May 24, 2018 6:41 am Leave your thoughts
We’re all thinking hard at the moment about how to avoid unnecessary waste. At NGF, we’re reviewing all our own packaging and looking into every environmentally friendly option we can track down. We’re thinking about waste in our own homes, too – about the things we maybe don’t need to buy or use, the things we somehow fail to recycle, and the things we simply shove to the back of our minds – and consciences – as we throw them away. Baby wipes fall into this category.
Those of us with kids know that baby wipes are a pretty miraculous product; something that becomes a supermarket essential right from the start, and remains on our ‘favourites’ list long after our kids have started primary school (or, ahem, even secondary school). Wipes are great not only for cleaning up the obvious and unmentionable areas of a baby, but also for removing caked-on spaghetti bolognaise and chocolate custard from a tiny chin, or sheep poo and squashed spiders from an elbow, or a felt tip tattoo applied by a sibling seconds before the school run. They can turn a highchair from appalling to appealing in a matter of seconds, can rescue your floor or carpet from all manner of splodges and blobs, and in brief, can return your furnishings, children, clothing and dignity to their accustomed state faster than you can say ‘I don’t care if the rest of the class is allowed to do that’.
Those of us without kids love baby wipes too. They’re a remarkably quick way of cleaning up greasy and grimy areas, such as oven hoods and hobs, the inside of cars and bathrooms. They’re highly recommended for use at festivals and on camping trips, and can come in very handy if you’ve got certain medical conditions, like haemorrhoids.
But when all is said and done, they’re not generally the most environmentally friendly option: we’re manufacturing too many, throwing too many away, and worst of all, flushing too many down the toilet, where they cause blockages. According to Water UK, baby wipes make up 93% of all blockages in our sewers and drains (a statistic that probably wasn’t that much fun to compile). Most commercially available wipes contain plastic, preventing them from biodegrading (and from disintegrating in water).
While we wouldn’t want a world entirely without baby wipes, we think it’s a good idea to have some alternatives in mind – for when the best/worst of the baby/festival years are behind us. Here’s what we have to suggest.
For household cleaning purposes
Baby wipes are quick, but they’re not cheap. Invest instead in a pair of rubber gloves, a sponge and one of our cream cleansers, for heavy-duty cleaning. We sell a great range of environmentally friendly cleaners, which you can see here.
For general wiping purposes
Make a double-saving on waste by cutting old clothes and sheets into small wipe-sized cloths. Keep these handy in your kitchen. When a wipe is needed, run one under the tap, or dip in soapy water, and wipe away. Simply wash the cloths with your next load of laundry.
For baby purposes
You can wipe a baby with a cloth, of course, but for particularly sensitive areas, you might prefer our environmentally friendly and super-soft cotton wool, which you can see here. Dampen and gently wipe: it’s a lot better even than a ‘sensitive’ wipe for babies suffering from any kind of irritation of the nappy area.
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This post was written by Yzanne