More Love Less Waste Guide #3 – How to Have a Sustainable Pregnancy

Welcome back to the More Love Less Waste blog series! It’s great to see you again. This is our third entry, so if you’ve missed any and want to read from the start, then click here.

In these articles we want to help you make small changes to your lifestyle so we can help stop environmental issues such as climate change and deforestation. It’s not about making anyone feel guilty for their habits (we are all human after all!), but it’s about sharing ideas so we can step into this world of sustainability together. Put simply, we want to help you live with More Love Less Waste – we explain what that means here.

In our last article we shared lots of ways you can change your buying habits to live more sustainably – click here to see the options and pick your favourite. This week we’re gonna delve into how to maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle during pregnancy and the early days of your little one’s life.

Starting a Sustainable Pregnancy and Childhood

Many of us collect and buy an excessive amount of stuff when we’re expecting a child. We get excited (or overwhelmed) and don’t always understand exactly what we need. This habit often sticks as well, which is part of the reason why a child contributes 58.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. By comparison, the average driver emits 4.6!

As children grow, they constantly need new things to keep them healthy and happy, which can create a huge amount of waste. Although most items could be sold, gifted or donated, many are simply left in lofts or go to the dump. Especially when busy parents don’t have time to deal with them.

Remember, renting’s a great way to break the cycle of excessive production and waste!

Y’earn started as an idea to rent furniture from your neighbours and evolved into a community that helped each other through big life moments, including starting a family. We’re bridging the gap between the retail cost (on the planet and your bank account) and the secondhand experience; by handling the cleaning, delivery and providing a guarantee. We think this is particularly helpful for parents who don’t have the space to store items and are planning to have another child. Check out our guide on how to make money on items your child has outgrown.

With that said, here’s how to be a champion of all things environmental as you start having and raising a family!

Sustainable Pregnancy

Making sustainable choices can begin at the planning stage (…or even at the unplanned stage!). Consider pregnancy tests, for instance. Standard pregnancy sticks are made from plastic and contain an electric sensor. The result?

They’re hard to recycle!

But Lia, a woman-founded startup that sells eco-friendly reproductive health and wellness products, has developed a great solution.  

Lia’s pregnancy test is biodegradable, compostable, and 100% flushable. Of course, if you can’t get that particular brand of pregnancy stick, then other eco-friendly alternatives are also available. Many, like those from a company called One Step, contain less packaging and plastic than traditional brands.

Of course, a positive test is just the beginning. As you go on your pregnancy journey, there are several areas where you can make more sustainable choices.

Take maternity clothes.

While everyone is different, most mothers start showing some time around the second trimester. So, all in all, people get around six months plus from maternity clothes. This fact makes maternity clothes a great candidate for renting for the short time you’ll need them.

Another area with some great eco-friendly alternatives is baby showers.

Unfortunately, these exciting and fun celebrations also have a tendency to produce a lot of waste via packaging, plastic, and even novelty gifts that get used once before being discarded. Set the tone by sending out electronic invitations and using recyclable decorations.

Consider the impact of waste when arranging your baby shower (you can still have fun while being eco-friendly!).

Oh, and consider mixing up the food you provide! For example, because meat consumption is renowned for its negative environmental impact, why not host a super healthy vegan or vegetarian baby shower instead? While you’re at it, try taking portion sizes into account. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to throw food away when your guests go home! Preparing an appropriate amount for the number of people coming will help combat the 9.5 million tonnes of food waste we produce in the UK each year.

Lastly, spare a thought for the gifts you might receive. A big part of the baby shower tradition, you’re almost guaranteed to be spoilt rotten. And rightly so! In your bid to make the event more sustainable, though, encourage your guests to pick out eco-friendlier items. Reusable products are great, biodegradable ones are a close second, and rental packages, like Y’earn’s Bundles, tend to be best! Finally, consider making a request that gifts aren’t wrapped. It’ll save a bunch of unnecessary waste.

For more advice on this topic, check out our Top Tips for an Eco-Friendly Baby Shower.

For the Baby

The first thing many soon-to-be parents do to prepare for their baby is get the nursery ready.

You can create a beautiful nursery for your young ones that is still sustainable.

