Raising The Future: Small Changes You Can Make As A Parent To Help The Environment
Once you become a parent you have a constant stream of decisions to make, things to worry about, random items to remember to carry with you and endless questions to be answered - “but Daddy, how many cats ARE there on earth?”
With all of that on your mind, it’s easy to keep falling back on the same old habits and routines and opt for convenience over environmental benefit. We know, we’ve been there! There have been many times during the development of Kabode that we’ve been interrupted by small ones needing a million things - snacks, toys, drinks and more. It’s not easy looking after kids and looking after the planet, but making some small changes part of your everyday parenting routine is a great way to reduce waste, minimise your impact on the environment and ultimately help to ensure that the planet is still a great place to live as our kids grow up in it.
We’ve put together some of our favourite, super easy eco actions that you can take as a family…
Choose organic cotton
Much of the world’s cotton is grown in areas that are water-deprived and suffer from regular droughts. Cotton production is thirsty and can use huge amounts of water. Astonishingly, it can take 2,700 litres of water to make the cotton required to make a single T-Shirt! Organic cotton is produced in a way that saves precious water. It’s also hypoallergenic and toxic chemical-free, so it is safe for sensitive skin and those with eczema and other allergies. You can read all about organic cotton in our article here.
Here at Kabode organic cotton isn’t just part of our range, it’s in everything we make. We feel very strongly about the need to protect the environment for our children and yours, give them the kindest fabrics to sleep in, support the farmers who grow our resources and ensure that our supply chain is kind to the environment from start to finish. We want a happy planet and happy kids, so using only GOTS certified organic cotton is a no brainer!
Why buy new?
We all know that kids seem to go to bed at one height, and wake up a foot taller! There are some items that should always be bought new for each child - for instance, The Lullaby Trust recommends that each baby should have a brand new mattress as reusing old mattresses has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS. However, there are lots of items that you might get for your child as a baby or as they get older that will be used for only a short period and then discarded. Consider whether a second-hand version (that will have only been used for a few months by its previous owner!) could be just as good, and save you money. If it’s time to size up to the next bike, or you want to get a convenient fold-up pushchair, have a look on Facebook Marketplace to see what’s for sale near you - you might be surprised what nearly new items you can snap up for a fraction of the price, saving them from landfill.
Beat the snack attack!
Most kids love snacks and need that regular fuel injection to keep them going between meals. However individually packaged snacks use a lot of single-use plastic, and ready-made squeezy pouches are not commonly recycled by most councils as they are made up of multiple layers of different materials adhered together. If you can buy ingredients in bulk and prepare snacks at home, you’ll save an awful lot of waste, and you can be reassured that you know exactly what is going into your kid’s food.
There are all sorts of reusable snack packets out there, from the old favourite Tupperware, to some seriously stylish options made just for kids such as these reusable pouches from Danish brand Haps.
Refill, refresh, reuse
Kids need to drink regularly throughout the day and keep well hydrated to support their cognitive function and replace fluids lost while running around. Most kids love fruit juices in cartons or kid-size plastic bottles, but not only are they expensive they create a lot of landfill. There are so many cool reusable bottles available now that are perfect for a changing bag, or to take to school.
Klean Kanteen bottles are made of stainless steel and BPA free materials and their kid’s range has been specially designed for active little ones, including sports caps, sippy lids, baby bottles and more in bright, kid-friendly designs.
When you need a top-up, take a look at the free refill app, which points you toward places you can fill up water bottles with drinking water for free.
Avoid pester power
The magazine aisle is very enticing to children, packed with cartoon pictures, bright colours and fun toys. If you have ever walked down this aisle with a child old enough to talk it’s likely you have been begged for a comic or magazine.
Magazines and comics can be a great way to improve literacy and provide exciting options to encourage children to read, draw and craft. However, as so many supermarket magazines come in plastic wrappers, with easily breakable plastic toys taped to the front, they present a huge problem in terms of plastic waste - just think, all of the throwaway plastic toys that YOU played with as a child still exist on this planet today, as plastic never biodegrades!
Waitrose has recently taken the step to stop selling any children’s magazines with plastic toys attached, which is a great step forward in persuading magazine publishers to look for better alternatives.
If you want to give your child magazines to enjoy and learn from, have a look online as there are some absolutely brilliant subscriptions available, and what kid doesn’t love getting their very own post!
Okidois the kid’s science and art magazine that specialises in STEAM learning for kids aged 5-7, and every issue contains paper cutouts that are made into toys, models and experiments by the child.
Banjo Robinson is another great alternative by post, with a monthly letter and activity pack from a world-famous travelling cat, which is personalised to your child and encourages them to learn about geography and write back to Banjo (just put the letter under the sofa for Banjo’s kitty friends to collect for him overnight).
We’d love to know what other small changes your family have adopted to help the environment. Let us know on Kabode’s social media channels, and follow us for more tips.