When you have children, it suddenly seems all the more important to protect the environment they live in. How can you live more sustainably so that your children can enjoy a happier, healthier planet?
While maintaining a zero-waste lifestyle with young children can seem challenging at first, there are many things you can do to introduce sustainability to your household.
From teaching children the importance of reducing waste to choosing reusable and recyclable products when possible, there are plenty of options available to make it easy to cut back on waste.
Here are 5 helpful tips to help you manage zero-waste living with babies and kids!
1. Introduce sustainability concepts early on
Your most important role in protecting the environment is teaching your children how to protect it too. By raising children who know the value of the environment and sustainability, you’re helping a new generation learn to fight for a healthy planet.
Early on in your children’s lives, start to introduce sustainability concepts. Teach your children to appreciate animals and nature, set up a worm farm or compost bin and show them how to recycle properly. They will carry these skills with them into adulthood and beyond.
When your children ask questions about the environment, answer these honestly and compassionately. You’ll help your kids understand why their efforts to reduce waste are so important!
2. Choose package-free snacks and lunches
One of your first steps to reduce waste should be removing disposable packaging from your kitchen cupboard and your children’s lunchboxes.
Once, it was difficult to find any snacks that weren’t packaged in plastic, but in today’s world, there are many reusable alternatives available to help you reduce mealtime waste. Choose metal or bamboo utensils and glass or china containers over plastic.
When grocery shopping, look for healthy snacks and lunch foods that don’t include plastic packaging. Instead, choose fruits, vegetables, and unpackaged alternatives. These will be better for your health and for the environment!
3. Stock up on sustainable cleaning and hygiene products
Cleaning and hygiene products can be a major source of household waste, so these are a good place to start if you’re looking for an easy way to reduce your environmental impact.
Many of these products are made using toxic chemicals that can cause harm to the environment and to children’s health. Read the labels of all cleaning and hygiene products to find out what they’re made from, and try to choose products that feature natural ingredients.
Instead of plastic bottles, it’s best to choose items that are unpackaged or that are packaged in glass or reusable materials. If you still need to use plastic packaging some of the time, always reuse when possible.
4. Be mindful when purchasing toys
Plastic toys and gifts create large amounts of waste. Fortunately, there are many more sustainable options on market so that you can give presents without being wasteful.
Often, children lose interest in their toys quickly, meaning that many toys end up going to landfill long before they need to. A good way to avoid this is by beginning to shop second-hand or make use of your local toy library. You’ll give new life to old toys and reduce waste in the process!
It’s also a good idea to be conscious of the kinds of toys you choose. Plastic toys aren’t the only answer. Often, wooden alternatives are a much more sustainable and durable choice. When possible, choose toys made from materials that can be recycled or reused later on.
5. Invest in sustainably made cloth nappies
When you have babies and young children, disposable nappies are one of the worst contributors to household waste! Luckily, there are other options on the market to help you reduce your carbon footprint.
Instead of relying on single-use nappies, you can significantly reduce the waste that goes to landfill by washing and reusing modern cloth nappies. This will have an important impact on the environment, and it will also save you money in the long run.
Cloth nappies are easy to use and clean, and they come in a range of colours, styles, and designs. They’re designed to last for long periods of time across multiple children, so they can be used again and again to reduce the need for waste.
It’s time to get started on your zero-waste journey! Purchase sustainable cloth nappies from Ella and Maeve today!