Having a baby and raising children can mean the use of many single-use items which contain plastic such as nappies and baby wipes. There are simple ways to be a shade greener though which will also save you money, as well as helping to save the planet. In May 2018 the government announced it wants to ban wet wipes which contain plastic following a report that a staggering 93% of sewerage blockages in the UK are caused by wet wipes. The Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean discovered that the number of wet wipes has more than doubled between 2013 and 2014. It’s important that we try to make our use of wet wipes more eco-friendly. So what’s the green alternative to baby wipes and wet wipes? The ideal solution would be if you could find a reusable alternative.
Greenest – use a reusable alternative to baby wipes
- If you’re out and about with your baby or young children, take a damp face cloth, flannel or muslin cotton cloth in a re-sealable plastic bag or a slim tupperware box. It will save you money and is more effective. It also reduces the number of chemicals your baby comes into contact with and cuts down on waste going to landfill as you can wash and re-use the cloths.
- Make your own reusable cloths by cutting up old T-shirts or towels.
- My favourite organic, unbleached muslin cloths are from Green Fibres (buy from Amazon) and I use this to cleanse my face. You can also buy muslin cloths from Balance Me.
- Make your own baby wipes – try this recipe from Wellness Mama
Greener – Eco-friendly baby wet wipes
If you try the ideas above and still prefer disposable baby wipes, give these organic and natural baby wipes a go:
- Nature Babycare ECO Sensitive Baby Wipes – Unscented
- Earth Friendly Baby Gentle Aloe Vera Wipes – 100% biodegradable as made from sustainable wood pulp and starch.
- CannyMum Bamboo Dry Wipes are homemade organic wet wipes for sensitive skin, baby wipes, travel wipes, face wipes, intimate hygiene wipes or simply add water to have fresh water wipes. Biodegradable as made from organic bamboo.
- a wide range of baby wipes, including Naty, Earth Friendly and Jackson Reece, is available from Big Green Smile which often has special offers
- Amazon also has eco-friendly wet wipes for sale
Never flush baby wipes – even “flushable” ones
Although many of these brands provide flushable baby wipes, please put even flushable baby wipes or wet wipes in the bin. Your toilet is not a bin. It’s much better to just use them for toilet paper and the associated activities. If you’ve ever walked on the beach and seen it littered with plastic sticks from cotton buds, you will understand how much of our sewerage ends up in our seas and on our beaches.
If you have any other ideas or recommendations for an alternative to baby wipes and wet wipes, please post them below.
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Updated: May 2018, Original: March 2015