The news of a new baby often brings lots of joy to a family and subsequently can be accompanied by lots of stuff. While you are busy adding to your registry lists, filtering through your piles of baby products, and picking up tiny socks and discarded outfits from your toddler, there are several things you can do to reduce the trash output your little ones inspire. Here are a few tips to “Go Green” in the nursery.
Use Cloth or Sustainably-Made Diapers
Diapers are the single most-trashed-item for a young family. This essential yet one time use product is consumed and discarded every few hours by each child in a family under the average age of two. Using cloth diapers or even Eco-conscious disposable diapers lessens your family’s carbon footprint. A great addition to an Eco-friendly nursery! Cloth diapers allow for continual reuse by more than one child over several years. Cleaning cloth diapers is just as easy as doing laundry, especially once you get into a cleaning routine. Buttons Diapers offers a wide variety of colorful cloth diaper covers and mix and match cloth diaper inserts for day time and night time use. If using cloth when on the go is not for you, use cloth diapers at home and save the disposables for when you are out of the house. A number of companies also make fully biodegradable disposable diapers as an Eco-friendly alternative.
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Use Wet Bags as Trashcan Liners
Place a small wet bag in your nursery trash can as an Eco-friendly trash bag. When it’s full, dump it into your larger household garage can and wash the wet bag as needed. Larger wet bags with a drawstring closure are great for holding dirty cloth diapers. I’d recommend establishing one cloth bag for diaper trash and one for laundry, to keep the diaper smell from permeating your clothes. Why create trash to hold your trash? To freshen up your cloth trash can liners, wash them inside-out and hang them outside in the sunshine for a chemical-free cleansing.
Clean with Natural Products
When cleaning around kids, it’s important to find effective cleaning products that don’t contain harsh chemicals. Baby ECOS cleaning products are plant-based, pH balanced, and free of harsh chemicals. You can easily freshen and clean your home without leaving any harmful residue behind.
Bottle and Dishwash Cleaner is fragrance-free, plant-based, and mild on hands. It’s a hard working solution on dishes and highly concentrated — a little bit goes a long way.
ECOS Here and There Cleaner is my favorite for cleaning the high-chair tray and the floor around the high-chair (my little one loves to throw food on the floor and use his new favorite word, “uh-oh”)! Because the cleaner is plant-based and chemical free, it is safe for cleaning any surface. This particular cleaner can be used on any water-safe surface: counters, cupboards, mirrors, floors, etc. It’s an all-purpose, baby-safe cleaner.
Toy and Table Top Cleaner is great for cleaning tough messes on hard surfaces in baby’s nursery. Keep germs away by giving those toys a quick wash. After all… you know everything will end up in baby’s mouth! With flu and cold season approaching, this is especially important. Personally, I found this to be an excellent cleaner for washing crayons off of the kids table.
Use Reusable Wipes
Much of my day involves wiping my toddlers – their hair, face, bottom, hands – whatever. Reusable cloth wipes make this task much more Eco-friendly, since I can use the same cloth wipe for my child’s face all day long, and separate cloth wipes for each diaper change. Plus using cloth wipes means less disposable wipes go in the trash, so I have to take the trash out less often and I save more trash bags. Keep separate sets of wipes handy for diaper changes and mealtime, and wash them routinely with your diaper laundry or regular laundry (for mealtime wipes). Need moist wipes? Dampen cloth wipes with water and place them in a small wet bag for convenient on-the-go use.
Maximize Closet Space
Keep the clutter off the floor and outfits out of reach (to discourage spontaneous toddler outfit changes) with a streamlined closet. Little Dundi Eco-friendly clothes hangers make it extra easy to go green in your closet and stay organized! Little Dundi papercard hangers are decorated with a variety of cute patterns and made from chemical-free materials and Eco-friendly glues and inks.
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Make Recycled Shelf Organizers
Make shelf organizers for your Eco-friendly nursery out of discarded shoe boxes and small cardboard boxes covered with adhesive shelf paper. These chic recycled storage caddies can be used to hold product bottles, hair accessories, pacifiers and teethers, and even little shoes.
Re-purposed shoe boxes are a great way to organize cloth diapers and baby shoes.
Cut Open Product Bottles
I’ve been laughed at for this last tip, but cutting open product bottles is a great way to not waste the last 10% of your product! Those pump-action straws in lotion bottles are not good at extracting the last inch of product in a bottle. Save money and reduce waste by cutting the bottle in half, scooping the remaining product out, and spooning it into the new product bottle you just opened.
These few Eco-friendly nursery tips are a great way to conserve your resources and teach your kids how to live intentionally. With a little planning and creativity, it’s easy to be kind to the earth and save your hard-earned money!
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Katie enjoys all things creative; DIY projects, photography, decorating and family adventures. She feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids and many artistic outlets.