10 Tips for Raising a Zero-Waste Baby in Australia
Here in Australia, a staggering5.6 million disposable nappies are used every single day.
Couple this with the fact that it takes an estimated 500 years for each of those nappies to break down in the landfill and we’ve got a mighty smelly mess on our hands.
While bringing your bundle of joy home is perhaps the most precious moment we experience, the sheer volume of disposable products that tag along with your baby’s arrival is overwhelming.
Fortunately, you don’t have to ditch your sustainability goals to raise your baby. Here are 10 sustainable tips to help you raise your zero-waste baby with ease.
1. Ditch Disposable Nappies
As we mentioned above, nappies are responsible for the vast majority of waste in your child’s first years on earth. While many parents opt for disposables out of convenience, cloth nappies are a simple alternative that truly works.
Nowadays,modern cloth nappies are just as effective as disposables and the advanced designs make them easier to use.
With a few different styles and absorbency layer to choose from, you can secure yourself a collection of cloth nappies that keeps your bub’s bum dry and your rubbish bin nappy-free. As a bonus, you’ll get to show off your zero-waste baby’s style with fun prints and designs!
2. Washcloths Over Wipes
Another wasteful element of your baby’s bum change routine is those pesky disposable wipes.
Not only do these wipes contribute a substantial about to our landfills, but they also contain chemicals and materials that can irritate and dry out your precious bub’s skin.
Instead of cleaning up with a single-use wipe, opt forreusable washcloths.
These washcloths can join your cloth nappies in your wet bag to contain the mess when you’re out and about and go straight in the wash when you’re around the house. With a small collection, you’ll be set to never throw away another soggy single-use wipe again.
3. Go Second-Hand
In the early stages of life, babies grow out of their clothing rather than wearing it out. This means there’s a surplus of beautiful, gently-used baby clothing out there to enjoy.
Instead of encouraging additional production of clothing, check out your local thrift shops or accept hand-me-downs from your mum friends for your little one’s wardrobe.
Chances are, no one will even know you’ve reused the clothing and you’ll save a few dollars along the way!
4. Choose Plastic-Free Baby Products
Your little one’s brand new sensitive skin will need a few pretty specific products, however, many baby products are packaged in plastic bottles and filled with hidden chemicals.
When choosing your baby’s skin care and other products, aim for options that come in plastic-free packaging that you can repurpose or no packaging at all.
For example, instead of water-filled liquid soaps, pick up a soap bar thats suitable for ultra-sensitive skin.
Take a look at the products you use most and prioritize those switches. Even yourbub’s dummy can be traded in for a sustainable and natural alternative.
5. Multipurpose Your Swaddles
Swaddles are invaluable for new bubs. They keep them comfortable and safe and are often made with more sustainable products such as organic cotton or bamboo.
To get the absolute most our of your swaddles, keep them handy to double as a burp cloth, change pad, and more.
You’ll eliminate the need for paper towels or tissues to clean up little baby messes and cut down on your waste.
What’s even better is that when your swaddles reach the end of their life, they can actually be broken up for your compost bin. If they are still in good shape when you're done with them, consider passing them on to a friend or donating them to an op shop.
6. Breastfeed if You Can
If and where possible,consider breastfeeding as the main source of fuel for your little one.
This will cut down on the amount of packaging you deal with from formula container and plastic bottles.
Of course, if breastfeeding isn’t possible for you, there’s absolutely no shame in turning to formulas for help. To reduce waste here, buy your formula in bulk and opt for plastic-free bottles with natural nipples such as the new Quoddle bottle that are friendlier to our planet.
7. Go Homemade
Once it’s time to transition to those tasty first bites, consider blending up your baby’s food on your own.
While pre-packaged baby food is convenient, it’s often packed with preservatives to keep it from going bad. Beyond this, the amount of tiny little containers that will pile up in your recycling bin is unnecessary.
Making your own baby food is simple and easy. You’ll know exactly what’s inside and you can keep your little ones food fresh for longer by storing it in our freezer-safe andtoxin-free silicone food pouches.
8. Shop Smart
Baby toys aren’t built for longevity these days. The fact is, because your bub will be playing with these items for such a short amount of time, toy companies don’t put nearly as much effort into making them tough.
Instead of investing in toys that will end up in the landfill after just a few weeks or months, consider investing inplastic-free options such as wooden kitchen and doll play sets.
When your child grows out of them, they will still be in great condition and ready to be passed on to another zero-waste baby.
9. Ask for Practical
Gifts are a fantastic help when your new bundle of joy arrives, but if you’re family and friends are asking for hints, put out the practical word.
Oftentimes, parents end up with boxes full of accessories and gifts that they never used. This is not only a waste of money, but a waste of resources and energy to produce.
Even if cloth nappies and swaddles sounds a little boring on your wish list, you’ll be guaranteed to get a lot of practical use out of thesegenerous gifts.
10. Keep it Simple
The baby industry thrives on new and improved ‘must-have’ tech that keeps parents updating their goodies. While it's great to support local shops and businesses, chances are, you don’t need (and likely wont use) advanced tech for your little one.
To save on unnecessary production, resist the urge to buy unnecessary and fancy gadgets and keep your essentials basic.
We promise your second-hand stroller without the iPad screen to entertain baby will do the job just fine.
Your Zero-Waste Baby Essentials
Now that you know these 10 simple tips for raising your zero-waste baby, you can be confident about the baby products you bring into your home.
From ditching disposables to keeping your baby registry realistic, your little human is sure to be the cutest member of the zero-waste gang.
Ready to reduce your baby routine waste? Get started with our selection ofsustainable pregnancy and children’s goodies today!