Reducing Plastic While Raising Kids
Reducing waste is easier on the environment, but it can also be easier on your wallet too. Reducing what you buy, using what you already have and investing in reusable items can reduce the cost of parenting over the long run.
As parents, the reality is we all need to make changes to what we consume and how we deal with our waste. Making just a couple of changes that can fit in with your day to day lives can make a huge difference in the long run to your outgoing waste.
I just wanted to share a few kids related tips on how to reduce plastic with your little ones as they grow.
I started my cloth nappy journey when Mila was 18 months old. I have to say that It was way easier than I thought. There is lots of good information out there on how to do cloth nappies, what cloth nappies to use and fantastic online groups where information is abundant and support is offered.
A great group to look at is the Aotearoa Cloth Community PIF Group on Facebook.
Kids eat all the time. At least mine do. We have created a habit of making our kids snacks and food from scratch. This way we can avoid the plastic around crisps, crackers and cookies. And they are better for them as well as you control the amount of sugar that goes in.
Other items that go in their lunch box we get from bulk bin stores like pretzels, dried fruit and other treats where you can bring your containers and jars and fill without the need for plastic packaging.
I try to find second-hand clothes for both my kids. I am very lucky that I have a few friends with older girls and we receive the hand me downs from them for Mila. What we won’t use we gift to other mums in our area. We do the same once the kids have outgrown it.
For Liam, it is a little harder as 5-year-old boys are very rough on their clothes, so there were fewer second-hand items available.
I try to buy only what he needs and give outgrown items to friends if still in ok condition.
When we buy toys we look for quality items that will last the test of time made from materials that won't break down and locally made where possible.
Both kids also love LEGO. So usually on their birthday and Christmas that is what they often receive. Although LEGO is made of plastic it lasts forever! We still have some from my husband’s childhood and we will keep the kids' ones for their children to use in the future.
We also had a membership at a toy library where the kids could get some ‘new’ borrowed toys every week.
Borrow or Buy Second-Hand
Babies and toddlers grow so fast and outgrow items at an alarming rate, borrowing items where you can and passing on items for further use are fantastic ways to also save on purchasing new items and keeping waste low. It also allows you to see if items could work for you and your lifestyle, such as baby slings, portacots and prams or strollers.
It is so important for us to teach our children from a young age about recycling, waste and sustainability, and the huge role that plays in their future.
Do you have any other tips you wish to share?