When shopping for a baby, it might seem like the options are endless. There are hundreds of brands selling seemingly identical products, and it may be hard to know which one is best for you. Unfortunately your little one can’t tell you just yet what they want, but there are other ways to narrow down the choices. Advice from friends and family, product reviews, and good old trial and error are great ways to find what you want. Another way to shop is to pick products that send a message that resonates with you. In this case, since it’s Earth Day, we wanted to take a look at some purchases you could make to help cut down on your baby’s (tiny) footprint.
For tiny humans, babies sure need a lot of gear! Let’s break down some of the things you’ll find yourself buying over and over, or needing for a long time. First off, diapers. When it comes to waste, diapers are one of the biggest contributors in terms of baby gear. Because of this, many environmentally conscious parents opt for reusable cloth diapers. This can be a difficult choice however, since it includes extra time doing laundry, or extra cost if you use a diapering program. Another option that has recently been taking off are bamboo diapers! Bamboo is a fast growing, versatile plant that releases much more oxygen into the atmosphere than normal trees. It’s a great alternative to traditional plastic diapers and can even be composted in some cases. For baby wipes, cloth options are also available which can be washed and reused many times. If you’re planning to breastfeed, reusable nursing pads can be a helpful tool. They even make ones made from bamboo that are easy to clean and rewear. For pumping and formula, glass bottles can be a good alternative. That might sound unsafe, but they are made from thermal-shock resistant glass that is much stronger than the average cup. The list for sustainable swaps can go on and on, so if you’re interested continue to look for reusable or plastic reduced options. It’s even more sustainable to buy second hand, so if you’re interested in cutting down on waste, see if you can get some hand me downs, or if a local thrift store has any products!
The Extras …
There is a lot more that parents often buy for their kids that is helpful, or even just cute! When it comes to toys, clothes, and accessories, again the most sustainable option is to reuse. If you’re shopping for something new, pay attention to the material of the item, because this may tell you whether or not it is sustainable. Bamboo is one of the best materials for sustainable, long lasting items and you can find everything from clothing to toy blocks made out of it! When it’s safe, glass or metal options are often preferred over plastic. Cleaning products especially are important to know what is in them, to avoid harsh chemicals. Vegan options are often toxin free, and can be better for the baby’s skin as well as the environment. When it comes to buying for your baby, look into companies with messages that make you feel good! Doing this research can take a little time, but once you’ve found your favorite brands, you often have a product for life.
Our Favorites …
There are many more products out there that we haven’t discussed, so let’s take a look at some companies we’ve looked into that are doing their best to sell sustainable options for children and parents!
- This company, Green Toys, makes everything from bath toys to outdoor recreation all out of 100% recycled plastic!
- For both parents and baby, Earth Mama has great options for organic self care products including for breastfeeding and pregnancy.
- Babies grow so quickly that buying clothes becomes a routine! Mori is a company that provides super cute soft clothing made of a combination of organic cotton and bamboo!
- Earth Hero is a one stop shop for all the sustainable items you could need! From birthday party supplies to teething rings to lunch bags, we love the versatility and commitment to sustainability of this company.
- For bath time, and a host of other sustainable items, check out & Keep for their plastic free parenting section that includes organic shampoo and conditioners that are safe for your baby and the Earth!
- Hand me downs are so helpful for baby gear, they grow so fast it can be hard to keep up! Local organizations like Goodwill are great for resale and online companies such as Markid help parents get sustainable options to buy and sell gear!
Much of the information in this blog was anecdotal and derived from personal experiences. Leave a comment below with some suggestions for your favorite products!
- 31 Best Natural Baby Products of 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.babylist.com/hello-baby/best-natural-baby-products