8 Simple Life Hacks to be an Eco-friendly Mamma from a Toronto Mom

8 Simple Life Hacks to be an Eco-friendly Mamma from a Toronto Mom

Being a mom is time-consuming and stressful enough that we barely have time to think of our impact on Mother Earth. But what if going green could actually simplify your life as a busy new mom and protect the environment at the same time?

The planet needs us now more than ever. Our over-consumption and damaging lifestyle are causing a lot of damage (like marine life being killed by plastic!), but there’s a ton we can do to minimize our footprint and be as kind as we can be to our environment.

In honour of Earth Day, we asked a busy local mom of two Carine Sroujian if she could take over this blog article and share 8 simple life hacks she used to become a more eco-friendly mom and some of the steps she’s planning to take in the future.

Over to you Carine!

Hi mamas,

About 8 years ago, when I was pregnant with my first, I started becoming more and more conscious of what I was putting in and on my body. Every decision I made would also impact my baby, so it wasn’t just about me anymore. This started me on my journey of waking up to all the damaging chemicals around us, not only wreaking havoc on our health but that of our precious planet’s. I started making gradual changes that have significantly reduced our family’s consumption of plastic and toxins, our carbon footprint and the impact on our overall wellbeing.

I truly hope the list of eco hacks below inspires you to make a change in your life and that of your family’s. It’s important to not put additional pressure on yourself as I know you already have enough to deal with as it is, but to see this gradual shift as a way to simplify your life as a mom and make a significant impact on the world around you.

Start with one hack that resonates with you and see where that takes you. And think of it this way, less toxins mean less sick babies! Since becoming more mindful of the chemicals we bring into our home, we have dealt with much less disease and health-related issues in our family.

  1. Replace plastic bottles and cups with glass 

    and/or stainless steel ones depending on the age of your little one. I would only buy glass bottles for my little ones when they were born, but when it came time for sippy cups and cups as my kids got older, I naturally gravitated towards plastic. Considering that they drop and break everything, I was undoubtedly concerned about glass. Plastic is just easier right? But, you can find a huge variety of stainless steel sippy cups with silicone sleeves for toddlers. I also recently discovered these adorable cups on Amazon, and I was hooked. They have been dropped so many times yet they’re incredibly durable. Now if my kids can only stop fighting over the panda cup!

  2. Use glass/mason jars instead of plastic containers. 

    A few years back, I threw out all of my plastic tupperware and replaced them with glass containers. I’m obsessed with my mason jars. I make everything from chia puddings, salads to beauty products and store them in my jars. And you can easily and safely transport them if you take your lunch with you.

  3. DIY cleaning products.

    I have been making my own hand soap for years using Castile Soap and essential oils. I also switched from chemical dishwashing liquid to natural eco ones a few years back, and most recently, started making my own, storing it in a glass mason jar with a pump, saving even more plastic. And the best part is that it works even better than any store-bought brand I’ve used!

    Carine’s Dishwashing Liquid Recipe

    – 2 cups of Liquid Castile Soap
    – 1 T vegetable glycerin (cuts grease and thickens soap. Add more if you want thicker soap.)
    – 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner to fight grease, stains, and get more suds
    – 1 cup warm water
    – 10 drops Purification essential oil
    – 10 drops Lemon essential oil
    – OPTIONAL: A few additional drops of your favourite oil
    – Pinch of salt
    – Mix in a glass mason jar

  4. Switch from paper to e-bills. 

    We don’t realize what a positive impact this simple switch makes on the environment, and the best part is that it reduces the clutter in your home (score!). We have enough of that to deal with already, right?

  5. Make your own personal care products. 

    It’s a lot easier and much cheaper than you think to make your own beauty and personal care products. I switched over to natural deodorants years ago when I found out the impact of the toxins in chemical deodorants on our bodies, including the absorption of carcinogens and hormone disruptors. But after having spent tons of money on store brand natural deodorants that simply did not work, I set out to find and perfect a recipe of my own that did. I’ve been using the below recipe for close to 10 years and have even tested it in hot yoga classes, and it works like a charm! You can even double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch.

