Waste Not, Want Not: Top Tips from Two Mums

This is my second post for Real Nappy Week and if you didn’t get a chance to read the first post, you can find it here.

In my line of work, I’m fortunate to meet people with a real passion for protecting the environment and it’s always interesting to me to find out how they put their convictions into action. They never fail to inspire me and also challenge me to find less wasteful ways of living.

Thanks to two such people – Dawn (valued member of our Recycling Team) and Sanne (undercover waste-busting superhero in the community) – I’ve been able to gather information and recommendations to share with you.

Lots of their simple, practical tips can be found in the new Green Baby Guide on our website.

And here are a few extra top tips, just for you!

Dawn’s Top Tips

When Dawn was pregnant, her Mum got out her sewing machine and made a small mountain of cloth wipes. Not only did these promise to reduce waste (and cost), they also passed on a piece of Dawn’s childhood. The towel side of the wipe came from the cloth nappies Dawn’s Mum used on her as a baby and the fabric side is made from curtains that hung in her childhood bedroom.Cloth wipe

No pattern is necessary – simply sew two squares or rectangles together.

If you’re crafty and love making things by hand, Dawn recommends:

  • Make wipes in 2 sizes, one for baby’s face (especially during the weaning stage) and the other for…well…baby’s bum. You’ll be glad you did: cloth wipes are more effective than disposables as they have better absorbency.
  • For ‘on the go’ wipes, simply dampen a few before you go out, put them in a plastic container and bring a small bag for soiled wipes.
  • Washing is easy – throw them in your washing machine on 40 degrees. For the messy ones, put them into a laundry bag as soon as they’re used. When you’re ready to do a load of laundry, zip up the bag and toss it in the machine. On a sunny or windy day, they dry quickly outside.
  • Store face wipes at the bottom of your child’s high chair so they’re always available to use when life gets messy.

Cloth Wipes
Dawn’s crafty Mum also made this attractive and useful cot tidy:

Cot Tidy

Sanne’s Top Tips

To make your own bibs using old pieces of cloth or towel, download Sanne’s pattern.

Sanne is a real champion of cloth nappies, but she points out that the choice is never ‘all or nothing’: parents can use cloth nappies full time or part time and they can also choose whether or not to launder them or pay a service such as The Nappy Laundry Company to do it.

If you’re not sure how to fit a cloth nappy, watch this useful video.

She recommends using gNappies which pair cloth nappies with biodegradable inserts.

To further cut down on waste and avoid using plastic (a finite resource), she also suggests:

Thanks again to Dawn and Sanne for their excellent recommendations!

However, some waste is inevitable. The good news is that a lot of it can now be recycled. Visit our website to find out more about recycling options in Aberdeen.

And please don’t hesitate to get in touch for more advice or information – our team of Recycling Officers are always happy to help.

If you are a parent or caregiver and have any other recommendations or information, please get in touch or leave us a comment on this post. We’re always updating our information and would welcome your ideas!


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