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Life Hack: Three easy eco

Aug 12, 2023

Using just one reusable nappy, like the one being worn by this baby, per day can preevent 1,000 nappies being dumped. Picture: iStock

Reusable nappies

Around the world, more than 300,000 disposable nappies are dumped every minute — or to put it into context, it is estimated that a child wearing nappies for two-and-a-half years will use up to 7,000 disposable nappies. That is a lot of waste going into landfills and oceans and it can be easily reduced by using washable, reusable nappies instead.

You can purchase a reusable nappy in pharmacies and shops like Boots or contact the Cloth Nappy Library (, a non-profit organisation that aims to help families start using cloth nappies, providing advice as well as provide nappy loan kits to try before buying. Their website reminds parents that they don't need to commit fully to make a difference.

"Using even just one cloth nappy a day reduces [the number of nappies being disposed of before your child is potty trained] by almost 1,000. Remember it's not all or nothing, just that one nappy a day can make a huge difference."

DIY reusable wipes

Another single-use product regularly used by parents is the wet wipe. There are reusable alternatives you can try, including a DIY option. Many are marketed as ‘flushable’ but this means most are disposed of incorrectly, causing issues like ‘fatbergs’ in sewers or impacting sea life.

Friends of the Earth says "wet wipes, like so many other everyday throwaway items, contain plastic, and aren't so harmless after all."

With some sewing, you can easily make cloth wipes that you can use time and time again. Cut up old cloth like blankets, shorts or washcloths into small squares. Place on one top of another and swe them together securely around the edges. Make a wipe solution by mixing two cups of water, two tablespoons of baby oil, and two tablespoons of baby shampoo and pour it into a spray bottle.

When you need to use a wipe, simply spray the cloth with the solution as required. To clean them, rinse them with water before popping into your washing machine

Rent toys

It's no surprise that children get a lot of toys as they grow up but did you know 80% of all toys end up being dumped, according to Medium? However, you can cut down on the amount your child owns without depriving them of something new to play with.

Toy rental is becoming increasingly popular around the world, and in Ireland, Clever Tots Toy Club ( offers a range of eco-friendly wooden toys and recycled plastics. You can get a monthly delivery and their collection service sees new toys arrive and old ones sanitised and reused.

In addition, if you want to find new homes for your child's unused or forgotten toys, consider donating them to charity shops.

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