    Carine’s Deodorant Recipe

    • 3 T coconut oil
    • 2 T baking soda
    • 2 T arrowroot flour or cornstarch
    • 5 drops of Tea Tree oil
    • 5 drops of Lavender oil
    • A few drops of any essential oil you like
    1. Mix baking soda and arrowroot together in a bowl.
    2. Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed.
    3. Add oils.
    4. Store in small glass jar or empty deodorant container.
  6. Reusable Feminine Hygiene Products.

    Apparently, the average woman uses over 16,000 sanitary items and spends over $18,000 during her lifetime! Other than putting your health at risk with toxin-laden pads and tampons, these products are adding to the impact on our planet. I recently switched over to a menstrual cup called the Diva Cup and I absolutely love it! It took a bit of time to get adjusted to it, but I don’t see myself ever going back to pads or tampons.

  7. Go Local and Organic if possible. 

    Support farmers and start buying local produce. I often shop at local farmer’s markets like Evergreen Brick Works or Toronto Botanical Gardens. And buying local ensures that you aren’t endorsing or consuming packaged foods and also supporting struggling farmers. I even started my own little organic garden in my backyard last year! Tending to your own garden and growing your own food is incredibly grounding and meditative, and as moms, we need that more than ever! It also encourages your little ones to be more adventurous with veggies and fruit because they’re growing them. Not only will you be making a positive impact on your family’s health, but also on our planet.

  8. Eat more plant-based foods. 

    I adopted a vegan lifestyle this time last year, reducing my carbon footprint even further. Now I’m not saying you should go fully vegan (although the animals would thank you!), but making a conscious effort to eat more of a plant-based diet and reducing your intake of meat significantly reduces the environmental impact caused by meat production.

What I wish I had known sooner is how easy and simple it would have been had I used a cloth diaper service for both my kids. Cloth diapers intimidated me and the lack of information and education contributed to that feeling. I didn’t want to deal with the hassles of cleaning up the mess and the laundry involved. In hindsight, now that I’m more informed, I wouldn’t have hesitated twice about using cloth!

Some of the changes I anticipate making over the next couple of months:

    • Switch from plastic bags to reusable ones (if I can remember to bring them with me when grocery shopping!). As I write this, I’m thinking I can leave a few in the car so that they’re always accessible when needed. And buying stylish reusable bags like these ones, can definitely encourage you to use them more often!
    • Move from plastic straws to glass or stainless steel
    • Replace plastic popsicle molds with a stainless steel one
    • Use less plastic water bottles (even though they’re extremely convenient!) and make a conscious effort to take my stainless steel bottle with me when I’m on the go

I will keep you all posted on my progress in a future article!

It may seem like a lot to do, especially for a tired mom, but once you get into the habit of adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle, it will become more and more second nature.

Do you have any simple tips you can share on how to become more of an eco-conscious mom?

Top 14 Eco Baby Registry Must-Haves

Top 14 Eco Baby Registry Must-Haves

For many moms and dads, growing their own food or making organic baby clothes for their baby is the ideal way to go. But, it’s a tiny bit hard to pull that off, especially with a newborn to care for.

But you still want to do everything you can to protect your baby from harsh chemicals and care for the environment at the same time, which makes registering for baby gear a bit of a challenge given that many of the products out there are made of plastic and harsh chemicals and those that are not are often, well, as expensive as they are desirable.

The good news though, is that staying green while stocking up on baby supplies isn’t impossible, it does, however, mean navigating labels knowing what solvents, materials and ingredients do what and whether they are safe to us. Choosing the right green products can be challenging and expensive if you go by trial-and-error. The key is to focus on what’s important and not buy into all the fads.

Our curated eco-registry has the earth-friendly baby gear that’ll cover your newborn needs and help you stay aligned with your eco lifestyle.


