Kid-Friendly Ways to Reduce Waste and Save Money This School Year
Fall is here and with the changing of the seasons brings busy school schedules and new routines.
Between new fall clothes and shoes, school supplies (for digital and/or in-person learning), materials for new hobbies, and extra-curricular, like sports equipment, art supplies, and more, kids require a lot of stuff!
Rather than just ordering everything on Amazon in one fell-swoop and accumulating not only all things but lots of additional packing and waste, we like to explore more eco-friendly ways to jump into the school year that not only benefit the environment but are healthier options for our kids as well.
Thankfully it’s easier than ever to find kid-friendly, simple ways to reduce waste and even save money this back-to-school season.
Below we outline some quick ideas you and the whole family can easily implement to start living a more sustainable lifestyle this fall:
Whether your kids are going to be heading to a school cafeteria or right down to your kitchen table for lunch and snacks, planning ahead will always help you make eco-friendly food decisions.
If you are getting ready to pack snacks and lunches for the little ones on the go, selecting eco-friendly packaging keeps plastics and chemicals away.
Here are some great eco-friendly alternatives to plastics that are much better for your family and the environment. for:
Eating at home? Consider wrapping up those leftovers from lunch for snacks the next day! Toddler tummies tend to fill quickly so you can easily save time, money, and reduce food waste by extending a meal or two.
Did you know that plastic bottles and straws are two of the top polluters in our oceans? Ditch the plastic this year and trade them in for reusable, eco-friendly bottles instead.
Not only will these bottles keep your little ones hydrated and away from plastics, but they also play a huge role in putting the stop on waste created using millions of plastic straws and water bottles each day.
Reusable, non-toxic, and plastic-free, below are a few water bottles we love:
- Eco-Vessel: Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottle
- Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles for Kids
- Life Factory Glass Waterbottles with Protective Silicone Sleeve
Expect that a couple of these will be left on the bus or at the park so buying two or four of them at the beginning of the year will save you time if one gets lost.
Keep Clean with a Conscious:
Aside from lowering food waste and reducing plastics in your little one’s diet, there are other everyday items you can use to protect both your family and the environment.
Biodegradable wipes are a great way to reduce waste and keep your little’s hands protected from constant exposure to harsh soaps and chemicals.
Using wipes in-between washes can help to curb dry skin while staying comfortable and clean in the process.
Whether you’re packing diapers, lunches or both, using biodegradable wipes is the perfect solution for sticky hands and faces after playtime!
Pack a couple in your kid’s lunch box (in a reusable snack bag!) for those inevitable spills. This not only helps protect the environment but will also keep gentle products within reach when you’re not there.
Eco-Friendly Idea: Donate a box of biodegradable wipes to your local preschool as a way to help reduce waste at your child’s school!
Getting Crafty with Eco-Friendly Supply Options:
Hands on learning is an important part of a child’s development at any age. Throughout your little one’s lifetime you’ll go through your fair share of craft supplies.
From holiday crafts to birthday parties and so much more, getting into the habit of reusing materials around the house for craft time will save you money and protect the environment.
Collecting and reusing household items, like milk cartons, egg containers, packaging from things delivered to you, and really anything that has an interesting shape or texture.
I am sure you, like us, have had a birthday or holiday, where you go for the big exciting gift, and your child is more excited about the box or bubble wrap!
These make great additions to your little one’s learning projects and help them to think outside the box when they are looking to create!
This kid-friendly way to reduce waste this school year will not only protect the environment but save you time, money and help to keep your little ones busy for hours.
You could even consider organizing an eco-friendly craft supply drive at your child’s preschool to help spread environmental awareness.
Getting the Kids Involved:
Like with most things, if you start introducing the importance of sustainability at a very young age, it will become a natural part of their daily lives. Start with something easy like recycling. Point out what different objects in the home are made of (i.e. cardboard versus plastic) and how they can be recycled or reused.
Creating crafts with a variety of natural materials, like these ideas below, is another way to make the concept of environmentally friendly living more hands-on for little ones.
Go on a walk together to collect some materials for your craft project and point out the differences between what is made in nature versus what isn’t.
This is a great way to instill awareness in even the youngest of enviro-conscious minds. Once you have your goodies, you can:
- Create your own pencil holder or vase with twigs
- Have a Rock Painting Party with natural paints
- Create a recycling box for the family to use. Paint a large cardboard box with what should go inside.
- Spell your child’s name with yarn wrapped twigs
- Turn maple seeds into dragonflies
- Create Pinecone Critters with items in nature
Quick Eco-Friendly Kid Idea: Start any one of these amazingly eco-friendly waste-free craft ideas with a nature scavenger hunt. Your little ones will love collecting items to create crafts and decorate with.
Keeping the Lid on Waste this School Year:
From reusing to recycling it's now easier than ever to find kid-friendly ways to reduce waste this school year.
Living a more sustainable lifestyle begins with just a few simple steps. With the help of high-performing eco-friendly products, we can begin protecting our environment for future generations now.