Costing the Earth: How can I be a more sustainable parent?

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough juggles being a new parent while trying to be eco, and hears what is being done to reduce the carbon impact of bringing up babies.

Despite Eleanor’s best efforts, she has found that raising ‘eco babies’ is not all that simple. From clothes and toys, to food, nappies and transport – parenting brings with it a whole pram-load of unexpected environmental impacts. And regardless of good intentions, parental pressures like a lack of support, the need for convenience and the price of eco-alternatives often means people fall back on more carbon-intensive options. So what needs to change to make it easier? Being a new parent is tough enough, without the feeling of failing the planet being added to the burden.

In this programme, Eleanor sits down with her good friend Pamela Welsh, who also became a mother during the Covid pandemic, to discuss the areas where they are ‘winning’, and the occasions where they have been unable to make the greener-method work. They think about solutions and remind us that it is ok not to get it right all the time.

Eleanor also meets individuals who are are attempting to come up with solutions to some of those difficulties – from mending clothes, recycling nappies, opening up cycling to parents with more than one child and renovating schools. Can the future of parenting be more eco?