We are all about a simple approach to living lighter as a family. Making small changes one by one to work towards a more mindful and sustainable lifestyle for our children.
If your focus this year is going greener - reducing waste and creating a healthier low-tox environment for your littler ones, here we share our top swaps that you can focus on in 2023.
As always, at Pekpi we encourage you to consider these with love and kindness to yourself. You can take on board as many, or as little changes as works for you and your family. Because we all know as parents we strive for perfection but some days close enough is good enough. A balanced approach is the healthiest environment for any child.
Plastic Free Lunchbox
A low hanging fruit (pardon the pun) to hitting both targets of reducing waste and toxins is switching from plastic or disposable food packaging to stainless steel or glass snack boxes (if your child is responsible enough!), stainless steel drink bottles or beeswax food wraps. We love shopping for all of these at Biome Store because of the endless choices available.
So much of life in the early years is lived on-the-go and the key to avoiding those incidental uses of disposables is in being prepared. Use a little pouch to store a snack emergency toolkit - bamboo or stainless steel cutlery and reusable straw, so that your babe can eat (and drink) out at any age without the need for single use cutlery or straws. You could also pack a reusable cup for any cheeky takeaway baby chinos or smoothies.
Hot tip: the cotton drawstring pouches that come with your Pekpi order are perfect for this idea!
Switch out to Soap
As mamas we all love a good skincare regime, but our babes really don’t need that much TLC. Especially for under-1's, bathtime is mostly for play and routine (or the occasional emergency cleanup!) and the recommendation is to minimise the use of products so that the skin is not stripped of its natural barrier. Rather than stocking up with bottles of washes and bubbles, a simple, low-ingredient gentle soap bar is enough for those extra messy days or removing the days’ sunscreen. This not only reduces exposure to chemicals but think of all of those plastic bottles you’re saving with this low-packaging option!
On the theme of skin, once in a while babes may need a little salve - whether that be for the dreaded nappy rash, dryness or even a chest rub to help clear a stuffy nose. Whilst family members may be quick to offer old-school alternatives for a quick and easy solution, start to get ingredient savvy and seek out more minimal solutions without the chemical load.
For our littlies we have loved natural balms like Being Bootie Balm for healing Nappy Rash in a flash. Other times the alternative could be found in our kitchen cupboards - single ingredient oils such as organic almond or coconut oil are gentle and nourishing on dry skin instead of fragrance-heavy conventional baby oils. And with a bit of research even traditional vapour rub can be made at home with simple, whole and low-tox ingredients.
Low Tox Laundry
It’s a thought that we may not often think about, but the products you use in your laundry sit directly on your little one’s skin. We all know how many loads of laundry go into an average week as a parent, so we’re not about making this any more complicated. In fact, you really only need three products to manage all kinds of mishaps that land in your dirty clothes basket. The foundation is a good, eco-friendly washing detergent. We personally love Kin Kins or B Clean Co for our family.
Then when heavy lifting is required Bi Carb Soda and Vinegar kick in. Bi-carb can be used in place of chemical laden fabric softeners, or as a paste with water for an effective stain remover. Add vinegar to your load for a natural stain remover and deodorizer.
Bi Carb and Vinegar really are the MVP’s of a low-tox home - stepping in as excellent cleaning product alternatives too. You really don’t need as many household products as clever marketers would have you believe, a few simple ingredients go a long way to not only clean your home but also reduce the amount of plastic packaging your household discards.
There are an abundance of home diy cleaning recipes online. Some that we love are bi-carb for the toilet bowl, and vinegar and warm water for cleaning glass. As Mamas we get that sometimes the convenient option is the necessary one, and in these instances we love Pleasant State who have refillable, plastic free sprays with plant based non-toxic ingredients.
We’re so conscious of the nutrients that enter our babies mouths but what about the other things - let’s not forget Dummies, Teethers and Bottles. It’s never too late to consider low tox alternatives for these, and thankfully there are plenty more BPA, phthalate and PVC free options available. Glass bottles and natural rubber teets, dummies or wooden teethers are becoming more readily available and free from synthetic substances.
Ok, so it’s no secret that we’re a fan of Cloth Nappies as a way of significantly reducing your family’s household waste. In fact up to 3,000 nappies saved from landfill per child per year! Not to mention by choosing Pekpi you’re also removing 6 plastic bottles from our ocean per Cloth Nappy…
But did you also know that Modern Cloth Nappies also significantly reduce the amount of toxins exposed to your child? Conventional Disposable Nappies are typically chlorine bleached and can contain synthetic fragrances, odour blockers, softening phthalates, glues and dyes… all sitting right on your babes skin. Not to mention the environmental impact of the widespread use of these chemicals in their production.
By nature, Cloth Nappies require far less interventions such as these to be just as effective, and to ensure there are no unsafe chemicals used in their manufacture seek out the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification. Find out more about this in our previous blog post.
Safer SPFEspecially living in Australia, Sunscreen is an absolute non-negotiable for park dates and water play. Nowadays there has been an increase in awareness of the harmful chemicals present in conventional formulas that can go so far as to do more harm than good for our skin. Preservatives, PABAs, parabens, oxybenzone and octinoxate have been shown to be harmful to not just our skin but even involved in environmental phenomena such as reef bleaching. This swap is a quick-win single swap that you can make for your family, and it's no secret we love Feel Good Inc. and their Baby Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 50+.