Are you keen to Go Green?

This blog is the first in our Green Parenting series, where we explore how many eco-friendly options are out there to help us reduce our waste. In this first episode, We'll look at some of the great alternative choices available for children’s nappies, oral care and hand soap.

What are the most eco-friendly nappies?

In England and Wales alone, we go through around three billion nappies a year. That figure is huge. Disheartening even. So, what are the best nappy options for eco conscious parents?

The excellent eco-friendly option: Reusable nappies are a great option if you want to reduce plastic going into landfill. Plus, they’re a far sight nicer and easier to use than the old terry towelling ones our parents had to suffer with! Steadily growing in popularity, natural nappies come in a variety of beautiful patterns and designs, and can be placed in a nappy bin before going in the wash. However, if you don’t have much time on your hands, reusable nappies can be a bit of a chore as you need to find both the time and space to wash them.

Popular reusable nappy brands include, Bambinomio, littlelambnappies and CharlieBanana.

The good alternative: If dealing with soiled nappies and adding extra loads to your already busy washing machine is not something you can bear, there are some good alternatives to the traditional single use nappies. I am particularly impressed with Beaming Baby nappies, who sell single use nappies that biodegrade within four years instead of the 400 that most standard nappies take. Mama Bamboo is another good alternative that sells sustainable bamboo nappies free from harsh chemicals and 100% biodegradable packaging.

What’s the most eco-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste?

Toothbrushes have barely changed at all from their original design in the 1930s, and unfortunately most of them are still made from plastic. Urgh. Non-renewable, non-biodegradable and with only a six-month shelf life—there has to be better eco option for us. Right!?

The excellent eco-friendly option: 100% compostable and biodegradable toothbrushes are now available to buy, and are ideal for growing milk teeth. You can also buy tablets as a plastic free alternative to toothpaste. The tablets are pretty small, just chew on one for a brief moment and start brushing. Kids love them!

Some examples of brands: wild and stone , JackandJill and denttabs.

The good alternative: The main constraint to using an eco-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste is time, most of the brands I’ve mentioned aren’t sold in supermarkets or the high street shops. However, if you don’t mind a little online shopping, you can find them on specialist websites such as The Eco Shop and PlanetWood. And if you do buy a bamboo toothbrush, once you’ve finished using it, simply snap the head off and pop the handle in the compost as the bristles usually aren’t compostable.

Some of the big oral care brands have eco-friendlier alternatives for their traditional toothpaste such as Colgate for good, but little effort has been done on the packaging. Unfortunately, I have not come across any big brands providing an alternative to the plastic toothbrush. Please ping me if you know of any who do!

What is the best hand soap?

Oh hand soap... who doesn’t need a good hand soap these days? With my kids washing their hands more than ever, an effective soap for sensitive skin while fighting off germs is a must.

The excellent eco-friendly option: Soap bars with no plastic packaging and containing no artificial chemicals are now easier to find in most supermarkets or online. My favourite brand is The Proper Soap which is handmade in the UK, it’s 100% antibacterial, vegan friendly, plastic free and each one smells heavenly!

The good alternative: Soap bars can be a bit difficult to transport when you are on the go. A good alternative is to use refillable liquid hand wash. Bio-D or Faith in Nature are both sold in refillable packages and are SLS and paraben free, which is ideal for sensitive little hands. But if you fancy using something a little different, take a look at this organic peppermint hand hygiene spray from Dr Bronners which won Best Organic skincare at the Green Beauty awards.

*Photography (top) by Paige Cody,