Emma Ross, founder of Mamalina hosted a talk for us on Plastic Free Parenting at the Newbie King’s Road store. For those who weren’t able to make it, she’s shared her top tips for reducing your plastic used to help future proof for our little ones.
1. How many wet wipes do you get through each day cleaning mucky hands, faces and bottoms? Consider switching out disposable wet wipes and opting for reusable cloth wipes instead. You can buy specific cloth wipes or even easier, cut up an old fleece blanket sitting unused in a drawer into medium-sized squares and this does the trick just as well. Once used, pop them in the washing machine, and they’ll come out ready to go again. And don’t forget your wet bag if you’re out and about!
2. If you’re comfortable with cloth wipes, why not consider cloth nappies. According to the NHS, children get through a staggering 5,500 nappies (on average) in their lifetime with 8 million nappies being sent to landfill every day in the UK alone. Cloth nappies don’t have to involve safety pins and complicated folds - most resemble a disposable nappy and again, just pop them in the washing machine once dirty, and they’ll come out perfect for the next time. Don’t forget to check if your local council offers a nappy incentive scheme (some offer vouchers, others offer free starter kits) to lessen the initial financial outlay. Mainly, don’t get overwhelmed by it all - take a look at these posts for some myth busting around cloth nappies to get you started if you are interested.
3. Plastic packaging accounts for the largest single sector of plastic use in the UK, so perhaps it’s time to start thinking about ways you can reduce your plastic food packaging. Switch to a milkman delivery, consider a veg box scheme, try making food from scratch, consider buying in bulk, visit a local zero waste store – these are just a few of the ways to cut down on plastic packaged food and drink.
4. Switch out plastic toothbrushes which take hundreds of years to decompose and choose a bamboo one instead. Whilst you’re there, why not choose a soap bar instead of plastic bottles shower gel? It’ll do the trick just as well, and will probably set you back less money too.
5. If time is a constraint, get the kids involved and give them a role. Whether it’s bringing in the milk, emptying the food compost, hanging nappies out, cooking together – it’s the simplest way to be able to live a little more sustainably and find the time to do so.