Reusable Nursing Pads

Because they’re made of natural fibers, cloth nursing pads provide better air circulation and are more soothing for sore nipples. Rather than disposing of these pads after use, you wash, dry and reuse them – most can be washed easily with your baby’s clothes. Not only will you be saving the environment by reusing your pads, but you will save money as well.

These washable nursing pads from Apple Cheeks (found at Toronto-based Snugglebugz) are made of plush rayon from bamboo/cotton blend.


Sustainable Nursery Furniture

Many cribs these days are coated in toxic finishes, not to mention made with some not-so-pleasant chemicals and glues. There are all sorts of VOCs in both the construction of the wood as well as the stains and finishes. Thankfully, there is a large selection of cribs that are sustainable like the Babyletto line that’s available at WestCoast Kids.

Chemical Free Mattress and Pads

Mattresses and pads are typically treated with toxic pesticides and fertilizers that are damaging to the environment and your baby’s health. Opt for an organic one like the Naturepedic mattress instead, which is made of organic cotton fabric and filling, and non-toxic fire protection.

Cloth Diapers

Disposables create significant harm to the environment. Reusable diapers are typically made from all-natural, biodegradable materials, making them easier on both the environment and baby’s sensitive bum.  The misconception is that cloth diapers cost more and will be a hassle to wash, but it’s quite the opposite. There are cloth diaper services like Comfy Cotton in Toronto that make the process so easy that you would never have to worry about supplies, laundry or damaging the environment. They launder in large quantities using less water, gas, energy, etc. compared to laundering at home.


Eco-friendly Baby Carrier

By choosing organically grown cotton, you are playing an active role in keeping toxic conventional cotton growing chemicals out of our environment. Choosing organic cotton keeps the insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers out of the rivers, it doesn’t kill off the good insects, and instead of taking all of the good stuff out of the soil, it actually enriches it. Check out Boba Organic Baby Carrier Collection found at Toronto-based Ava’s Appletree.


Eco Stroller

Yes, even strollers can be eco-friendly! The Bumbleride Indie‘s fabric is made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles—each single stroller recycles 28 bottles. Bumbleride also works with eco-conscious factories to minimize water use and pollution. And you don’t have to compromise on features as the lightweight all-terrain stroller comes with all-wheel suspension, all air-tires, and an SPF 45+ retractable canopy, and is very comfortable even for infants, as the backrest reclines to a flat position and the fabric can enclose the footrest area.


Organic Bedding Set



Eco-friendly doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish! The selection of organic and eco-bedding for babies used to be limited, but luckily even big box stores now offer beautiful organic bedding set design like this one from Pottery Barn.


Organic Clothing

Soft organic cotton is a dream for baby’s sensitive skin—the natural fibers are highly breathable, which helps keep baby cool, and they’re produced without the use of chemicals, meaning you don’t have to worry about impacting the environment, and any unpleasant smells and uncomfortable skin reactions. With all the super cute options out there like the Endanzoo line at BabyJoy that’s designed and printed in Canada, finding baby clothes that match your style will not be a challenge. Plus, 10% of their net profits are donated to various organizations that support the cause for endangered animals!


Natural Skin Care

Newborn skin is much thinner than ours, so it absorbs more chemicals—which is why it’s so important to choose baby-safe products that are free of parabens, dyes and other irritating and toxic ingredients. You’ll find listings of low hazard items (as well as high hazard) on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database. Toronto-based Baby on the Hip has a big selection of natural and organic skincare products for baby.


Natural Wipes

Conventional wipes contain a variety of ingredients that we already try to avoid including parabens, phthalates (fragrance), PEG’s, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol and a variety of other chemicals you might not want to be rubbing all over your precious newborn. And the chlorine process of creating them is pretty hard on the environment and our landfills. Try a more natural version like Aleva Bamboo wipes found at Diaper-eez in Toronto.


Natural Sunscreen

For babies 6 months and up, choose a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30. Look for mineral-based sunscreens with formulas containing natural, plant-based ingredients that can be gentle and nourishing for baby’s delicate skin than a product containing chemical filters like avobenzone and oxybenzone.

