SEARCH BY CATEGORIES
December 14, 2021
Bebbuxu Eco Baby Shop – Safeguarding the environment through ecological alternatives
Did you know that a single disposable nappy endures for over 500 years after disposal? Are you aware of the number of single-use nappies that end up in landfills all around the world? Would you like to opt for more eco-friendly products for your baby’s and children’s needs?
Bebbuxu Eco Baby Shop was born soon after Michelle Cachia and her partner had their baby son. Their awareness regarding the environment he would be growing up in fueled their search for safer, reusable items. One new practice they adopted was the use of cloth nappies rather than disposables.
In the first year alone, a baby goes through approximately 3,000 nappies!
Add a couple more years to that, until the child is potty-trained around the age of three, and that leaves us with a lot of disposable nappies clogging our landfills for centuries. Statistics from around the world are quite sobering.
In the UK, around three billion nappies are discarded per year, amounting to 2-3% of all household waste. In Australia, the annual amount is approximately two billion. Americans throw away a staggering twenty billion disposable diapers every year. Multiplying these figures by 500 results in a monumental impact on our ecosystem – and this is from one commodity alone.
Think about it! The first ever disposable nappy used in the 1950s is still lying in a landfill somewhere – with over 400 years to go!
Michelle – or Mich, as she is affectionately known – is no stranger to environmental issues.
“At age 13, I became a vegetarian,” Mich stated. “Nature and the great outdoors played a significant role all my life, as did animals – particularly rescued horses. In fact, I spent many happy hours of my childhood playing in the countryside with my younger brother.”
When she became a parent, the protection of the environment was even more of a priority for Mich – because of her son’s future.
“No one is ever fully ready for a new addition to the family,” she smiled. “But what we definitely were not prepared for was the shocking amount of added waste that comes from using disposable nappies.”
Together with her partner, Mich wanted to reduce the negative effects on our struggling planet. They discovered, however, that options were quite restricted locally. And so, Mich began sourcing eco-friendly items for their son. She also wished to help other parents and provide a variety of eco-friendly, cost-effective items that are available to all.
And so, the concept of Bebbuxu Eco Shop emerged.
The online eco shop offers a wide variety of personal and household items which are all reusable, made from sustainable materials, and free from plastic. The main focus is on baby products, with a vast selection of styles and colourful motifs adorning the cloth nappies on offer. You will also find wet bags and washable wipes to aid you when changing the baby, especially when away from home.
The other available items for babies and children include bamboo plates and cutlery sets for meal times, as well as skin-friendly toiletries and bamboo toothbrushes. The handmade teether rings and pacifier clips are created using wood and BPA-free materials. Older babies and children will enjoy playing with the handmade wooden toys, made from 100% ecological components.
Mich is also proud to represent a certified organisation in Bangladesh which supports poor women living in rural areas by offering them fair employment. These artisanal women crochet the beautiful rattles found at Bebbuxu completely by hand.
The shop also presents an assortment of safe products for the rest of the family. Mums and dads may benefit from using eco-friendly hair- and body-care items and creams, plastic-free hair ties, multi-use makeup remover pads, and other ladies’ essentials. And for the home, there is a selection of reusable cotton bags, bamboo and silicone straws, beeswax food wraps, and compostable dishcloths.
The name of the shop has a sweet story behind it.
“When our son was younger, he earned the nickname Bebbuxu, the Maltese word for snail,” Mich revealed with a grin. “For some time, he had a prominent curl on the top of his forehead. Our inside joke was that it hugely resembled a snail.”
“Our son is the one trying and testing our cloth nappies daily – and he loves them. So, it was only fair to use his unique nickname when we came to name our business. His seal of approval for our products is testament to the personal touch the name itself evokes.”
Bebbuxu is more than just an online shop – it is a conscientious plan of action.
Apart from the large selection of available products and brands, Mich offers her services to help guide parents who are new to the concept of cloth nappies. In fact, she willingly shares her family’s personal journey with cloth nappies to help other parents be more aware of these items and their availability.
