Introducing Laura Hatchard from Diary of a Zombie Mum, who will be discussing Five Ways to Reduce Your Family’s Carbon Footprint.

I’ve discovered that babies are cute but expensive, and really bad for the environment. As my daughter has gotten older we’ve tried to be more environmentally friendly as a family.  These are five ways I’ve tried to reduce my family’s carbon footprint.

Cloth nappies.

New-born babies go through anything from six to twelve nappies a day, and although this number decreases as they get older we’re still talking billions of nappies a year going to landfill in the UK alone. Cloth nappies are a great alternative as they create less waste and can be better for the environment if they’re washed at 30 and not tumble dried!

There are lots of different brands of cloth nappy so it’s important to investigate a few and see what might work best for you. Many, like Tots Bots, are one-piece nappies very like a disposable. They have a waterproof exterior and a soft, absorbent core. There is no need for a separate waterproof cover and you don’t have to do much assembly. You simply tuck in the absorbent core, add a fleece liner or a disposable one and you’re good to go.  Liners help to make disposing of the poop easier and disposable liners can be flushed or composted depending on your preference.

Cloth wipes.  

They’re probably the best baby product we’ve bought and one of my top tips for parents who want to be eco-friendlier.  Not only are they better for the environment they’re also better for bums. Most baby wipes are not biodegradable and even the ones that claim to be flushable often aren’t. Some wipes contain preservatives and fragrances that aren’t great for the skin. Not to mention that they’re expensive when you’re wiping so many faces, bums and hands every day.

Cloth wipes are easy to use. They can be washed with your reusable nappies or with your normal laundry as they’re pre-soaked. You don’t even need to dry them. They can go straight back into the Fresh box if you don’t have time. Cheeky Wipes, which we use, are mostly water with some lovely smelling oils so no nasty chemicals either.

Cloth Sanitary Pads and Cloth Breast Pads.

I’m obsessed with CSPs and wish I’d known about them right after my daughter was born. There are some lovely postpartum CSPs available through Etsy to make that stage more bearable.  There are also lots of advantages to using CSPs over regular sanitary pads in general. Like nappies and wipes, they’re easy to use.  They aren’t full of the nasty chemicals that make regular pads effective. They’re more breathable and there is less risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

I also went through a ton of disposable breast pads before I discovered the cloth version.  It was a lot of waste as many disposable pads come in a plastic wrapper. They also stuck to my skin and irritated it.  Since I stopped breast feeding I use mine as mini face cloths so they’re still getting used.

Charity shopping.

I love buying my own clothes in charity shops and I really enjoyed hunting for baby clothes, toys and books for my daughter. There’s loads of hardly worn clothes out there especially in the smaller sizes as they grow so quickly. Nearly new sales are also amazing to pick up barely used clothes and toys…if you can stand the feeding frenzy of mums hungry for a bargain! I also recommend never saying no to hand-me-downs. I certainly don’t keep everything we’ve been given but my daughter definitely has a really fun and unique wardrobe that hasn’t literally cost the earth.

More about Laura Hatchard
I am a lapsed teacher who moved to the seaside to spend more time with my daughter. Aside from saving the world one reusable nappy at a time my passions include cats, craft and prepping for the apocalypse.