I’m not one to follow the current studies of climate change, however, I do know that I create a lot of waste. With everything, there are challenges leaving me with that voice inside my head whispering, wait until the time is right and then tackle this low-waste, minimal lifestyle head-on. There will never be a right time, so let me tell you a little about the zero waste steps I plan to take with my little one.
With seasonal changes and kids growing like weeds, it’s easy to buy things that they spend short amounts of time wearing, leaving you to feel like you wasted money on a $45 shirt. (Do you buy things that expensive for your little one? I honestly used to do that all the time). Facebook Marketplace, Thread up, or other apps are a great place to start. Even hand-me-downs from friends and family members do the trick.
Pack Litterless Lunches
Reusable lunch boxes, sandwich bags, parchment paper, or reusable straws with juice boxes limit the amount of trash. A little goes a long way.
Encourage Non-Material Gifts
The gift of experiences can be wonderful. This builds memories that our little ones can share and relate to as they grow older. Not every birthday can be met with battery-operated toys and princesses with fairytale castles. Horseback riding, dance lessons, and yoga are some options that your little one would love to experience.
Involve Children in the Recycling Process
You can have a toddler in tow who points out every single piece of litter on the ground that needs to be recycled or placed in the garbage. Ask your child to put the correct pieces or material in the garbage or recycling bin. This can be a simple chore to start.
Get Outside A LOT
Playing outside is so much fun. Children love the outdoors and there is almost always something to do. Give them a few minutes and they can discover rocks, splashing in puddles, or even chasing a butterfly.
Shop at Farmers Markets
I do know it depends on the age, but a visit to a local market store could result in a fun daily activity. You can shop zero waste and your little one can be entertained by any sort of attraction available. A recent trip to Sport Hill Farms was such a delight; feeding the chickens, even for the adults, was quite the treat.
A few other things you can do that are considered low to zero-waste are:
- Walk, bike, or take the bus/train.
- Cook and bake from scratch.
- Pay your local library a visit.
- Make DIY products.
All these things can be done with your little ones. Remember these are merely suggestions. Being completely zero-waste is somewhat of a privilege. Not every household can afford to shop package-free or organic, but if you pick one thing from this list and do it as a family, it makes a huge impact. Children can be so helpful, so you don’t have to do it all alone mama.