Raising children in a way that is easy on the planet and on their health is no easy feat. New parents are continually bombarded with the newest “must-have” products they need to buy to keep their children happy and healthy. However, the vast majority of these products are made with cheap synthetics which are ultimately unhealthy for families and the planet as a whole. Everything from disposable diapers, to the fabric of children’s clothes, to BPA lined plastic products are common household staples that, unfortunately, are as hard on the environment as they are on our children’s skin and health.
When we set out to purchase eco-friendly essentials for their family, overwhelm can set in quickly and make many of us feel that living an eco-friendly lifestyle at home is impractical at best or impossible at worst. Between conflicting information, budget constraints, and knowing what to prioritize first, many parents feel they’re at a standstill between conventional products and finding better options.
Although there are many ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle with your children, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite products that simplify parenthood and won’t harm the planet or your children’s health. Which step will you take first?
1. Mason Bottle and Reusable Waterbottles
Whether you have a baby or an older child, investing in some drink bottles made from sustainable, durable materials is a double win: you’ll be protecting your child from the chemicals in most baby bottles and water bottles AND you’re reducing single-use disposables.
2. Beeswax Food Wraps
When you have kids, leftovers are inevitable. Reducing food waste and avoiding single-use plastic bags is tricky enough as it is, but we love Beeswax Food Wraps as an alternative to plastic wrap. Silicone reusable bags are also a great alternative to plastic disposable bags. For families with bigger kids, making your own wraps can be a fun DIY activity if you’ve got some spare cotton cloth and beeswax around. Here’s a fun tutorial.
We love: Beeswax Wraps (3-pack, $18)
3. Wooden Sewing Tool
Buying sustainable toys for your kids is easier said than done. When shopping, try second-hand first, and if you can’t find something that works from your local thrift store, try to look for products made from natural materials, instead of cheap synthetics. They’re easier on the earth to produce and easier on your kiddo’s health too. These lovely sewing tools are from Aleta Kids, a small company that makes wooden toys that are sustainably produced in Spain.
We love: Wooden Lacing Fishing Boat ($28.57)
4. Jackalo Children's Pants
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending money on clothes for your kids only to have them disintegrate through heavy wear and kids “being kids”. We may be biased, but we think there’s a better way to shop for kids’ clothes. Our pants are designed to last and grow with your child, so you’ll get more for your money and your child will have more freedom to play.
Jax Pant ($75)
5. Bamboo Silverware
Cutting down on waste when you’re out and about with your kids is tricky, but it’s do-able with a little bit of preparation. We love carrying reusable bamboo cutlery with us, or throwing a set in a child’s school lunch, to reduce the waste caused by on the go meals.
We love: Bamboo 3-piece silverware ($6.05)
6. Organic Cotton Sheets
Even though your child probably fights bedtime, the reality is that they spend 10 or more hours each day sleeping in their bed and what they sleep in matters. More and more brands are realizing the benefits of switching to organic cotton, but among the benefits are no pesticides or chemicals sprayed on the cotton, a more durable, softer sheet, and less worry for you.
We love: Naturpedic Organic Twinsize Sheet Set ($139)
7. Wooden Creative Thinking Toys
For older kids, blocks can get old quickly. We love toys that stretch our children’s minds and encourage creativity. Although you don’t need to buy expensive toys for that, they make wonderful gifts.
We love: TinkerTotter Robot Set ($30)
8. Bamboo Toothbrushes
Most conventional toothbrushes aren’t recyclable, but making the simple swap to bamboo toothbrushes leaves you with a healthier alternative that will compost and biodegrade on its own.
We love: The Humble Brush bamboo toothbrushes (€3.99)
9. Organic Cotton Backpack
Every child needs a backpack for school, but unfortunately, most of them are made with PVC and BPA laden plastics, lead, and phthalate which aren’t ideal for the environment or your child. This one, however, is made with durable and organic waxed cotton, has a lifetime guarantee and is handmade in Minnesota by an amazing woman and mama. A great business to support!
We love: Viska Little Forager ($150)