Becoming a mother in itself is quite overwhelming. Combine this with zero waste lifestyle and the prospects of this new life change can be even more daunting.
Don't stress. It's the same approach as changing your life towards zero waste - you can do it step by step, without feeling guilty if your waste doesn't fit into a jam jar. Even by stopping to use plastic bottles, an individual has had a huge impact to improving plastic pollution.
As I am expecting my second child in a few months time, adopting a zero waste lifestyle to raising a little baby is constantly on my mind.
These are my top tips to get started:
1. Accept hand-me-downs. With our first child we were very lucky to have received both baby bodies and a little cot, which was very handy as you could wheel it around the house. You're not only reusing something, but you'll be able to pass it on.
2. Shop secondhand. It's hard to have everything gifted, and I do feel that it would be good for the child to have some of their own clothes. Charity shops and even eBay can be very good for clothes, which at times, have not even be worn. Fara is a very good charity shop in London.
3. Buy organic, natural fabrics to ensure that your baby isn't exposed to any harmful chemicals.
4. Reusable nappies. My grandmother told me that I was out of nappies when I was 9 months old, partly because my mother had to wash and boil the nappies that she was using with me. So my potty training came quick.
Currently in the UK about eight million disposable nappies are thrown away each day, which accounts for about three percent of our household waste.
Disposable nappies in landfills take hundreds of years to degrade, but also have a big impact through the manufacturing, transport and chemicals they require. Imagine how much this waste would be reduced if more of us were using reusable nappies.
I did not use reusable nappies with our first child, opting for eco nappies as much as possible, so round two this will be something to look forward to doing.
5. Buy few, but good quality toys. My daughter didn't really need many toys to start with. Anything that shakes, makes sounds and helps the little ones to explore the world, develops their mind and senses.
I would also add breastfeeding, as this would save a lot in packaging and disposable waste. However, I am conscious that with some mothers and babies it doesn't work. It would be something to definitely consider as one thing is feeding the child, but it also help create a beautiful bond between the mother and baby.