I have a secret - we are not zero waste!
But in reality, no one really is! It is *almost* impossible to be zero waste in today's world, despite what the hashtags and media tell you otherwise.
What is possible is to reduce your waste and consumption - to reduce it to almost zero.
With kids it can be challenging to reduce waste and consumption because kids are giant wasters - of everything! They break things, they wreck things, they color all over things, they throw things, they rip things, they collect things, they receive things, they accumulate things. They like to ensure that your things are never again the way they should be and that you always have more things coming into your life!
Broken crayons, pillows with holes, clothes that get ripped, walls that colored on, kinder egg toys, lego pieces, presents - all the presents! It really is endless.
BUT, that doesn't mean you can't do your best as a family to reduce.
Here is what Zero Waste can Look like with kids:
- Buying second hand as often as you can or quality goods that last a lifetime. Before making a new purchase of any kind take a peek on Kijiji and/or your local second hand shop.
- Reusing as much as you can for as long as you can (clothes, toys, tools, etc). How can you get your kids clothing to last longer? Buy a size up to start with!
- Finding creative ways to repurpose items. How can you turn a too short winter dress into a summer tunic? Cut the sleeves off! What about cutting the legs off too short pants to make shorts.
- Kids love art! Finding art supplies second hand will help reduce your footprint significantly. You won't believe how much paper, pencil crayons, etc we find a second hand stores. Using those beautiful drawings (or at least the ones that didn't make the cut) to heat your home.
- Spending more time in nature enjoying our beautiful gifts. Hiking, walking, playing in the outdoors instead of shopping, video gaming and consuming. Less time with stuff and more time connecting with the earth.
- Using reusable diapers and wipes for babies can have a significant impact in a zero waste home.
- Avoiding tissue by using reusable wipes or hankies instead! You can do the same with paper towels. Use handtowels, prefolds or any other material to clean up messes!
- Packing zero waste lunches with reusable bento containers made from stainless steel.
- Visiting the library or second hand store for books! No need to purchase new books for babies and kids these days. There are a plethora of high quality books just waiting for you at the library or your local second hand shop.
- Asking for gifts of experience instead of stuff at birthday parties OR avoiding birthday parties all together. Invite your child's closest friends over for a sleepover and don't let them know it's a party (that way you won't get gifts) or have a family party only at home with close relatives.
What are your tips for a zero waste home with kids?