Reducing, reusing and recycling. In that order. Having children does mean that your consumption of stuff increases. And they grow so quickly, that you will need to reuse and recycle lots. Here are some ways which will reduce your family's carbon footprint on our treasured planet.
Shockingly, an estimated £140 million worth of clothes is sent to landfill every year in the UK. Babies and small children grow so quickly that their clothes are redundant all too quickly. Don't throw them in the bin, pass them on to friends with smaller babies, sell them on eBay or pass to a local charity shop. If you have sons and daughters, think about buying gender neutral clothes and shoes, then you will get more use out of them. Eve's children where third and fourth generation Converse pumps that get passed down.
However, there will be some items that are too precious to part with, why not upcycle them into a keepsake such a cute toy or blanket. If you don't have the skills yourself to do this, Love Keep Create take your treasured clothes and turn them into beautiful keepsakes.
The UK toy industry is worth approx £3 billion. Children love to receive new toys and the time will come when you are scratching around for the latest must-have toy. But while you have small babies, there is no need to spend money on big toys that will clutter up your house. Babies are usually more interested in things that are non-toys. The daily task of trying to find your remote control is a testament to that.
If you a fan of simple living this is one of our favourite minimalism blog posts - how one mum got rid of the toys in her house.
Cloth nappies are durable and long lasting - after all, they are designed to be washed and worn again and again. But when your child no longer needs them, instead of throwing them away, consider passing them so they can benefit other families. Here are a few tips on how to recycle your cloth nappies:
- Ask family, friends, work colleagues or neighbours if they know of anyone who would like them
- Take them to your local baby and parenting group or NCT (National Childbirth Trust) group
- Advertise them in the local press
- Go online - try sites like Freecycle and Freegle
- Message us - we have useful contacts who work with charities that will take them
- Inserts make brilliant cleaning cloths!
- Cloth nappies can be recycled with textiles at your local recycling centre
Most of us already make a conscious effort to regularly recycle our household waste but did you know that there are much more fun and creative ways of recycling than simply categorising them into your council bins?
Instead of throwing things away, why not repurpose them? Make rockets our of milk cartons, caterpillars out of egg boxes... you can even repurpose cots into cool desks or seating areas.
Check out our Pinterest board for ideas of how you can recycle household waste into fun activities for the small people in your world.