Can you guess how much plastic waste is produced each year? 300 million tonnes worldwide! That's a shocking number. The plastic crisis is uniting people all over the world, but burdening mother earth with wastes such as bottles, carry bags, food packets, disposable nappies and pads, and toys among others. For years we have failed to give attention to this crisis, but you can take the first step to creating a plastic-free world for your child. Here is how you can be a plastic-free parent.
Be more aware: The first step to being a plastic-free parent is being aware of what you are buying and using. Don't invest in something simply because it is non-plastic or eco-friendly. If you think it is something you need, think again, give it a few days, maybe a few weeks or months even. Remember, whatever you buy comes in a package, especially when it is an online purchase. The packaging always goes to waste, especially when it is bubble wrap.
Buy second-hand: Buy secondhand or use hand-downs. As new parents, you may be overwhelmed with joy and would want to buy everything new for your baby. But remember, your child needs a healthy environment when they grow up, and not fancy clothing that they will never remember. Consider buying the below secondhand.
- Clothes: avoid fashion
- Toys: non-plastic hand-me-downs are the best, or you can buy them in a sale
- Pram and other essentials: these last for several years.
Consider cloth wipes: Baby wipes are the most essential products, especially for new parents. They are convenient, handy, and reduce the workload. But did you know, they are one of the main causes of the 300 million tonnes of plastic waste? Many brands of wipes contain plastic in them, and so do the packaging and other resources used to ship them. They can be used just once and are disposed of in the waste. Cloth nappies on the other hand are reusable. You just keep them ready near the sink, wet them when needed, wash them thoroughly, and reuse them. You thus reduce plastic waste.
Use cloth nappies: Similar to wipes, nappies add to the plastic waste and that too massively. The jump from disposable to reusable nappies may seem impossible, but with a little dedication and a strong mind, every parent can switch.
Bag them all: Let's consider various things here. Snack boxes, water/juice bottles, shopping bags, and food containers; all have to go. What can you do?
- Use glass, stainless steel lunch boxes instead of plastic
- Use a flask instead of using a disposable container st a coffee shop
- Carry your own water bottle and refill instead of buying one everywhere you go
- Buy reusable nappy wet bags
- Use non-plastic storage containers for refrigerators
- Carry a suitable bag when you go shopping
- Avoid gift wrappers, instead, use recycled paper
Remember, the target is zero waste.
Rotate the toys: It might be quite tempting to buy all the toys in the world for your little one. But remember, these toys are mostly made with plastic. Those that aren’t, use plastic packaging and other resources to ship them from the manufacturing unit to the final consumer. Instead of buying new toys, rotate them within your community. Bring together family and friends and rotate toys from one family to another instead of buying new ones.
Think responsibly: Last but not least, think responsibly. Consider everything you do; what would affect the earth more? What would result in excessive plastic waste? How can you avoid it? Follow the most basic principle, reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can also add the concept of rotation to it. Think responsibly and act accordingly.
While it is a parent’s dream to give the world to their children, as a responsible parent, give them a better world to live in.