I’m curious, does the threat of climate change put you off having children?
As you may know, I have two children. Clearly, the threat of climate change hasn’t personally put me off having kids. However, I’m wondering if it has put you off? I’d love to get a discussion on this going.
As environmentalists ourselves, my partner and I do worry about what the future holds. We are keen to teach our kids about good environmental stewardship. From the need for composting and recycling. To reducing our plastic consumption, not using the car when we don’t need to, and other things that help the environment. We’re also keen to teach them key skills, such as learning to grow your own food.
Does Climate Change Put You Off Having Kids?
Our climate change worries have led us down the teaching and resilience route. However, this worry about the future has led to some people abstaining from having kids altogether. I came across this article from 2016 in Vice (there is some bad language there, in case you are offended). Here Harriet Spark says her “reasoning for abstaining from having children is two-fold. She does not want to contribute to pre-existing resource depletion by adding another human to this planet, and she does not want to bring a child into a world she sees as doomed”.
“It sounds dramatic, but I’m just being realistic,” said Spark. “The way we live currently simply cannot sustain more people“.
I also came across this article from NPR (no bad language in there!) that asks if environmentalists should have kids, and provocatively says “maybe we should protect our kids by not having them“. The article also references an American non-profit called Conceivable Future, which is founded on the notion that “the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis“.
Some other people say one of the answers to climate change is to have fewer children. The article from Slate proposes to “cut the birth rate to one child per couple, for a few generations at least. The population would dwindle by about 5 billion people over the next century, he says, ensuring the habitability of the Earth for the 1.6 billion who remained“.
There’s obviously lots to think about here for a Thursday afternoon, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you are child-free, or have decided on one kid only, is climate change your main reason?
Let me share my favourite eco-friendly baby products with you.
My littlest girl turned 18 months old at the start of this month. It only feels like a few months ago that I wrote this post and then this post. And now after looking at that photo I’m trying hard to not feel broody, even though I definitely don’t want more than two kids!
I last wrote about my eco-friendly baby essentials about halfway through my pregnancy, so 18 months in of life with baby number two I thought it was high time to update my list. I’ve included some of my favourites from before. However, this time I’ve added some products I’ve discovered over the last 18 months. There’s also some that I forgot to add the first time around. Now that we’re in the thick of baby and toddlerhood they are right at the front of my mind!
The best eco-friendly baby products
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We have been using this Boori convertible cot* from around the four months mark, and I love it. Once my daughter is beyond the cot stage (I’m trying not to think too much about that, to be honest!) the cot turns into an infant bed. Once she grows out of that it then turns into a two-seater sofa AND can also be converted to a double bed. Say what?! I reviewed it in more detail last year if you want to read more.
Eating & Drinking
Self-feeding is a fun but messy stage. My daughter will not entertain spoon-feeding, not even for the messiest of foods, like soup. I bought this bamboo suction bowl and spoon* for her first birthday and it seems to help the situation a little. There is still some mess but at least the bowl can’t be thrown off the table!
I have only just discovered the Pura infant bottle*. Unluckily for me, neither of my kids would take a bottle. And yes, I know what you’re thinking – no bottles and no dummies? My girls sure do keep me on my toes, that is for sure!
It therefore wouldn’t have been that handy for us in the early days. However, if you plan on bottle feeding. Or if you’re a lot luckier than me and your baby will take a bottle, then this is one of those eco-friendly baby products that you might want to consider. It starts off life as a baby bottle and you can convert it to a sippy cup, sports bottle, or even snack pot as your child grows. Clever.
Stainless steel snack pots – at the risk of sounding too virtuous I’m the first to admit I often fall down at the snacking front, and have to resort to a bag of crips, or prepackaged snacks. It happens. On the days I’m a little more prepared, when perhaps my mornings have been a little less of a frantic rush to leave the house on time, I’ll put together some snacks to eat on the go or to avoid public transport meltdowns. Chopped fresh fruit, breadsticks, popcorn, and dried fruit are all firm favourites. Because if there is one thing I know when it comes to kids is that snacks = sanity. Truth.
Refillable Snack Pouch* – this is the best refillable snack pouch I’ve found. It doesn’t squirt food out as soon as your child gives it a squeeze, unlike other pouches I’ve tried, and opens for easy cleaning.
Nappies & Changing
As I might have mentioned, oh, maybe a million times before, Bumgenius washable nappies* are my favourite of the eco-friendly baby products. I will extol the virtues of them to anyone who will listen. If you only make one eco-friendly baby purchase then I would encourage you to give washable nappies a go. And by way of advice, I find that Tots Bots nappy liners* fit Bumgenius nappies perfectly. I bulk buy these bad boys.
As well as washable nappies, I’ve really enjoyed using Cheeky Wipes*. I didn’t know about these washable wipes the first time around, so I picked up a box when I was pregnant. So far, they’ve been great. Maybe I’m doing it wrong and keeping them too moist, but I find keeping a dry wipe to hand to dry baby’s bottom after wiping with a wet wipe is best at avoiding nappy rash. Otherwise, they get two thumbs up from me!
Neither of my girls liked dummies. If your baby is a little more amenable to these things, then I have heard all good things about these natural rubber dummies*.
I like to always have a tube of sunscreen in my bag – specifically Green People’s sunscreen*. Always. You never know when the sun is going to come out in Scotland (sometime this month would be nice, please). Green People’s Factor 30 lotion is suitable for the most sensitive of baby skins, and I often find myself pinching some for myself! I’ve written more about eco-friendly sunscreen in case you want to explore other options.
Don’t Forget To Try Secondhand
My other top eco-friendly baby products advice if you’re expecting is to see what you can score secondhand. Most baby gear is barely used, so ask friends and family with older kids if they have anything they’re not using anymore.
I’d also always suggest trying Freecycle, Gumtree, eBay, and charity shops for preloved bargains. So much of our baby gear has been secondhand, from our pram to clothes, to play equipment and our moses basket. It’s always the eco-friendliest and cheapest way of sourcing the things you need.
Do you have any eco-friendly baby products you would recommend? I am all ears!
I have also put together a guide to ethical kid’s clothing that you might like. I’ve updated the post for 2021, so it’s up-to-date!
I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, a UK based eco blog. I'm a sustainability expert, and my aim is to make sustainability simple, by researching and writing on all things environmental - from product guides to breaking down big ideas - so you don't have to.
As well as the blog I've also written a book on natural cleaning - Fresh Clean Home is out now!
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