Can you travel with a baby or toddler and remain eco-friendly?
At Earth Conscious, we are lucky enough to be located beside the sea, at the prettiest of UK 'holiday destinations' - the Isle of Wight.
This is where we make our organic plastic-free deodorants, and baby balms - and being by the seaside, we are proud to have donated more than £20,000 to the Marine Conservation Society - well, YOU our customers have, every purchase sees 10p donated, so thank you! (click to shop here)
EDITED: to add, for the month of July 2020 we are DOUBLING that donation to 20p a purchase thank you!
We asked one of our customers, Vita, to help us pull together her top tips for eco travel with babies. As a fellow mother of four children, she's well placed to talk on this subject!
Yes eco travel with babies is possible! With a little thought, and preparation you can be as green on holiday as you are at home. One of the first things to consider is where you are holidaying, and how you are travelling there, will you need to pack face-coverings if you are using public transport in the UK? Can you make the journey in a more carbon-neutral way?
Consider a ‘staycation’
Perhaps by taking a train instead of flying, driving or taking a taxi? There are some fabulous UK eco-friendly destinations, including the amazing fforest in Wales, with breath-taking views, and a real sense of getting back to nature. A place to really relax, perfect for families. Or maybe family friendly glamping?
Once you’ve decided on your destination, what next? Well, clearly, there’s the packing to do. Everyone’s favourite task, eco travel or otherwise!
Photo by Max Goncharov on Unsplash
Packing the Five Baby Essentials
Packing even for a day out with a baby sometimes feels daunting, but write a list of essentials, and stick with it.
One of our (and I’m sure most other parents) travel essentials has always been baby wipes.
Whether for nappy changes, or to keep hands and faces clean, wipes really are an essential item. However, many wet wipes are made using plastic and are responsible for fatbergs found in increasing numbers of sewer systems. We have switched to re-usable washable Cheeky Wipes, they are so easy to use and great for even the most delicate skin. Using reusable wet wipes when travelling couldn’t be easier. Cheeky Wipes kits come with an out-and-about waterproof bag which means you don’t need to carry the box everywhere with you. Perfect for day-trips, or in travel freshening up.
When we come to book our holidays, we always check that there are laundry washing facilities where we will be staying. We have been fortunate that the majority of campsites we’ve visited do have these facilities on site or nearby. This is also essential as we were always using reusable nappies on holiday, the joy of being in a hot climate on holiday is how quickly washable nappies dry on the line. I do suggest remembering to pack your own washing line - we have a compact line which lives with our ‘holiday things’.
Our re-usable wipes get a hot wash once a week, and otherwise are just washed at 30c with the rest of the holiday washing. I don’t worry about drying them, as they are going to be used again quickly, so they often go straight back into the box or bag.
If re-usable wipes are really not your thing there are plastic-free wet wipes available. For example Aqua Wipes and Natracare are compostable and biodegradable (but please don’t flush them). They’re also vegan friendly, and I think would be worth a look.
Another great travel essential is Earth Conscious Baby Balm, this is great as a multi purpose balm. Use it at every nappy change to keep baby’s skin happy, but also great to soothe very dry skin - it could even be used as a heel balm while you’re travelling before you pop your feet into your sandals. It’s a totally natural vegan product, and packaged in a handy tin - great for travelling with an entirely plastic free natural deodorant in a cardboard tube!
And don't forget to pack some 'entertainment' for baby, a bag of toy animals, cars, and colouring crayons that you can produce when times get fractious. Again, these don't need to be new (to you) ebay, or friends' hand-me-downs hidden away for your travelling day are a brilliant idea!
Secondhand Baby Travel Items
One of the best ways to remain eco-friendly when you’re taking baby on holiday is to buy some of your essential baby items second-hand. Things like baby swim seats, or arm bands which are used for such a short time are great value to buy second-hand, meaning you are avoiding unnecessary waste. If you end up puncturing an inflatable, don’t forget you can send it off to the Wyatt & Jack inflatable amnesty, on the Isle of Wight, for Georgie to make it into something beautiful!
There are lots of places to look for second-hand good quality items, remember to check local selling sites, charity shops and even NCT sales.
Don’t be afraid to ask - A friend of mine wrote a ‘would like to have’ list in a local Facebook group. Very quickly she had sourced an almost new travel cot, swim nappies, entire summer wardrobe for her child, and a mosquito net too - result.
I think perhaps the best way to be eco-friendly when travelling is no different to any other, take time to put in place a plan. A little organisation goes a long way, and remember small changes all add up.
Guest post by Vita, mother of four and writer at Dancing In My Wellies.