How To Be A Sustainable Parent

Karen Maurice tells us how to bring up your children the sustainable way.

We’re all becoming increasingly aware of the impact we’re having on the environment. While no one is perfect, if we all aim to change one or two things in our routine it soon adds up. Here are seven ways to raise your kids in a sustainable way.

Get your little ones to wear aprons at dinner time

Asking your children to wear an apron at meal times means their clothes will stay cleaner for longer, so you don’t have to wash them as often – great for the environment and for you. If your child is particularly resistant to wearing an apron, then don’t panic. My daughter refused to wear one, until her grandma bought her a special one and now, she’s more than happy to. Choose with them one that they love, and they’ll be much more likely to wear it.

Ditch disposable baby wipes and opt for reusable ones instead

The UK uses 11 billion wet wipes each year, which adds up to a lot of waste. Instead of adding to this, buy them new, or just cut up an old towel into wipe-shaped pieces. There will be some scenarios when you just need a wipe that you can throw away. So, on those occasions, use biodegradable disposable wipes as it’s the exception rather than the norm.

Buy soap bars

Wash your children with good old fashion bars of soap packaged in cardboard boxes. There’s no plastic packaging and because they are smaller to transport than liquid soap, they use less fuel to arrive at your door. Just make sure your child doesn’t leave the soap in the bath or it’ll disappear in no time.

Invest in a reusable drinks bottle

This means you will avoid the inevitable request for that oh-so-lovely, highly-marketed plastic drinks bottle which they’ll see on their travels. Also, they then get to choose what drink goes inside it.

Get food prepped

Sometimes life is just too busy to prepare a snack. So, it’s really helpful to have a stash of Little Freddie pouches in the cupboard. They’re the leading sustainable baby food brand because their pouches can be recycled via their zero-waste to landfill recycling initiative. It’s so easy to do as they’ll send you the free returnable envelope which you can pop in the post.

Make shopping a game

My children have an eye for anything bright and plastic, particularly if we’re in the supermarket. The magazine aisle is always the toughest one to walk past. So, when we go in, I give them something to look for. It might be an item of fruit, or a favourite flavour of ice cream, but that way their attention is focused elsewhere.

Shop for secondhand fashion

When children are little, it is really easy to find lovely secondhand clothing for them. There are some amazing online boutiques that sell high quality secondhand clothing. Alternatively, ask friends, neighbours and relatives. People often have stacks of clothing in their lofts which they are desperate to be rid of. For my daughter, there is nothing more exciting than a bag of preloved clothes. It’s like Christmas all over again.

For more from Karen, visit her blog: