Updated: Apr 6
Having grown up in the Cornish countryside I’ve always been very big on nature and am still very aware of the world around us. Living in Malaysia can make being environmentally aware a little tricky, as everything is wrapped or delivered in plastic, and there’s a huge throwaway culture compared to other countries around the world. So when we found out we were having a baby we put our heads together and thought of all the ways we could be more eco-friendly in the way we raise our family. Here’s what we did:
The most obvious switch is to use reusable cloth nappies. Whilst we bought new ones, it is possible to buy preloved nappies, which is another step towards eco-awareness. We did use disposable nappies for the first few days as we got used to having a baby around (plus I was recovering from a Caesarean so couldn’t help out with the washing etc), and we quickly got fed up with seeing the trash pile up in the bin each day! Using cloth nappies saves so much waste from going to landfill each day, and even with the extra water we use to wash them, I’m happy that we’re doing a good thing using them. I’ll do a more in depth blog post all about cloth nappies in the future, so keep your eyes out if you’re interested.
Breastfeeding! If you’re able to breastfeed you will save money by not buying formula, AND stop a load of waste being produced. If you need to express milk and want to store it in the freezer, consider buying glass bottles to store it in rather than disposable plastic milk bags. We weren’t able to find any glass ones when we were looking so I bought plastic ones, and I plan to resell them once we’re done.
Cloth wipes. Ok, this is one we’re still working on as Giresh isn’t so keen, but I try to use cloth wipes with water instead of disposable wet wipes whenever I can. They work the same way, and you just chuck them in the washing machine when you’re done.
Shower with your baby rather than filling up their bath tub. Yes you’ll have to be extra careful not to drop your slippery babe, but showering together can save a lot of water. We try to do this a few times a week, and Max loves being held up high under the shower!
Make your own baby food, or practise baby led weaning. By not buying mass-produced baby food you save a load of waste going in the bin, as well as saving you money. Buying fresh fruit and veg, especially if you have a market or wholesaler nearby, is better for you, your baby, AND the environment, especially if you shop local and reduce the food miles too.
Buy preloved clothes, toys and other baby items. I know, I know, it’s so lovely to have brand new things, especially if it’s your first baby! We fell into that trap too, and bought LOADS of stuff, especially clothes. But consider how many times your baby will actually wear each outfit…. After just a couple of wears and washes, they probably won’t fit into it anymore! So shopping for preloved clothes especially could save you a huge amount of money, as well as being better for the environment, and you still get pretty much brand new clothes! Just make sure you give everything a good wash when you first bring it home. We’re still looking for other ways to have an environmentally conscious family, so I’d love to hear any tips you may have!