Baby steps toward sustainability

Lola Branson
Image from Adam Slama
Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 22 July 2019

My family and I have been trying hard to cut down on single-use plastics and embrace a more sustainable lifestyle for a few years now.

It takes a bit more time, effort and preparation to shift away from the convenience of single-use plastic products, but it’s a really rewarding experience and quite straightforward once you’ve broken out of old habits.

Holly Branson at Virgin Voyages Scarlet Night
Image from Kami White

However, we’ve found it pretty challenging when it comes to raising the children – especially as babies. Babies are messy and demanding little things (who knew!) and seem to need a never ending supply of single-use, heavily packaged plastic bits and pieces. From feeding and teething products to nappies, cleaning bits and bobs, bibs, and beyond – genuine, eco-friendly alternatives often seem few and far between.

However, since giving birth to Lola, I’ve noticed there seems to be a greater demand for baby product alternatives that are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and cost-effective.  I’ve come across a few brilliant sustainable start-ups and ‘eco’ product ranges.

Holly Branson sits with her two young children and baby
Image from Adam Slama

Now that alternatives are increasingly available, I’m in the process of making a few simple swaps. Here’s what’s on my list:

•              Wooden teethers and toys

•              Natural rubber and high-grade silicone bottle tops and pacifiers.

•              Stainless steel, glass and bamboo bottles and feeding sets.

•              Reusable, beeswax food wraps.

•              Organic cotton and muslin bibs, towels and outfits.

•              Non-toxic cleaning, laundry, bath and body products.

Etta and Artie walk together holding hands along a sandy beach
Image from Holly Branson

The availability of these products goes to show how much agency we have to make a difference in the world through our consumer choices and it’s brilliant to see these environmentally friendly solutions being bought to the table. However, it’s important to do independent research as there is a lot of misinformation out there these days. At the end of the day, the single best thing you can do is find ways to consume less. Prepare thoughtfully, experiment with DIY and home remedies, think quality over quantity, and embrace the re-use revolution.

It may be baby steps but it all adds up to make a big difference!