Meet an Eco Parent! - Ana from @mysustainable20s
Meet Ana, from the Netherlands, previously from London
Follow Ana on Instagram: @mysustainable20s and @thezapystore
This is the next blog post in our very special "Meet an Eco Parent" series, which gives you a chance to meet a parent from the UK who considers themselves an 'eco parent' or a 'green parent'; those parents who really think about sustainable impacts when raising their children, and are dedicated to their families and to the environment.
Thank you to Ana for answering these questions!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family
We are a little family of 3, with our boy just having turned one! My husband is from New Zealand, I'm from the Netherlands, so we're raising our boy bilingual!
What does a day in your life look like?
It's very hectic! We have just bought a house and are renovating, I'm growing my own business, developing and launching new zero waste and vegan products and of course life with a one year old is just utter chaos 😂
Would you describe yourself as an ‘eco parent’ or a ‘green parent’?
Absolutely. With every purchase - especially at the start - I try to be as zero waste as possible, mainly reusable or biodegradable.
Do you have any advice for parents hoping to avoid plastics (and other materials with toxins) in baby / family products?
Do your research, but if you're in a panic because your baby is crying and you need something NOW, just buy it. Go to your local supermarket and do whatever*
Whatever you need to help your baby. I've been too hard on myself, not wanting to do disposable diapers. But when your baby leaks through every night and wakes up crying, just move over to disposable nappies - there are plenty of green brands out there, and doing part time reusable is already amazing!
Do you talk to other parents about your own sustainable choices?
Yes, and I really notice how other parents are just clueless about their choices for the environment and the health for their baby, it makes me crazy. Like throwing away a disposable nappy that has half a pee in it. Or snacks wrapped in multiple layers of plastics. Or wet wipes made out of plastic. It is literally the easiest thing to get plastic free now!
What is the biggest challenge that you face as an ‘eco’ parent?
Getting other people to respect our eco lifestyle. 'we love secondhand' so family offer us anything and everything that's trash to them. We don't just love any old gross second hand toy because it's eco-friendly to reuse toys, we do want it to be of good quality.
What are your favourite eco friendly baby / family products?
Honestly, the plant based + milk formula from Nutrilon. They finally have a vegetarian version of baby formula.
Everyone is always talking about reusable nappies, but it's hard work.
*it's so much washing, drying, folding.. on top of all the other extra laundry a baby brings along….
What is the best thing about being a parent?
The love. The cuddles, the kisses, the smiles. It's hard, but so rewarding - most of the time. Sometimes it's just hard.
Has being a parent changed you?
Yes. I'm actually less anal about being eco-friendly. If we need something now, there ain't time to research, so I just go to the local store and buy whatever they have. Mainly new clothes, when all the second hand clothes all of a sudden are too small, or the weather changes for the worst, you can't wait for another Vinted package to arrive three days later.
How do you pass along advice for sustainable living to your family / child(ren)?
It's hard. You don't want to be preachy, so it's mainly about giftgiving with me. People know I'm into this, so if they want to talk about it, I am happy to have the conversation. But often I find it hard not to comment on how un eco friendly they are - but I try to keep my thoughts to myself. At least my husband is on the same page as I am.