Well.ca has a great section on their website that features the top-rated sunscreens for kids based on the EWG’s ratings. Our personal favourites are ThinkBaby and Badger sunscreens.


Organic Hooded Towel

Organic towels are affordable, accessible, and reduce your baby’s exposure to pesticides and preservatives used in manufacturing. Since bath towels and washcloths are used so often and directly touch your baby’s skin, it’s best to choose organic. Gently wrap your baby after a bath with an organic terry cotton hooded towel like this one from Baby Joy. They’re soft, thick and highly absorbent. Look for the GOTS certification to make sure the clothing is organic and non-toxic from field to finish.


Green Diaper Bag


Lassig Green Label Urban Style Diaper Bag is made from recycled PET bottles and is, therefore, a sustainable companion – even after you’re done with diapers. Being made of recycled pet in addition to PU and polyester, natural resources are consciously spared.

Glass Baby Bottles

Glass is the healthiest choice for your family as there is no chance of any chemicals leaking into liquids. The entire LifeFactory glass bottle line, including all components, available at ByNature.ca in Barrie is completely free of known toxins including BPA, phthalates, polycarbonates, and PVC. The bottles come with colourful, protective medical-grade silicone sleeves for a tactile non-slip gripping surface and to help prevent breakage.








Are there any eco-friendly baby product that you love? Share with us!

Cloth Diapering On The Go

Cloth Diapering On The Go

One big question that newcomers to cotton diapering have is “How do I handle diapers when I am not at home?”

The biggest difference between changing at home and while out is getting the soiled diaper from the public restroom to your house. And yes, at first it may seem strange to carry a dirty or wet diaper around in your diaper bag rather than tossing it in the closest trash can, the wet bag is effectively your portable trash can (without the waste).

After you’ve done it the first time and realize that the wet bag really does trap the odour and wetness inside, you’ll find that it’s no big deal and actually take pride in the fact that your baby’s diapers aren’t filling the local landfill with waste.

Speaking for ourselves, we’re grateful to moms and dads who chose to actively keep diapers out of the garbage and our environment; so with that in mind, here are a few tips that make cotton diapering while out and about simple:

  • Cotton diapers need to be changed more frequently than disposables, so you will want to pack plenty of diapers in the bag.


  • Some cotton diapering moms give in and use disposable wet wipes for diaper changes while on the go. That’s okay. However, if you don’t want to do this, pack several small baby washcloths and a bottle of water to dampen the washcloth while you’re out. Just roll the washcloths into the soiled diaper and take care of them when you get home.


  • After changing the baby, don’t worry about swishing the cotton diaper in the toilet. Honestly, it will be way nastier to do that in a public restroom than to simply fold or roll the soiled diaper into the wet bag and swish at home. If you’re a Comfy Cotton Client, simply drop the soiled diaper into your lined pail at home, waste and all, and you’re done!


  • When you arrive at home, immediately empty the wet bag, treating the diapers the way that you normally do. Don’t procrastinate this chore because it won’t get better with time!


  • Have several wet bags. This will ensure that one is always clean when you need it. Also, don’t skimp on wet bag quality. Do you really want to carry a cloud of stinky diaper odour everywhere you go while you’re out?


  • If you tend to keep a bag packed, be sure that you keep abreast of the sizes of the diaper covers stored in it. You don’t want to get out in public and realize that the only diaper cover in the bag is way too small for your baby.

Although on the surface, it may seem easier to use disposables when going out, it’s really not that big of a deal to change cotton diapers when shopping or running errands. In fact, it’s not any more complicated to use cotton diapers than disposables wherever you happen to be.

Over 28 Years Serving Toronto’s Cloth Diaper needs

Over 28 Years Serving Toronto’s Cloth Diaper needs

A thriving business going on 28 years is an accomplishment.

We are proud to have served and continue serving parents in the Greater Toronto Area. Saving the planet one cloth diaper at a time. Have a look at the following infographic filled with interesting data accumulated over the past 28 years.