MyRegistry contributing writer Savannah Walsh is a mom of five (and counting!) and the voice behind That Caffeinated Mom, where she talks pregnancy, birth, and everyday mom life in her own relatable and candid storytelling style. Here, she shares about baby registry ideas for eco-minded parents.
What comes to mind when you hear “eco-minded” and “eco-conscious”?
Up until about two years ago, my thoughts were similar to Phoebe having her fur coat cremated. Or Phoebe with all the dead Christmas trees. Or Phoebe making the woman apologize to the tree. I guess overall my thoughts were… Phoebe. I bet a lot of you had similar thoughts!
But thankfully, times have changed. Being “eco-minded” and “eco-conscious” has become much more integrated into society, which is huge and critically important for our environment and our overall world.
And finally, the baby and parenting worlds are beginning to catch on, which is a huge step in the right direction.
But why don’t we back up a little for those of you who may still be stuck under the crazy Phoebe impression of being eco minded/eco conscious.
Let’s start with the basics… What is being eco-conscious?
Someone who’s eco-conscious is concerned for our environment and the effects we have on it.
More specifically… What is an eco-minded parent?
An eco-minded parent is concerned about our environment and the effects we have on raising children. If you ask me more specifically for my personal definition of an eco-minded parent, I’d pivot the conversation to being a consumer.
For me, being an eco-minded parent means focusing on being minimal and intentional about all purchases, being aware of what things are made of and how they’re made.
The baby and kid industry is generally one of the worst for ethical and sustainable practices. There are so many plastics in baby and kid items, along with a serious push for overconsumption. And then there’s the fact that babies do require a lot of stuff! They’re constantly growing, so clothing and shoes don't last long, and they develop new skills so quickly that their interest in toys is continually changing.
It can be overwhelming to try to be fully eco-friendly in general, but particularly so when it comes to parenting.
But! That's the magic with being eco-minded—it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can start small and slowly make improvements all over.
Originally we started with just clothes, then I became really passionate about the overuse of plastics in toys, so I branched out into that area. Now I make more eco-friendly choices all over our home in both big and small ways.
As you try to improve your ecological footprint, you can start by adding more eco-friendly options to your baby registry. And bonus: A lot of these are really simple changes to make, as well as offering you better-quality options!
Let’s talk about some of the choices you can make that are more eco friendly…
Choose natural rubber options
Natural rubber is made from plants and fully biodegradable, and it’s an amazing alternative to lots of common synthetic materials used in the baby industry. However make sure you’re confirming something is made of natural rubber and not synthetic! Two of the easiest changes to make on your baby registry are pacifiers and teething toys, as there are lots of 100% natural rubber options that are so much more eco-friendly.
Select organic cotton for your baby textiles
Organic cotton is a really great option for baby textiles. It’s much more sustainable, as it’s grown without the use of pesticides, and the farming practices avoid the use of chemicals. It also holds up incredibly well with use while maintaining its soft feeling.
Use bamboo plates instead of plastic
Plastics are truthfully one of the largest contributors to our climate crisis and the baby/kid industry is a huge fan of plastics. Ideally eliminating plastics everywhere is the best option, but a really easy one to switch is your baby's plate ware. Bamboo is an obvious alternative to plastic and there are some really fabulous options for bamboo plate ware. Avanchy is pretty much all we have in our house and we absolutely love them!
Eliminate plastic toys and switch to wood
Speaking of plastic… TOYS. Toys in the eco-conscious space are my passion. When I started really paying attention to what my kids’ toys were made of, I was absolutely floored at how much plastic was in my house! And spoiler alert, plastic toys don't last long. They break, they stop working, or your kid just loses interest in them. But there are so many incredible wood toy options, and most plastic toys usually have a wood alternative. If you start with wood toys from day one and stick to a majority of wood for your kids' young years, you’ll significantly help your ecological footprint, by more than you even think!
Choose glass bottles
If you’re planning on bottle feeding full time, part time, or even just occasionally, making the choice to use glass bottles over plastic is a great eco-conscious pick. Bonus: glass bottles with a natural rubber nipple!
Being an eco-minded parent doesn't have to be all or nothing, and it’s okay to not know everything right away! If everyone makes small changes where they can, we can really help our environment—and encourage the baby/kid industry to have a much better ecological footprint.
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