Green Book Fairies #11: Let’s Talk About… Baby Care!

For our 11th “Green Book Fairies” post in support of Plastic Free July, we are talking about how to reduce your disposables when it comes to babies!

The problem:

A baby will use 4,000 disposable diapers before being clean, this represents in France alone 1 million tonnes of waste per year (ADEME.fr). Organic disposable diapers are biodegradable, but only between 50 and 70%.

The plastics and PVCs from which many toys for babies and children are made have a very significant impact on the environment. They are highly breakable (and often unable to be repaired), they take thousands of years to break down and in that time will leech toxins into the earth or damage sea life.

The solutions:

  • Use washable diapers/nappies: this is the most eco-friendly option, with a baby needing about twenty of these.
  • Consider making your own detergent for all the washing you do for the baby to wash them (we posted a recipe recently on our blog!) and dry laundry and diapers in the open air
  • Buy toys made with natural products such as wood (look for labels PEFC or FSC), bamboo, wool, cotton or metal. 
  • Buy toys from companies like Greentoys that use recycled plastic from discarded toys
  • Use eco-friendly glue and vegetable ink, along with biodegradable glitter for play time
  • Support charities by getting your baby clothes and toys secondhand

Top tip! More fun: make your own toys! Balls, cubes, play mats, fabric books … you can find lots of ideas on YouTube.

Websites to check out:

There are a tonne of amazing websites for buying eco-friendly items. Here is a great article from Green Child Magazine which will help you with where to start: The Top Eco-Friendly Baby Gear of 2020.

We also just discovered this fun article on Friends of the Earth – 8 Lazy Ways to Save the Environment!

These are texture pockets for babies, filled with different dried goods such as rice, and stored inside a cotton pouch 🙂

Fairy verdict

“When we learned that my wife was pregnant, we decided to make as many things as possible for our future baby (clothes, blanket, toys, play mat …). In addition to avoiding plastic (especially for toys), it was a way for us to celebrate the coming of the baby by putting all our love in the manufacture of each object.”

– Joris, France. Father of Victor, 2.

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