I get asked a lot how I manage a zero waste lifestyle when I’m out and about with a baby, and the answer is “exactly the same way I do at home”. It’s all about being a little bit prepared and buying the right bits and bobs. In fact I recently went on a trip to visit family in Dublin so ended up taking some disposables and I was so unprepared for disposables I didn’t know what to do with them… sounds silly doesn’t it!.. but when your used to putting it all in your wet bag I was suddenly wondering around with baby stuck unarm, upside down, tights around her ankles, looking for a bin. Can I put this in a normal bin? (She was safe the whole time I promise, I just looked dishevelled and stressed.) Anyway to make it simple for anyone that’s worried about travelling or just popping out for the afternoon while sticking to a low waste lifestyle with a baby here’s a little peak into my changing bag/hand bag/life essentials bag.
First off I have a Bambino Mio Change Bag, I talked about this in My Low Waste Newborn Essentials. It’s more than I would normally spend on a bag but it was a present and if you really want it in my opinion it’s worth every penny. I use it everyday and will do for the foreseeable future, it’s so comfy and so practical, but you can also get other similar sized changing bags that are more reasonably priced, or a backpack you already own will do but I would say that having one with lots of pockets and compartments helps so much in getting it organised and doing quick changes when your out. For me it being a backpack is essential but you may feel differently (it must work for you!). One feature of the Bambino Mio one is that it has a separate water proof compartment for dirty stuff. My wet bags do keep everything including any yucky smells in well but it is nice being able to keep all dirties separate especially if your also carrying lunch and drinks in your bag.
So in my bag I carry, a couple of wet bags, I just brought a new one from Baba and Boo in the small size and it’s perfect for a days worth of dirty nappies and wipes. Another mini Baba and Boo wet bag with some pre wet cloth wipes in. I normally wet 4/5 wipes for the day. I also have a couple of dry ones I leave in my bag in case of emergencies plus a couple of little lamb fleece liners. These are supposed to be nappies liners but they are so soft I use them for runny noses.
Three nappies for the day is more than enough, plus a spare outfit in case of accidents but remember cloth is so much more reliable for keeping explosions in so I actually had to switch this outfit recently as I realised the one in there had not been used for so long it no longer fit her.
A Bambino Mio changing mat. I do actually have the one that matches the bag as it came as a set but I find it takes up too much room in the bag so I use that one at home and carry one of their smaller travel ones. They often sell these in Aldi on their baby and toddler events.
A large muslin blanket for everything and a small one for everything else.
A couple of wooden toys. (Not sure why I carry them as Reeva will play with everything in my bag except for toys)
Plastic free, chemical free sun creams. These are the travel sized ones (one in a cardboard stick and one in a tin) from Plastic Freedom and are great in case we get caught out with unexpected sunshine. Plus the Amazinc lip balm, also from Plastic Freedom, also in a cardboard tube and also great.
A tin of coconut oil. I use this as a bottom barrier cream. It really does the job so well. I just buy a huge jar from the supermarket and fill up a little tin I had so it can travel with me.
Our water bottles. Reeva has a baby one from Klean Kanteen and it is fab. Totally would recommend any of their bottles.
And lastly, the elephant in the picture.. the only piece of plastic.. hand sanitizer. To be fair I was given 3 hand sanitizer about 4 years ago and I’ve barely used them so this one has been in my bag for a long time, but I think it’s a necessary piece of plastic because we have stopped at some seriously questionable toilets on the side of the road when the boys can’t hold it any longer and when we did a 24 hour coach journey to Andorra I don’t think I could have used the onboard toilet that had no running water without this. Now with a baby we’ve had to do many in car changes or middle of the park changes so this has come in handy. I can’t say I’ve looked into it but I doubt you can get an ethical version of these, but its important to remember we can’t win everything, and actually seen as how I already have them, not using them would be wasteful.
So that’s it, everything I carry with except of course a lunch box or snacks depending on where we are going. I hope that proves that it really is no more to be zero waste on the go with a baby it just takes changing your thought process. Like you would have before you just top it up before you go out and remember to take out the wet bag when you get home to pop in the wash ready for next time.