While we here at Bambino want to encourage you to be more sustainable through reducing waste that comes from throwing away baby clothing, we know that sustainability is an all-round practice! In this week's blog post, we introduce some eco-friendly alternatives to baby and toddler accessories that you can consider.
Eco-friendly Baby Teether
If they're not already putting everything into their mouths, your little one is going to want to once their gums start aching from the teething process. Standard teethers and rattles today are made from plastic. While it is not difficult to find baby-friendly plastic, your little bub will outgrow it soon enough, after which it will likely go straight to the landfill.
Here are some other teether options that you may want to consider:
Made from Organic Rubber
Teethers made from rubber are 100% biodegradable. If you select a figurine-shaped, such as the ever-popular Sophie La Girafe, this Shining Stars Unicorn teether or these animal-shaped teethers, your child could still play with it as a toy even after they are past their teething stage.
Made from Wood
Similarly, teethers made from wood are also fully biodegradable. You can check out this teether, which also acts as a rattle.
Made from Silicone
While silicone is not biodegradable, it is recyclable. They are also more durable than plastic, which means that you can donate them or sell them secondhand to extend their lifespan. Furthermore, silicone, unlike plastic, does not produce toxins when burned. For some extra nostalgia, consider these teething sets in the shape of gem biscuits.
That said, if you already own a baby teether made out of plastic that works just fine, keep using it! There's no need to purchase a new one made of more eco-friendly material since your baby only needs one teether. Purchasing more only increases the overall carbon footprint.
Eco-friendly Baby Toys
Unlike video games for your older children (or your adult partner), toys are necessary for your baby's physical development. So what sorts of toys should you get for your munchkin to be an environmentally-friendly parent?
Secondhand is Best
This remains true above all. If you have loved ones who are giving away toys that their children have grown out of, that's probably the best option for both the environment and your wallet! You can also consider going onto websites that sell secondhand goods for parents (we have a list here) to look for toys that you think your little one will like.
Not sure if your child will like it? Why not rent?
Babies and young toddlers aren't usually very fussy with toys. But if you'd still like to make sure, you can consider renting the toys first to gauge their enthusiasm. If they aren't interested, you can always return it after the rental period. If they love the toy, you can then purchase it.
Made from Wood
Just like teethers, you may want to opt for toys made of wood for the same reasons. You can check out some of such toys here.
Made from Recycled Plastic
Alternatively, you can also go for toys made out of recycled plastic. This option is more environmentally friendly as no new plastic is made during the process and old plastic is being put to good use again.
Eco-friendly Arts & Crafts
Arts and craft activities give your little ones a chance to express themselves creatively (or just have some good, messy fun). While we most recommend doing arts and crafts with materials that you already have around you, here are some ideas for eco-friendly stationery you can consider:
Regular crayons are made from paraffin wax, which does not biodegrade well. You might want to opt for crayons made of soy and beeswax, such as these ones shaped like ladybugs. Once your child's grip gets better, you can switch to crayon sticks instead.
Mummies and daddies with older kids, you probably have a stash of pencils and coloured pencils somewhere--some getting too short to hold properly, others in unpopular colours that your children just don't like to use. For a truly zero waste option, you can consider sprout pencils.
The makers of sprout pencils have done away with the pencil's eraser tip (which leaves skid marks all over your paper anyway) in favour of a seed capsule. At the end of its life, your child can stick the pencil seed-end into a pot of soil and grow their very own plant!
At Bambino, we are committed to helping parents with their sustainable practices. Sign up for a baby clothing subscription box today to help reduce textile waste in our environment!
(Bambino is not affiliated to the brands or services listed in this article, unless otherwise stated.)