As our Earth’s landfill, waste and plastic problems continue to grow, it’s more important than ever to teach our children the importance of green and sustainable practices. We have the power to make a difference, and the perfect place to start is in our own homes. We put together a list of fun, easy and educational ways to teach the children in your life important fundamental values, and help them become passionate eco-warriors!
Not only is arts and crafts time a perfect way to encourage creativity and emotional expression in children, it’s also a great way to educate kids on all the fun ways we can reduce, repurpose and recycle!
○ The old classic, papier-mâché (just avoid plastic balloons). Old newspapers or magazines at home? Just add some glue and paint, and the opportunities are endless. Here is a cute and creative way to make papier-mâché bangles.
○ Next time you change the toilet paper in the bathroom, make sure you keep the toilet paper roll. This unexpected item can easily turn into the cutest paper roll fish you have ever seen, or your kid’s favourite superhero cuffs.
○ Going on holidays anytime soon? This is for you. All you need is a small hessian bag and some recycled bottle tops to make a DIY tic-tac-toe for on-the-go game.
○ In need of some more craft supplies? Always opt for colourful crayons, rather than plastic pens. Pens unfortunately add to plastic landfill once the ink has been used up, whereas crayons can be used until they disappear! Check out this amazing handmade Honeysticks Crayons, crafted from 100% pure beeswax that contain no paraffins or toxic ingredients.
○ If you have builders-in-the-making children who love to create with lego - why not consider buying second hand? Although a plastic-free lifestyle is ideal, it is better to give the lego a second life, rather than letting it contribute to landfill. Otherwise, check out these gorgeous wooden interlocking building blocks by Japanese brand Mokulock. Each block piece is unique, and the wood is sustainably sourced from trees that are required to be cut down during snow season.
We live busy lifestyles, and this can cause us to opt for the most convenient options at times (we all know how stressful the 8am morning rush can be!). Here are some creative ways to help kids lead a zero waste lifestyle at school, that don’t require too much time or effort.
○ Next time you’re in the grocery store, opt for fruit instead of plastic wrapped snacks. Fruits like bananas and mandarins are naturally wrapped due to their thick skin, and don’t require any extra packaging.
○ You can also think outside the (plastic) box and invest in reusable sandwich bags for your kids. Just throw it in the dishwasher when it gets dirty.
○ Another great tip is encouraging your children to use the school library! Books are wonderful educational tools, but why not educate your little ones on the beauty of borrowing and returning? Plus, you can work together to make a cute DIY library tote bag.
○ Do you have a special day of the week that you treat the kids after school? Keep BYO glass jars handy in the car to take to the ice cream store. Trust us, they’ll love it.
It can sometimes feel like there is a birthday party every weekend, and these are a great opportunities to teach your kids more sustainable practices. Here are some easy ways to avoid over consumption of plastic plates and balloons next celebration.
○ Although balloons are staple at birthday parties, they are seriously harmful to the environment. As we know, what comes up must come down (and they are coming down in our oceans). Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a party pooper - why not opt for paper lanterns instead.
○ Plastic straws, plates, knives, forks and spoons - eek! Although single use plastics may make the post party clean up quicker, they are certainly not a sustainable method. Check out sustainable homewares company Bambu out - they provide natural and reusable bamboo and cork alternatives for all your needs. Another great idea is to opt for plastic free party bags.
○ Encourage your guests for presence, rather than presents. If this isn’t possible (Grandma and Granddad, we’re looking at you), ask for second hand, family heirlooms or DIY gifts instead of brand new. Not only is this helping to reduce waste, this will make the gift giving process more creative and meaningful too.
○ Save on paper, and send your invitation via the internet. Creating e-invitations with your kids can be a creative, fun process too!