If you are passionate about serving your baby fresh foods that are free of chemicals and preservatives, you’ve probably already made the choice to purchase purees, meals, and more from Café Baby. However, is what you’re serving it on as great for the environment and your baby’s health as what you’re serving for lunch?
This Earth Week, take a moment to evaluate the little ways you can make big changes for the planet in and around your home, and yes, even in the ways you feed your baby!
What does it mean to be eco-friendly in your feeding choices?
- Eco-friendly means choosing items that not only are made of renewable, recycled, or recyclable materials, but also choosing products that will last for all the years you intend to use them. Avoiding having to replace items year after year means less trash in the landfill, and not all eco-friendly materials can tolerate extended use. For example, bamboo utensils do not hold up to dishwashing year after year. So, if you’re not going to handwash, then know that’s not the choice for you. If you are only ever intending to have one child, that might be a good fit! Be honest with yourself about your intentions and habits, and make the best choice for you and your family.
Does eco-friendly mean no plastic?
- Most eco-friendly options are also toxin-free, which means you can feel good about choosing eco-friendly products because they reduce your child’s exposure to chemicals and carcinogens that may be present in cheaply made fast-use or disposable alternatives. Eco-friendly does not necessarily mean NO plastic; sometimes it means recycled plastic! After all, all that plastic that exists has to go somewhere! Choosing items that are safely made from recycled plastics is a great way to reuse and save plastics from the garbage heap. Other earth-friendly options include glass, stainless steel, food-grade silicone, and responsibly sourced bamboo.
What is the impact of using eco-friendly products?
By choosing eco-friendly products, you’re keeping unnecessary items out of the landfills, protecting natural resources by choosing more sustainable and reusable options, and limiting waste by choosing products that will last for several years of feeding your children.
By choosing to shop with eco-friendly companies, you’re supporting businesses that should be doing their ecological due diligence to not only manufacture safe, effective, and responsibly made products but to also choose other eco-sound business practices like: offsetting their carbon footprint, shipping in sustainable packaging, making conscious choices to only sell through retailers that share their values, and limiting product options to what they can easily sell. (Companies who churn out a million options a year end up wasting materials in production. Therefore, seeing a limited selection of options isn’t a bad thing; it means the company isn’t overproducing and causing waste.)
How to look for eco-friendly baby items?
Pro-tip: You can find eco-friendly baby items at almost any retailer that sells cloth diapers. That means you can support a small business over a big box store! A few of the Indiana based stores are GrassRootsBaby (Fort Wayne) and Mothering By Nature (Hebron). If you’re looking for a wider selection, Lil Tulips (Stillwater, MN) and Nicki’s Diapers (Akron, OH) are other good online alternatives. You can also always go directly to the manufacturer’s websites to shop.
Top 5 Eco-Friendly Feeding Items (& Why They Are A Better Choice)
- REplay: plates, bowls, utensils, snack containers and more safely made from recycled milk jugs! Perfect sizes for toddlers through elementary, and they even make adult size plates and bowls! One of my favorite features is that the divided plates help me to remember to offer a variety of colors and food groups at meal time, and it keeps portion sizes in check! (Save 20% off Re-Play with code: EARTHDAY21)
EzPz mats and tiny cups are made from food grade silicone: made to last and less to buy: just wash after each use and reuse for years to come! Designed with a Pediatric Feeding Specialist, EzPz products can be used by children of all abilities. The playful design is intentional; it “inspires positivity and new tastes.”
- Lalabye Baby LalaBibs, and wet/dry bags are great for mealtimes and storing feeding supplies at home or on the go. Eliminate the use of one time plastic bags, and choose bibs that are adaptable to many sizes and made of eco-friendly yet wipeable materials. Using a bib prevents staining and the need for excess chemicals like stain removers in the laundry, too!
- Marley’s Monsters Cloth Napkins/Unpaper towels are excellent for wiping faces and hands after meals before tossing in a wet/dry bag until wash day. Wash and reuse instead of using disposable wipes! Plus, using only water and a cloth napkin or towel is gentler and healthier for your baby’s delicate skin.
- Gosili cups, straws, and sippy cup lids are made from food grade silicone: made to last! Eliminate the bad habit of using disposable straws and cups when on the go (for you and baby!), and reduce the number of cups you have in your cupboard by repurposing any cup into a sippy cup with their stretchy silicone lids!
What sustainable changes will you make to your feeding routines and supplies?
Hoosier by marriage and Michigan native by birth, I am a semi-crunchy mother of 3 children and 5 angels, wife of an engineer, a teacher at the heart of all I am and do, and a creative who takes on too many projects at all times! I am the Social Media Manager, Marketing Director, Blogger, Photographer, Videographer, and Cloth Diaper Educator for Lalabye Baby, a modern cloth diaper company. Connect with me on IG, FB, and (occasionally) on my blog!