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Eco-friendly Families: How Planet-Friendly Parenting Could save the World

A remaining section of the Berlin Wall is painted with this uplifting message; ‘Many small people, in many small places, do many small things, that can alter the face of the world’. These words confirm that efforts to ‘do our bit’ and limit our impact on our planet are not in vain.

If you are already feeling smug about that late night treck to the recycling bin last week or implementation of a ‘no lights til dusk’ house rule, don’t be too complacent though...there is plenty more to be done!

Children do seem to create the kind of waste that is disproportionate to their own mass! From day one they are at it: Disposable Nappies for example form a huge part of our landfill waste. In the UK we throw away 3 billion nappies a year! An average child will use around 6,000 nappies in the period from birth to being toilet trained. It takes a nappy 500 years to break down, releasing ozone-damaging methane gas as it does so. Using even just one reusable nappy a day would save 730 disposables!

Helping parents find alternatives to disposable is ‘The Nappy Lady’. Check out the site at The company stocks a broad selection of brands (but aren’t tied or incentivised by any) and use thorough initial questionnaires and live video demos to help parents get to grips with the different options. Despite the initial outlay there are huge savings to be made financially as well as environmentally. ‘Real Nappy’ Schemes run by local councils often provide a start-up voucher. Check local council websites to see if you can access one near you.

Still not convinced about reusable nappies? Explore the disposables offered by

Their nappies have a range of ‘green’ and ethical credentials and to add to their industry awards, have received rave reviews from parents!

On the wipes front Cheeky wipes are favoured by the majority of parents and nannies we spoke to. These are convenient and hygienic- reusables with kits available offering convenient storage for the clean and used wipes whether at home or out and about. Easy to launder with modest upfront costs.

Single use plastics have been the headline grabbers over the past few years. The plastic waste being washed into our oceans is a huge concern. After viewing the enlightening -and quite frankly terrifying -BBC documentary Blue Planet, many of us have been prompted to make changes to our daily routines. If you are not already acting as if David Attenborough himself was watching every lifestyle choice you make, here are some easy swaps to nudge you in the right direction.

Decline single use items whenever possible (straws, lids, cutlery, plastic bags). When shopping for loose produce, take your own reusable fruit/ veg bags

Avoid any kind of over-packaging - children’s snacks can be major culprits. When possible buy larger single packs and portion in your own containers.

Buy seasonal and local whenever possible. Check packaged fruit and veg for countries of origin and be conscious of food miles.

Say goodbye to milk in plastic packages and order a doorstep delivery of your preferred milk in glass bottles from As the name suggests, a range of other products can be ordered alongside your milk: A full range of dairy products, milk alternatives, bottled drinks, breads, pantry items and even seasonal gifts! Check out the list of the ethical and sustainable producers Milk and More work with here:

Invest in reusable containers for your takeaway hot drinks. The no-leak, easy sip, keep hot for hours features of this Thermos cup make it popular with parents and nannies alike.

Keeping cool water with you will negate the need for buying plastic bottled water. A metal bottle like those from Simple Modern will do the trick. Their 9oz size is handy for outings.

Cleaning at home is possible while committing to a cleaner planet! Alongside traditional cleaning methods (usual suspects; baking soda, lemon, white vinegar), those who favour a range of squirty bottles under their kitchen sink might find appealing. The range is 100% natural, biodegradable, PH neutral, vegan friendly and non-damaging to aquatic life. The company helps to reduce carbon emissions by using refillable aluminium spray bottles. They’re shipped empty with a sachet of eco-friendly cleaning concentrate so you can mix them with tap water at home. The sachets can be reordered, empty sachets returned to the company for recycling and the bottles infinitely refilled.

For the never-ending pile of child-generated laundry, have a plastic packaging free solution; laundry capsules posted directly in card boxes to your door.

Their range extends to fabric conditioner and dishwasher tablets. So confident are Smol in the quality of their range that they offer a money back guarantee.

As more and more companies innovate and embrace ecological production and operating methods, it will become even easier to make the small changes in family habits that make a big impact on the health of our planet.

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