Mich offers a personal approach to anyone visiting her website. “If you are feeling overwhelmed by the items available, or confused as to where to start, please get in touch with me. I will be very happy to schedule an online chat and discuss any queries you may have.”
The enterprising mother also provides plenty of information about the products she promotes, along with instructions for care and washing. Her website is brimming with useful advice and helpful responses to common questions that inevitably arise.
What are the pros and cons of opting for cloth nappies, rather than disposable ones?
The numerous colours and styles of cloth nappies are not the only factors that make them a joy to use. At first, they may seem expensive, but the costs that are saved in the long run amount to over €1,000 when compared to buying disposable nappies for three years. The total amount of cloth nappies you will need for full-time use is a mere 20-25, rather than 4,000-6,000 single use ones.
Disposable nappies do come in various sizes to suit a baby’s weight and age. However, the range of reusable nappies stocked at Bebbuxu come in three sizes, which easily accommodate a baby's first three years through the use of Velcro or adjustable poppers. Mich’s personal favourites are the pocket nappies – a one-size-fits-most style of cloth nappy. This particular design fits children weighing between 4-16 kilos, meaning it is possible to use one in this style from birth to potty-training age.
Cloth nappies may be reused for all the children of the same family, passed on to other families, or even sold as pre-loved cloth nappies.
Furthermore, all cloth nappies are more straightforward for use in potty-training. The best thing about them – they contain zero chemicals, meaning your baby will not face any of the allergic reactions caused by the harsh dyes, gels, and chemicals found in disposables.
Obviously, your wash loads will have to increase, possibly by an extra 2-3 cycles per week. However, nappies may be added to other clothes or towels to save on water. Disposable nappies are also easy to discard in a bin when you are out and about, whereas you will need to retain soiled cloth nappies until you get home. The use of wet bags, however, easily solves this issue by storing the used nappies securely.
You will also have to reconsider the use of common rash creams, which can easily build up in the fibres of the cloth nappy and are not easy to remove. To counter this, Bebbuxu provides natural alternatives to these creams, which will solve this problem whilst being kinder to your baby’s skin.
The pros of cloth nappies clearly outshine the cons, especially when you consider the costs – both to your pocket and to the environment.
Full-time use of cloth nappies will cost you around €350 for a three-year supply of nappies. Disposable nappies, on the other hand, will leave you short of €1,350 – and landfills within the EU alone cluttered with over 6.7 million tons of non-decomposing waste per year. These figures should definitely make you reconsider making a change.
In Malta, Mich believes things are moving, albeit slowly. “People may not even be aware that products like these actually exist. This is why we aim to broadcast our own experience and promote reusable items which can help save our ecosystem.”
And what about Mich’s day-to-day life?
“At home, we adopt eco-friendly measures for a more sustainable life. We opt for greener products, especially because we live on an island. The sea surrounding us must be protected as much as possible.”
“In our home, we take care to separate our waste properly and recycle anything we can reuse. Single-use plastics, such as carrier bags and clingfilm, are avoided. It is easy to find ecological alternatives which will not create more waste and increase pollution.”
Mich encourages the use of cloth nappies to help protect the environment.
“They are extremely easy to use, and parents should not be daunted when considering the change. Our Cloth Nappy Trial Kit is a great way for you to test the waters before making the switch.”
“These products are not only less costly; they are safer to use on your baby or child. Waste is reduced considerably, and, in turn, the negative effects on the environment are diminished. It really is a win-win situation!”
In a heartfelt plea, Mich urges parents to make the change to Bebbuxu’s reusable items.
“In a world where our green spaces are disappearing rapidly and climate change is a highly troubling issue,” Mich points out, “considering, or better still, shifting to our natural and eco-friendly products is surely the best way forward.”
“Remember, as parents, we must lead the way for a better future for our children. If we continue as we are, future generations will not be able to enjoy our beautiful Earth. They will only learn about it in stories. Is that the legacy you wish to leave for your children?”
Get to know more about Mich and Bebbuxu's Eco Baby Shop on www.bebbuxu.com.