In association with
From glass baby bottles that last a lifetime to eco-friendly soothers, parents are taking proactive steps towards reducing their environmental footprint, whether that’s buying newborn essentials made of environmentally-friendly materials or opting for brands with production methods that prioritise sustainability.
The choices we make for our children last far beyond infancy and their future is inextricably linked to the health of the planet they call home. Yet, for many parents, the shift towards sustainability isn’t an easy one.
Our recent survey in partnership with MAM to celebrate the launch of their carbon-neutral soother MAM Original Pure, reveals the challenges UK parents face when it comes to making sustainable lifestyle and product choices after having a baby.
Sustainability in parenthood: expectations vs reality
Of the 1,005 parents surveyed, all of which have at least one child under the age of two, 46% say that they're less environmentally sustainable than they had planned to be when they were expecting their baby, including 36% of those who say they're more sustainable than they were pre-children. 63% say they are more sustainable than their own parents were.
3 in 5 parents say they estimate less than half of the baby products they use on a regular basis are sustainable or eco-friendly options, with just 1 in 10 (11%) saying that they use sustainable and eco-friendly options at least 75% of the time.
When it comes to baby products like soothers, 65% of those who have used soothers haven't considered their environmental impact at all.
Concern for their children’s futures
Parents are worried about their choices: 75% say that they worry about the environmental impact their choices will have on their children's futures.
Three quarters (74%) say they think they're doing too little in terms of living an environmentally sustainable lifestyle and that sustainable behaviour is much harder as a parent, with many noting barriers that make it difficult for them including parental pressures, time and convenience.
What are the challenges for parents when it comes to sustainability?
The majority (78%) of parents say the pressures of parenthood make sustainability more difficult, with 88% saying they'd be more sustainable with a baby if it was more convenient. 76% agree it should be the responsibility of manufacturers and brands, not parents, to make sustainability easy.
87% say that, for them, sustainability is a series of baby steps, rather than one big action, and 82% agree that although they try to be sustainable, they find it difficult to do so all of the time.
Parents' desires for easier sustainable living
Parents want to be able to achieve sustainable lifestyles easily: 94% say they wish it was easier to live sustainably and 91% say they want sustainability to be so easy that they don't have to think about it.
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What MAM and Mumsnet say
Lisa Parkhill, managing director of MAM, says, “We know parenthood can be overwhelming and having the added pressure of protecting the environment when juggling lots of challenges can get too much. But it is the little baby steps we choose together that makes a big difference.
“As a brand, we’ve made big strides to be more sustainable. It’s taken almost a decade of intensive research and new scientific breakthroughs to bring to market a high quality, eco-friendly carbon-neutral soother. Nearly two thirds (63%) of people asked didn’t know sustainable soothers existed. Now, we can soothe parents’ environmental anxieties at the same time as soothing and calming babies.”
Justine Roberts, Mumsnet co-founder, says, “Having children brings the future of the planet sharply into focus, so it’s no surprise that the majority of parents are willing to make sacrifices in order to be more eco-friendly. But the pressures of parenting can sometimes make sustainable choices more difficult. Anything brands like MAM can do to make those choices easier is a good thing - for parents and for the planet.”
About the MAM Original Pure Soother
The MAM Original Pure Soother comes in a unique steriliser box which is great for use on the go. The box and soother are made of bio-renewable material which can be traced back 100% to renewable raw materials.
Sterilising the soother could not be simpler or greener. By simply adding water and microwaving the steriliser box for three minutes, up to 77% of CO2 emissions are saved compared to other methods.
Innovations at MAM have resulted in the business incorporating safe, renewable raw material sources that are 100% traceable along the supply chain in terms of environmental and social standards. MAM is also committed to extending its carbon-neutral credentials across other products in its portfolio next year.
About the survey
1,055 UK Mumsnet users completed the survey
All have at least one child under the age of two
Survey dates: July and August 2023