Meet an Eco Parent!
Meet Nome, from NW England, UK
Follow Nome on Instagram - @finleysfluffybutt
Meet an Eco Parent! This is the another 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 Nome for answering these questions!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hi, I'm Nome. I'm married to Mike and we have 3 kids, Seren 13, Izzy 8 and Finn 3, plus our dog Scooby, cat MJ and snake Pliskin. Our life is hectic and our house is rarely quiet!
What does a day in your life look like?
Mike works nights so he does the school run while Finn and I start our day slowly, we have breakfast and feed the animals. I do some cleaning and washing while he watches Spidey and then we pick an activity to do together. Usually puzzles, magnetic blocks, the marble run or playing with cars. It always ends up messy so I clean while he has lunch. I potter about while he plays until the girls come home from school. On the days Mike's in work I cook, but when he's home Mike takes over, he's a much better cook than me! We watch TV together until the little 2 go to bed, our eldest likes to stay up and watch a film with us before bed.
Would you describe yourself as an ‘eco parent’?
I would say I'm a "trying my best parent" although I've made a lot of eco swaps I think it would be hard to be completely eco friendly. My favourite quote is "we don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfecly"
What is your top eco hack for babies / kids / family?
Preloved is your best friend. Babies grow so quickly that you can usually get everything you need in nearly new condition, from clothes to cloth nappies. I love a bargain so I often check charity shops and Facebook marketplace for anything I need, and most of the time I find what I'm looking for.
Do you have any advice for parents hoping to avoid plastics (and other materials with toxins) in baby / family products?
Give cloth a go! Cloth nappies and wipes are a great way to keep nasty chemicals away from babies skin, and in my experience they're more reliable than disposables. The statistics about how much waste disposable nappies create, and how long they take to break down, is absolutely shocking. I think people find switching to cloth daunting but there is a wealth of knowledge out there. Fleecy Bums for example have a YouTube channel with a series of videos teaching you everything you could ever need to know. The cloth community are always willing to help out anyone who wants to switch, they were a huge help to me when I first started out.
Do you talk to other parents about your own sustainable choices?
Yes, but I'm always careful not to be too pushy. I tend to wait until they come to me first. I like to gift useful things like wetbags, cloth wipes, reusable kitchen roll, the easiest little swaps that open up a whole world of change!
What is the biggest challenge that you face as an ‘eco’ parent?
The expense was the biggest hurdle for me, it would be amazing to buy all the eco swaps all at once and change everything overnight, but that isn't realistic or attainable for most people. It doesn't have to be all of nothing, start small and gradually make changes. It all adds up and makes a difference. Some swaps even save you money in the long run!
What are your favourite eco friendly baby / family products?
I started with cloth nappies and wipes and loved them so much that I started looking for other swaps, they were my gateway! I started using cloth sanitary pads and I could never go back, they're so comfortable and more reliable! I love my reusable kitchen roll, swipeeze from Bells Bumz make cleaning easier! Wet bags and pods are so versatile, I use them for everything from packing snacks to storing bath bombs!
Do you have any advice for parents who want to raise an ‘eco’ baby / child?
Find your community! When I switched to cloth I started my Instagram (@finleysfluffybutt) and found a whole community of like-minded parents. Then when I became a rep for Fleecy Bums I met some amazing friends who I talk to all day every day, we've even been able to meet in person several times now. Having friends who also want to do their bit to "save the world" is an amazing support system!
What is the best thing about being a parent?
There are so many best bits for me! Watching them grow and learn new things is amazing, there's nothing like the pride you feel at every milestone! I love looking back at old pictures and seeing how far they've come. Seren is 13 now and watching her start to navigate the world on her own is scary, but impressive!
Has being a parent changed you?
I became a parent when I was 19, I am a completely different person to who I was then! I think I've grown as much as my kids have. Wanting to set a good example is a huge driving force in making positive changes for myself.
How do you pass along advice for sustainable living to your family / child(ren)?
With my kids I think they learn by example, to them the changes we've made are just normal so I know they will carry it on as they grow up. With my extended family I offer advice if they want it, I try not to push anything onto them because I'd hate them to think I'm shaming them. I have however talked everyone's ears off about cloth nappies over the past couple of years 😂
Anything else you’d like say?
I'd just like to tell anyone who's reading this that you're doing a great job! If you need any help or advice please pop me a message on Instagram. I love helping people get started and troubleshooting any problems along the way!