Designing a beautiful nursery’s great, but a practical and sustainable one is much better! If you want some ideas, check out our blog post with timeless and modern nursery ideas, with tips for everything you need.

Another thing you’ll want to get ready is your baby hospital bag. Obviously, you’ll want to have everything prepared so that your new arrival’s life is as comfortable — and eco-friendly — as possible. You’ll probably have enough on your mind at the time, so use our handy baby hospital bag checklist to ensure you have all the items you need to make your hospital stay and your first few days at home a breeze.

When preparing for their arrival, consider renting baby items that you’ll only need for a short period from Y’earn. This will not only reduce your waste, but it’ll also save you some cash! We’ll sort out all the hard and complicated stuff, so you can focus on what really matters. Y’earn offers many item bundles to suit your needs and help you live with More Love, Less Waste. Click here to explore what’s available.

​​As you move into this new phase, you can start to explore new habits with your child.

For example, around 40% of all landfill items that could be recycled are bathroom plastic. So look out for zero-waste and/or vegan toiletries whenever you can! There are plenty of cruelty-free options (look for PETA-certified products, like those from The Honest Company) that also keep plastic use down. And, remember, the refill stores we talked about above often stock these types of toiletries too!

As you can imagine, another aspect of raising a baby that produces an excessive amount of environmental waste is wipes and nappies. The average baby goes through around 5,000 nappies before being potty trained! Thankfully, there are lots of eco-friendlier alternatives to try. 

Eco by Naty, for instance, is an excellent plastic-free product that’s made from plant-based fibres. Another option is to use a reusable nappy though. Not only do they save you money, but they’re much better for the environment- especially if you wash and dry them carefully. You can try all-in-one or two-in-one versions here. The main difference is that two-in-one nappies have a removable absorbent pad.

Summary 

So there are plenty of products out there to help you and your baby live more sustainably!  Here’s a quick roundup of what we’ve discussed this week.

Key points

  • Almost everything you need during pregnancy and for your baby has an eco-friendlier alternative.
  • Renting items and furniture for your baby can be a great way to reduce your waste. If it wasn’t obvious, that’s where we come in – see what you can rent today.

Tips

  • As an alternative to throwing out your baby items, try to rehome them online or in your community.
  • If you’re buying something new, narrow your search to environmentally responsible brands.

Now hopefully you have a good idea what you can do early on to maintain a sustainable lifestyle. But what about when the little one grows up? Things get a bit more hectic then, we know. But don’t worry, in the next article of this series we’re gonna give you plenty of helpful tips to get your kids involved with eco-friendly living (so make sure not to miss it!). 

If you love what we’re trying to do, please spread the word and help us to grow as a community. Invite people to our More Love, Less Waste Facebook Group, share our podcast, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, or become an Ambassador for our marketplace and earn rewards. 

P.S. Join our newsletter and get the series straight to your inbox, plus info about our eco-friendly giveaways. Or, if you’re like us and a little impatient, you can download the series as an E-Guide.

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If this is your first visit, hello, let us introduce ourselves. Y’earn is a parent-to-parent marketplace to rent Baby & Kids items from people in your community or make some cash if you have items you don’t need right now.

We know that it can feel like a struggle when you want to do good for your kids, the 🌎 and your community. That’s why we want to make it easier for you to embark on your own #MoreLoveLessWaste journey:

  • Info and advice in our Podcast and Blog – from startups, to big brands, experts and policy makers. Focused on how and what we buy, to lower waste and save the planet.
  • Daily tips, discussion and a chance to ask your questions in our FB Group
  • Offers and a monthly prize if you join our newsletter – so you never miss what’s going on.
  • And of course, saving and making money with our marketplace. We even plant 🌲, adopt 🐝 and donate to children’s charities, together.

Expect a big helping of humour and a lack of judgement. We’re helping each other and the planet, one rental at a time. #MoreLoveLessWaste 💙

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Y'earn Baby & Kids

Y’earn is a parent-to-parent marketplace to rent Baby & Kids items from people and small businesses in your community or make some cash if you have items you don't need right now. We plant 🌲 and adopt 🐝, plus give to children’s charities.

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