Three Simple Switches Parents Can Make To Become A More Eco Friendly Family
7 October 2019 | Admin
By Ranae von Meding
There is no denying that bringing children into the world takes a toll on our environment. For such small people, they can generate a whole lot of extra waste! These days, I think we are all trying to reduce our use of plastic and lessen the footprint we are leaving behind. If not for ourselves, then for our children who will have to clean up the mess once we are gone.
Since becoming a parent, it’s something which has weighed heavily on my mind… and though I am far from perfect, I try to make better and smarter choices these days. Here are a few switches that we have made as parents, which can make a really big impact:
This was one of the most obvious culprits when it came to our household waste. With our first daughter, we were too afraid to make the plunge and I really regret not making the switch sooner. But what I have learned is that every single bit counts. You don’t have to do it all. Even one less nappy a day going to landfill makes a difference. That’s 365 over the course of a year or around a thousand in the course of your babies ‘nappy years’. And that’s only by doing 1 a day. So imagine if you did 3 a day? Or totally switched?
My advice for starting cloth is to try a few different brands and styles because I can guarantee that what you think you will like will turn out to be wrong! And you don’t want to end up with ones that don’t suit you and your baby. A great option is to rent a trial pack which will give you a good idea of what suits you. Personally one of my favourite nappies to use are the Best Bottom Wraps range which you can find here - and I thought I would hate the wraps! Just goes to show, you don’t know until you try them.
Cleaning can be simple. Forget all that fuss on social media! You don’t need fancy products to make your house look and smell amazing. Not to mention all the nasty stuff in regular cleaners, but the way that most of them are made is most definitely not eco friendly. Making your own cleaners or buying simple eco products is a cost effective and safe way to clean.
From washing up liquids to an all purpose spray, I’ve tried my hand over the years at making my own- and I was pleasantly surprised at the results. With a few simple ingredients and some good quality essential oils, it’s amazing what you can make yourself. Never underestimate the power of lemon, baking soda and white vinegar! But for those of you who think that making your own might be too difficult, here are a few eco cleaners that really do work - In particular I like the ‘Method’ and ‘Ecover’ ranges.
Single use plastic is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to waste. Takeaway cups, plastic cutlery and clingfilm to name a few. And don’t even get me started on plastic water bottles! The good news, is that switching to an alternative is incredibly easy. These days we have so many options available to us, the only problem will be choosing your favourite ones.
For reusable coffee cups there are some great options like the KeepCup range here and for water bottles Klean Kanteen here do a great range, as well as lots of other cool items like stainless steel straws and food canisters.
There are so many other ways to reduce waste and these are only a few. Choose somewhere to get started and don’t feel as though you have to do it all at once. Every little bit helps, and the more you do, the more you will see areas in your everyday life where you can make a healthier switch.
Ranae is a same-sex parent to 2 daughters aged 3 and 9 months. She and her wife Audrey conceived through Reciprocal IVF. Ranae carried both pregnancies and has become an outspoken advocate for equal LGBTQ parental rights in Ireland. She believes that all families deserve respect and recognition, no matter how they were created. Ranae writes for many publications including Mums + Tots Magazine, GCN Magazine and Family Friendly HQ. She also speaks regularly at events about parenting, her activism work and fertility treatment. She is passionate about breastfeeding, babywearing and cloth nappies and is always looking for ways to make simple switches that are better for our environment.
You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ranaevonmeding or check out her website at www.ranaevonmeding.com.