Does the thought of becoming more eco-friendly overwhelm you? I know that sometimes the terms organic, free-trade, green, sustainable or eco-friendly leave me a little perplexed at what I’m actually purchasing!
So, before you can make a decision on what products you could swap for more eco-friendly ones for your toddler, we need to know a couple of basics.

What makes a product eco-friendly?

Well, generally it means that it is made from a material that is bio degradable, limits post-consumer waste, is long lasting, promotes reuse, is recyclable or reduces the dependency on oil and carbon emission.

What materials are eco-friendly?

This is not an exhaustive list, but you can be happy that you’re making a step in the right direction with organic cotton, linen, bamboo, cork, corn starch, bio compostable hemp, recycled polyester, recycled paper, felt, or wool.
Phew! So much to think about, right? Now we are armed with this information, how can we use it to become more eco-conscious when it comes to our toddlers?
1. Dinner time! 
Toddlers are busy beings so getting them to stop and eat is an accomplishment in itself! If you are able to tame them and actually get them to the table, the most sustainable option is to let them use the dinnerware you already own. If you're worried about your little one breaking the good plates, try bamboo dinnerware like these cute ones from Emondo Kids or plates that are created from recycled plastics, like these ones from Replay Recycled
If you’re out and about, consider linen backpacks and lunchbags like these cute ones made by So Young or reusable sandwich wraps made from recycled PET bottles.
2. Play time!
For toddlers on the move, a bamboo balance bike may be the perfect swap for the flimsy plastic version. 
Toys that are made from recycled materials are also a great eco-friendly option. For quieter play times you could use recycled plastic cookware sets  or books made from recyclable materials and eco-friendly ink. 
3. Bath time!
When it comes to choosing eco-friendly products for our little ones’ skin, we look for products that have no harsh chemicals, but can still do the job because goodness knows, they can get pretty dirty! In our house, we seemed to waste a lot of toiletries so I've been on a mission to 'pan' our products and use everything we have rather than buying more, and we've put a second bin in the bathroom because it's easy to forget to recycle the empty shampoo bottles. 
If you're crafty, you can upcycle old flannelette sheets to make soft face wipes, or replace your disposable wipes with ones made from sustainably harvested bamboo.
Switch the plastic toothbrush for biodegradable cornstarch (I love the cute matching rinse cup made from bamboo and rice husks!) 
4. Home time!
Everything from kids chairs to beds to bookcases can come in eco-friendly forms. The use of bamboo and sustainably forested wood (check for the certification) are materials that are considered eco-friendly. However, buying second hand or quality products made from solid wood that are built to be long lasting could also be considered eco-friendly.
5. Dress up time!
Organic fibres are best, particularly at bed time. Look for sleeping bags made from bamboo fibre or organic cotton. Not only eco-friendly, but kind on your toddler’s skin too.
For the toddler embarking on toilet training, swap the disposable pull up pants with ones made from hemp or organic cotton. If the idea of reusable doesn’t float your boat, you can now buy disposables made from plant based biodegradable material. 
Choosing to buy your little person's clothes secondhand from Use-Ta! is the ultimate in eco-friendly, planet conscious shopping because preloved is so much more sustainable than buying brand new.
Trying to be more eco-friendly can become an overwhelming task, but if you make one little swap at a time you’re on your way to doing your part to be kind to the environment.
If you’re about to purchase some clothes for your toddler, why not replace a few items with something from Use-Ta!? Bonus points if it’s made from an eco-friendly material! Head on over to the online shop if you can’t make it in store.
October 16, 2018 — Kiri Gorter

Leave a comment