Top 20 UK Cities for Sustainable Parents
16 September 2021 | Laura @ TKC
With topics like global warming, climate change and plastic pollution gaining worldwide attention over the past 12 months, our new study reveals that sustainable parenting in the UK is on the rise.
Following a staggering 600% increase in interest for the search term “sustainable baby products”¹, we’ve delved into the increase of sustainable parenting in the UK to reveal the cities with the most sustainable parents.
The new ranking is based on insight from The Great Cloth Nappy Census 2020², our own website traffic and sales³ and search data for terms including “reusable cloth nappies”⁴. According to the study, the top 20 cities that make the sustainable parent capitals list are:
So let’s take a look at some of the stand out cities:
Our findings indicate that Bristol, the largest city in South West England, has the highest number of eco-conscious parents, with 50% of people surveyed in the South West region stating they use reusable cloth nappies over disposable nappies, and 91% using washable baby wipes. The city also searches for ‘reusable cloth nappies’ on average 382 each month, highlighting the city's enthusiasm for sustainability.
It’s not surprising that Bristol comes out on top for being the city with the most sustainable parents. Bristol was the first British city to be named European Green Capital and openly celebrates and promotes innovative responses to urban environmental challenges. As well as this, the city is a trailblazer for clean transport and energy.
Taking second place in our ranking is London, with 48% of parents surveyed in the capital using reusable cloth nappies and a staggering 92% of parents using washable baby wipes. The UK’s capital searches for ‘reusable cloth nappies’ on average 2,092 times a month indicating there are a high volume of sustainably-minded parents living in the city. With London ranking 11th globally for environmental sustainability, it’s no surprise the city made it onto the list.
A major city in the Midlands, Birmingham, makes third place on the top 20 list, with 45% of parents surveyed in the city declaring they use reusable cloth nappies and 86% using washable baby wipes. On average, there are 347 searches for ‘reusable cloth nappies’ every month, showcasing that Birmingham, known for its manufacturing roots, is helping the UK lead the way in sustainability.
Ranking fourth is Norwich, a city known for its flourishing arts, music and culture scene. On average, the city searches for ‘reusable cloth nappies’ every month, which follows 50% of Norwich residents surveyed using cloth nappies over disposable ones, and a whopping 92% using washable baby wipes.
Hoping to be known as the ‘smart and sustainable city by 2050’⁵, Reading is a considerable contributor to creating a greener UK as it takes fifth place in our ranking. Following this, 48% of those surveyed in the city use reusable cloth nappies, and 90% use washable baby wipes. ‘Reusable cloth nappies’ is searched for on average 663 times a month in Reading, underlining the city's drive to become more eco-conscious.
With a bold target of becoming one of the first carbon neutral cities in the world by 2050⁶, the northern city of Manchester also makes it into the top 20 list for sustainably-minded parents. On average, there are 2,290 searches for ‘reusable cloth nappies’ every month in Manchester, with 44% of those surveyed in the city using reusable nappies over disposable ones, further highlighting Manchester's passion for driving a sustainably focused culture.
The Scottish capital of Edinburgh recorded the fourth largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per populations of UK major cities between 2011-2016⁷. According to our research there are on average 2,870 searches for ‘reusable cloth nappies’ every month in the city. With this in mind, Edinburgh comes 12th for sustainably-minded parents.
The Great Big Nappy Census 2021
Every day in the UK 8 million disposable nappies are thrown away, this equates to a staggering 3 billion a year. With this in mind, it takes 500 years for a disposable nappy to decompose in a landfill, which is a huge contributing factor to global warming and climate change. We really encourage all parents to consider switching from disposable nappies to reusable ones. Not only will this change positively impact the environment, but parents could save a substantial amount of money that they spend on disposable nappies by making the swap.
Following this, we’re launching The Great Big Nappy Census 2021 and we’d love to hear from more parents in the UK and around the world about their nappy usage, sustainability and reusable baby products. Find out more about the survey and how to take part here.
With things like fast fashion and an increase in plastic waste posing an extensive threat to our planet, it’s great to see so many major cities in the UK make it onto our list of top sustainable parenting cities. From reusable nappies to reusable wipes, there are so many small ways we can all make a difference to the UK’s environment.