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EGGS & SOLDIERS ENCOURAGES MIDDLE EAST FAMILIES TO WORK ‘A MORE NATURAL WAY’ INTO THEIR BACK TO SCHOOL ROUTINES

August 6, 2018
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EGGS & SOLDIERS ENCOURAGES MIDDLE EAST FAMILIES TO WORK ‘A MORE NATURAL WAY’ INTO THEIR BACK TO SCHOOL ROUTINES

Since opening the doors of its first standalone store at Times Square Centre in Dubai in April, Eggs & Soldiers has carved its niche as far more than an eco-friendly baby shop. The UAE-born brand, led by lifelong resident and mum-of-four, Sofi Chabowski, has seen a surge in requests for information and guidance from parents and care-givers looking to make sustainable swaps to their families’ day-to-day routines, leading the brand to quickly expand its extensively-researched product lines to meet demand.

“We are absolutely delighted to have become such an information resource for customers, who are often looking to do much more than pick up a few nice things for their babies when they visit Eggs & Soldiers,” says Sofi.
“They want to make sustainable changes in as many areas of family life as they can, and we are more than happy to offer informed advice and provide the tools that can help them do that.”

As we approach the new school and nursery year, Eggs & Soldiers is encouraging and assisting UAE parents in becoming more ‘eco-aware’ with their back-to-school purchases. And Sofi is keen to point out that this does not mean simply opting for higher-priced products, marketed as organic. “Organic natural products often come with a higher price tag, but they are not all created equal. There is a lot of clever marketing out there,” she explains.

“At Eggs & Soldiers, we want to take the guesswork out. We guide parents to spend wisely, on good quality and long lasting products, and establish what’s most important to them personally. It’s often out of reach for families to have EVERYTHING organic, but there is always a more natural and simpler way of doing things, that can be cost effective.”

So, where does the increasingly eco-conscious family begin? Eggs & Soldiers’ founder, Sofi Chabowski offers some starting point tips and suggestions for simple, sustainable lifestyle swaps for all the family, along with details of Eggs & Soldiers’ top pick products to help them make the change.

Go plastic-free for the grocery shop

Say no to plastic bags! There are lots of natural fibre options that can be tightly packed into handbag-friendly pouches or kept in the car. Don’t use the small plastic bags supermarkets offer for fruit and vegetables. Either go bag- free for foods like bananas, oranges and avocado that are protected by their own robust skin – as nature intended! – or re-use your own small cotton, mesh or silicone food bags.

Eggs & Soldiers’ sustainable swaps:
Eggs & Soldiers Net Shopper (AED 20) and Produce Bags (set of five AED 75); 4 My Earth Bamboo Kitchen Essential Produce Bags (set of three AED 47).

A lunch to save the planet

Such a crucial part of your child’s school day, a lunch box they love can be make or break when it comes to them eating what’s inside. All plastic contains toxic compounds and plastic containers will release chemicals into the food placed inside them. Plastic containers are usually made from petrochemicals; lots of pollution and toxic discharge
is released into the environment during their production, and the majority of plastic cannot be recycled, meaning it ends up in landfill. So don’t use it to hold your child’s lunch! Stainless steel is a robust and chemical-free alternative, and ‘bento’ style boxes with sections for different foods mean there’s no need for any additional wrapping or waste. Cloth wraps or ‘pockets’ are also great for single sandwiches and snacks.

Eggs & Soldiers’ sustainable swaps:
Eco Lunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Steel Lunchbox (AED 115); U-Konserve Insulated Food Jar (AED 70); U-Konserve Divided To-Go Container (from AED 77); 4MyEarth Sandwich Wrap (AED 45).

Cloth nappies and wipes for babies

Babies and toddlers will be sent to nursery complete with a kit for up to 10 nappy changes a day. Most disposable nappies and wipes are not biodegradable, and will take up to 500 years to break down in landfill. The reason we don’t know a precise length of time is because the first ones ever made still haven’t broken down, and when you are talking about 8,000 per baby – from birth to potty trained – that’s A LOT adding to the problem every day. Reusable cloth nappies, made of natural, chemical-free fibres, are the eco-friendly alternative. You’ll need around 20 per family (as they can be used for more than one child), and they will break down completely when you‘re finally done with them. Eggs & Soldiers stock hundreds of options, combinations and price ranges of cloth diapers, plus free bi- monthly demo sessions, where parents can learn, ask questions and find the best fit for their baby.

Eggs & Soldiers’ sustainable swaps:
Blueberry Organic Cotton Simplex All-in-One Diaper (from AED 115); Close Pop In Diaper (from AED 95); Duck Duck Goose Bamboo Wipes (from AED 58).

Chemical-free sunscreen

Children should wear sunscreen to school or nursery every single day, so you need to be sure you are happy with everything that’s in it! Mineral-based sunscreens are the best option for younger skin particularly, and research suggests that sunscreens containing zinc oxide are the only products that really protect skin from sun damage. The
zinc oxide actually sits on top of the skin to form a barrier that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and a lot of zinc oxide suncare products will leave a powdery white residue on the skin. There are some fantastic clear and lightweight options on the market, however, and this is one family necessity where paying a little more is unquestionably worthwhile.

Eggs & Soldiers’ sustainable swap:
Erbaviva Baby Sunscreen SPF 30 with 20% zinc oxide (AED 100).

Bulk buy foods in larger containers

Surplus packaging is everywhere in Dubai, but we can avoid it! Bulk buy supplies and foods in larger containers, then portion them yourself into reusable pots and bags to send in to school. Child-sized pots and pouches are marketed for their convenience, but it’s just as easy (and cheaper!) to pack your own waste-free snacks into reusable, chemical- free containers. Keep leftovers in the fridge covered with cotton wraps – so you’ll never use cling film again!

Eggs & Soldiers’ sustainable swaps:
Haakaa Silicone Zip Lock Reusable Bag (AED 47); 4MyEarth Cotton Food Cover (set of four AED 115); 4MyEarth Zipped Cotton Food Bag (AED 50) Monkey Foot Design Wet Bag (from AED 42).

Drink responsibly

Single-use plastic water bottles are a huge problem for the environment, and it’s so easy to swap them for a reusable bottle or flask. Make sure the adults in the family have one alongside the kids, and we can save thousands being discarded per family throughout the next school year. Both glass and stainless steel are 100% recyclable, durable and non-toxic – while only seven of the 30 types of plastic are recyclable – and they won’t absorb the chemicals, odours or tastes that plastic will. Plastic straws cannot be recycled. They end up in our oceans and marine animals like turtles mistake them for food and choke on them. If you must use a straw, reusable metal ones are the most eco-friendly option.

Eggs & Soldiers’ sustainable swaps:
Haakaa Stainless Steel Drink Bottle (AED 95); Haakaa Stainless Steel Straws (from AED 50 for pack of three); Life Factory 12oz Glass Bottle (AED 94.50); Life Factory Glass Baby Bottle (from AED 63).

The Eggs & Soldiers store is located on the Ground Floor of Times Square Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai and is open from 10am to 10pm, 7 days per week. Information and products can also be viewed and purchased online at eggsnsoldiers.com, with delivery available throughout the Middle East.

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