5 Simple Plastic Free Swaps for Toddlers
Our Simple Swaps series continues with a look at living with and raising children. There are many many ways for you to reduce your plastic pollution and the amount of waste you generate in your home, and when it comes to kids, especially toddlers there is so many ways to start. We never want to make our kids feel unloved and we want them to have everything they want, but not at the cost to the world they will grow up and live in. So here are 5 simple swaps to reduce your waste with toddlers.
1. Bamboo / rice husk cups
When it come to kids and toddler we need easy to clean, strong and sturdy, colourful cups fro them to use, drop, bump and enjoy. For a long time the preferred option has been plastic, from bottles all the way up to cups. But it is being shown time and time again that many plastic bottles and cups contain harmful chemicals that leach into the water and juices in the cups, such as BPAs. BPA's can be found in most plastic containers, packaging and bottles and have been shown to have harmful impacts on human hormone levels and are even linked to cancer cell growth, and I am not okay with giving my kids this type of product, no mater ho pretty, or cheap it may be. A great swap is a rice husk or bamboo cup, they come with many funky or colourful designs and not only are they chemical free but they can be fully composted when you are finished with them, simply smash them up and bury them and in a year it is gone, where as the plastic counter parts will still be there 1000 years later.
2. Bamboo plates, bowls and cutlery
Its not just the cups but all cutlery and plates that can contain BPAs, so switching them out for other simpler and more natural products is another easy switch. Again there is the option between bamboo and rice husk make up and both have many great designs from rainbows and unicorns to dinosaurs to keep the little ones happy, and parents happy in the fact that they are reducing their plastic waste and their child's exposure to harmful chemicals. The products are also all dishwasher and microwave safe and are very easy to clean which, with toddlers and young kids in general, is another big win. Like before when you are finished simply break them up and bury them or compost them. If you want a simple bamboo bowl with no chemicals or stains then click here to visit our online store and grab yourself a few today.
3. Swim Nappies
If your little one loves regular trips to the swimming pool they may be going through a lot of swim nappies. All disposable nappies contain high levels of plastic and synthetic materials, and even some not so nice chemicals that can lead to irritation and inflammation around your little ones bits. Instead of constantly going through packet after packet of swim nappies, try using the cloth swim nappies which are like a small swimming pants or shorts for your little one to wear in the pool, over time they will save you a fortune, costing the same as a packet of disposables somewhere in the region of £6-10 each, but can be used for a long time and could even be used for your next baby too, further helping the piggy bank and the planet. And they are easy to wash too, and have many beautiful designs, we went with a whale and dolphin design but there are plain white, multi colour, pirate, mermaid and hundreds more ideas and prints available online.
4. Second hand clothes
Your little ones will be growing quickly and it seems like no time at all before once again they have outgrown their clothes and those bellybuttons, shins and forearms start poking out from the bottoms of the tops and trousers you thought looked so cute on them only a month or so ago. You can try going for 2 sizes up and rolling up the bottoms or sleeve to make them last longer but the price quickly ramps up. The new clothes not only can contain polymers and plastic fibres or materials but often come with plastic hangers, labels or packaging if bought in packs or online. Opting for second hand not only helps reduce the waste being sent to landfill from labels and packaging but also helps reduce the amount of clothes being thrown out as well. With toddlers especially they do not care where the clothes come from and grow out of them so fast that the clothes are always in good condition when you get them second or even third hand. It may sound a little cheap or embarrassing but in reality not only are you doing right by the planet but you can make it beneficial for everyone by supporting local charities and or helping other parents with growing kids to declutter a small part of their wardrobe and drawers, whilst saving money. Its a win win situation. And if you plan on having more kids then store them away for future use and pass them on yourself in the future to families in need.
5. Second hand toys and games
Just like clothes your kids are always looking for new stimulation, new tricks, challenges and fun. But most toys are either plastic, wrapped in plastic or containing plastic hair, clothes, or plastic parts. Opting for second hand toys, even plastic ones, means that you are reducing the amount of plastic we produce and the amount being sent to landfill. The kids certainly don't mind new toys or puzzles and your wallet will have never seen such bargains for toys that are becoming ever more pricey with every passing month. Charity shops or websites like ebay, depop and gumtree are amazing for kids toys second hand, and you can even try local garage or car boot sales to find some great bargains. Once again you are helping the planet, helping local people, charities and saving money. Another win win. Think toy story 3, give those toys a new home too.