Day-to-day life with young children can be challenging enough as it is, without needing to think about the type of materials we are using and disposing of! However, if like many families you are interested in ways to make your home and lifestyle more sustainable: There are a number of small and easy steps you and your children can begin to take together towards creating a more environmentally friendly atmosphere.
Children are often taught the basics about keeping our earth safe at school – but giving them a head start by teaching them from a younger age will only benefit them and you, as they are eager to learn and can surprisingly pick up habits from their parents very quickly. Communicating the importance of living plastic-free is essential, then together, looking at alternative ways in which things can be done is helpful. Making it all fun and challenging is always the best way to gain some interest!
- Encourage your child to use a reusable bottle. This sounds easy enough, but when you’re running around after kids who constantly forget their water bottles – then resulting in buying plastic ones is a weekly occurrence. To make them look after their bottle, the best idea is to make it special. You can buy all sorts of different types of reusable bottles, often personalised or with a funky pattern, so they won’t be leaving it in a muddy football field.
- Organise or take part in a local beach (or lake) clean-up together. This is something many families may do already, it’s definitely a great way to teach children of all ages the dangers plastic has on our oceans and natural landscapes. They can see first hand the problems that are caused by single-use plastics, this is likely to impact them and show how working together can make a change.
- Show children how easy it is to use sustainable food storage and packaging. Glass jars are a perfect way to keep your kitchen looking tidy and chic, and they are also a sustainable and easy option to use instead of plastic containers. (See Kuishi’s range here. Stainless steel containers are brilliant for lunchboxes and baked goods, along with using fabric wraps for sandwiches instead of cling film. Explain to your child why this is important, they may even inspire their friends at school.
- Plastic free birthday parties. Please, ditch the balloons! Unfortunately, balloons are terrible for wildlife. However fun they may be for the day, it is worth trying some alternatives, paper decorations and colourful fabric bunting are very effective. An idea is to not immediately tell your child they aren’t having balloons, but show them the alternatives first and emphasise how cool/pretty/fun they are. Also, biodegradable drinking straws, plates and cups are available to buy cheap so it’s worth looking into.