How Parents of Babies and Toddlers Are Bad for the Environment

smoke-258786_1920It has come to my attention that parents of babies and toddlers are perhaps just a little bit bad for the environment. Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, here are my ten reasons why.

1. Disposable nappies

I think this one speaks for itself. There are nappies. So many nappies. Admittedly cloth nappies are available. Environmentally responsible people use these. For the rest of us, there are just two issues with that idea: (1) see point 4; and (2) no, just no.

2. Everything is plastic

Everything. Everything in the whole house. The endless toys, obviously. But it’s worse than that. It’s the cups, the plates, the bowls, the cutlery, the coasters, the place mats. Things that used to exist in non-plastic varients are now non-breakable plastic. Of course, as well as non-breakable, it’s non-biodegradable.

3. Paper napkins

Well, who hasn’t ever entertained the children by giving them paper napkins to play with in cafes and restaurants? Children are easily entertained. Yes, the rainforests are a worry. It’s just that, well, being glared at for having badly behaved children is also a worry. There is a variation on this activity involving the provision of straws (or ‘wands’ as the children believe them to be). This is no better: see number 2.

4. Washing machines

The washing. The washing is endless. Particularly when you forget to dry it and have to wash it again.

5. Boiling the kettle

Apparently, one should avoid repeatedly boiling the kettle, as that is bad for energy consumption and the environment. Yes, sorry about that. The correct number of boils to time to cups of tea made ratio for parents of babies and toddlers is: boiled ten times in four hours, no tea made. Before you conclude parents are solely responsible for climate change, it should be noted that, on at least three of the occasions the kettle is ‘boiled’, they will have forgotten to plug it in. Every little helps.

6. Wipes

Baby wipes are not good for the environment. We’re so terribly sorry. But did you know how bloody amazing they are? You can use them for pretty much anything. And we do.

7. Drawing

Back to the rainforests here. This time all the drawing paper that received one tiny crayon mark before being declared ‘finished’. It’s not always quite as bad as it sounds: sometimes there is a tiny crayon mark on the other side too. Parents can try to mitigate the impact of this one by presenting the barely marked paper as ‘fresh’ paper at the next drawing session. Sadly, toddlers are experts at detecting tiny crayon marks on a piece of paper: ‘It’s dirty!’
‘Turn it over then.’
‘This side’s dirty too!’ Bugger.

8. Food waste

They just don’t eat it. But it really isn’t considered acceptable to stop serving your children food because they won’t eat it (despite eating this exact meal three days ago/asking for it 20 minutes ago). Parents’ hands are really tied on this one. Sometimes the issue is compounded by the making of further food that does not get eaten in a futile attempt to get the children to eat something. Again, I really must reiterate in our defence that feeding your children is considered to be the done thing, and not an optional element of parenting.

9. Noise pollution

No, sorry, we can’t make it stop. Yes, it is annoying. Yes, and loud. No, we don’t know why they’re making that noise. We think they like it. Yes, we know you don’t like it.

10. Excessive battery consumption

This is really VTech’s fault.


  1. Jennifer says:

    I was a bad environmental parent. Disposable diapers and wet wipes being at the top of my “list of shame.” Only, I’m not ashamed. As environmentally conscious as I am today, I’d still use disposables so that I could keep my sanity.

  2. Haha, this is all so true. I have tried using damp muslin cloths in place of wet wipes which has reduced my feeling of guilt a little. But then she throws food on the wall and I can only summon the energy to grab the wipes…

    I try and do my bit for the environment by eating her food waste, Don’t judge me… 🙂


  3. Alice Mills says:

    How very true! Definitely trying to be more environmentally conscious and recycling as much as possible these days; food, paper, plastics! Your post did make me think though, I do need to try even harder!!

  4. I saw a friend using clothes nappies and I am not convinced. I mean seriously I love my son and I do a lot for him but washing his poo?! And then use the same washing-machine to clean my precious bras?! I say NON and I am sorry for the environment, or not?

    #chucklemums & #kcacols

  5. Yup, we’re basically ruining the planet. There’s so way I’m giving up wet wipes though. Or disposable nappies. Or the plastic stuff that keeps my daughter entertained while I enjoy a warmish cup of tea. Food waste is unfortunate, but there’s not much I can do about the fact that my toddler periodically decides that she hates everything I make and needs to throw it on the floor. #chucklemums

  6. Helena says:

    Unfortunately, we couldn’t get on with reusable nappies and we weren’t prepared to buy several varieties just so we could get it right. They are very expensive! #MarvMondays

  7. Rebecca says:

    Oh you crack me up! This post is genius! Love it. And SOOOOO true! Unfortunately, not much food gets wasted here as I end up eating it….:-/ #KCACOLS

  8. God I never really thought about this! Your so right! From nappies to wipes to dinners in the bin they really are planet killers. Like most I try and do my bit to stop the uncontrollable amount of rubbish; like recycle where we can and only wash on 30. Wish I did more to be honest but I swear I just don’t have the time. Maybe the kids are older and can help more? Who knows?? #chucklemums

  9. Gggrrrr…..I hate DRAWING thing. Mine always wants a fresh sheet of paper for a tiny mark or if there’s a little crease. Batteries are the bane of our lives too, especially during Christmas time! #bigpinklink

  10. Maria says:

    Spot on – as always! The paper consumption in our household is through the roof!! There was a time when my eldest wouldn’t even consider drawing on the back of a piece of paper too. Thankfully as he is 6 we’ve explained the fact that its bad for the environment and he seems to have taken this on board and delightfully tells this to my 3 year old (who couldn’t care less)

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on Sunday

  11. Emma says:

    ha this is great and so bloody true! I feel bad now :/ ! I got obsessed with the kettle and microwave and how many times it had been on after birth. must have been hormones or something but each time we used these things, I’d get all worked up lol! #KCACOLS

  12. Kat says:

    Def V-Tech is to blame!! Honestly, I think now, from reading this, I am doing my bit by not driving or having a car. Makes up for all the trees we’ve killed and nappies used! Still have a pack of baby wipes to help too, even though I can’t really pass her off as a baby anymore! #kcacols

  13. Savannah says:

    Haha, thanks for the laugh! This is sooooo true. I’m guilty of leaking tons of radiation into the environment via how many times I reheat my cup of coffee! #KCACOLS

  14. Jessica says:

    For three kids I was adamant about not using cloth diapers. Then, for some reason, while I was pregnant with my 4th I decided that I was going to use cloth diapers and not only that but I was going to make them myself! They were also going to be one size and a gender neutral coloring/pattern so that I could re-use them for any other children that God decides to bless us with. Well, I did make the diapers and the inserts for them…but my tiny baby ended up outgrowing them in a few weeks. I had the stuff to make the next size up ones, her “forever until she is potty trained ones” but the fabric is still sitting in my closet, not being made lol. So we’ve gone the disposable route again lol.

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