Environmental issues have never been more pressing than they are today. With the challenges of climate change looming ever larger, people around the world are growing more conscious of the need to do their bit for sustainability.
The need for us to look after the environment goes even beyond tackling climate change, however. For example, there is an enormous quantity of plastic in our oceans – some 12.7 million tonnes a year, according to Greenpeace, putting wildlife at serious risk. Likewise, our own bodies are subjected to a huge array of pollutants, in the air we breathe and the products we use from day to day.
All this means that it’s more important than ever to make positive changes to our purchasing decisions and our lifestyles in general. This is why Uber Kids is bringing back its annual Go Green event, providing you with useful insights, hints and tips on what you can do and what you should be looking out for in leading a more sustainable lifestyle, together with the brands you love and trust.
Here’s a quick round-up of what we’ll be covering in this year’s Go Green series.
In recent years, health and environment-conscious parents have become increasingly aware of the risks associated with plastics containing BPA (bisphenol A, to give it its full name). Persistent exposure to BPA, which has been used in a wide variety of consumer products since the 1960s, has been linked to a range of health problems, leading many people to seek alternatives.
BPA-free products have therefore become an increasingly popular choice, in particular for families with young children. Some studies have indicated that BPA could pose a heightened health risk to young children, so many parents have sought to ensure that their little ones don’t encounter products containing the chemical.
As a result, the variety of BPA-free products now available on the market has grown hugely, and it’s much easier to cut out those that do contain BPA. Products such as this BabyBjorn feeding set and these Nuby stackable suction bowls are BPA-free to help give you peace of mind. Check product descriptions and labels carefully before buying to ensure that they don’t contain BPA.
Non-toxic and organic fabrics
As part of the wider increase in environmental awareness, there’s also been growing interest in non-toxic and organic fabrics, as well as the conditions in which these are produced. Some methods of fabric and clothing production can be wasteful and highly damaging to the environment.
Non-toxic and organic products are manufactured precisely with sustainability and consideration for the environment in mind. Organic cotton, for example, is produced without the use of pesticides (commonly used in the production of ordinary cotton) thus making it much better for the planet.
There are other benefits too. Many non-toxic and organic fabrics, such as linen, provide outstanding durability. Because linen is made from the cellulose fibres which are often derived from flax plants, it is both hardwearing and naturally biodegradable.
Products which are made with non-toxic and organic fabrics usually have this specified in their description, so be sure to take a close look at these when you buy. Slumberland, for instance, produces cot mattresses with chemical-free sleeping surfaces to ensure a safer night’s sleep for babies and infants.
More and more parents have also made an effort to buy wooden toys for their children, instead of plastic ones. These have several advantages – some of them environmental, some of them not.
One non-environmental benefit of wooden toys is their chunky design, which makes them really easy for little hands to grasp and helps youngsters as they develop those all-important early motor skills, problem-solving skills and their hand-eye coordination. They’re also really durable so will last for longer and won’t easily break whatever punishment your child puts them through!
Environmentally, wooden toys are largely free of the chemicals that go into the manufacture of plastic toys as well as being recyclable; they also require no batteries which helps to cut down on waste. As an added bonus, they can provide children with hours of fun and stimulation, which gives them something much more engaging to do other than staring at a screen!
Brands such as Bigjigs (and Bigjigs Baby), Classic World, and Melissa and Doug all specialise in designing fun, durable and chunky wooden toys that provide young children with countless hours of enjoyment.
One of the most important concerns for any conscientious parent is what their baby consumes, especially once they get to the crucial weaning stage. There are numerous healthy, pre-made options on the market, but a growing contingent of parents are choosing instead to make baby food themselves at home.
Getting food preparation right and ensuring a healthy and nutritious diet are very important to your child’s wellbeing and development. Leading brands such as Babymoov, Beaba and Avent are giving parents more control over what their little ones consume with a range of great baby food preparation products, including food processors and steam blenders.
One of the benefits to preparing baby food at home instead of buying pre-prepared jars is that homemade baby food is less processed and so can retain more of nutrients, as well as a richer flavour for your little one’s enjoyment. It’s also cost-effective and simple too, giving you the opportunity to create a wider variety of meals for your child and encouraging them to explore new tastes and textures.
As well as becoming more environmentally conscious, parents are also becoming increasingly fitness and health-conscious as well. This has led to a surge in demand for activity buggies, also known as jogging strollers. As both names might suggest, these are buggies designed to allow parents to get active and burn more calories while they’re out and about with young children.
Activity buggies such as the Thule Glide 2 Jogging Stroller and the Out N About Nipper Sport V4 Jogging Buggy offer a great combination of stability, durability and comfort for your little one while you take the opportunity to get some exercise. They’re stylish as well as lightweight and sporty, allowing you to walk, jog or go off-road as you please. They can also be lots of fun for your child too as they get to see the world rushing by!
This is all just a brief overview of the topics we’ll be exploring in greater detail during this year’s Uber Kids Go Green series. Over the course of the series, we’ll be helping you make simple changes to your lifestyle – and that of your child – that’ll make a real difference.