.

It’s also fun for children to grow things, and it helps them see and understand where their food comes from. Many people will tell you that the fruits and vegetables they’ve grown themselves taste better too!


10. Reuse Your Cardboard


There are many ways to reuse your cardboard. You could use cardboard boxes to pack up your grocery shopping instead of bags. Or you could save money on craft kits and toys by reusing cardboard boxes, egg boxes, and cereal boxes for arts and crafts. There are so many different things that a cardboard box could be, from a boat to a castle, to a train. Let your little one’s imaginations run wild.