We know as well as you do that plastic is everywhere! And while we might not be able to avoid it entirely, we can all do our bit to reduce our waste! We've gathered some of the easiest and most effective ways to help to protect our planet and conserve where we can while modelling these values to our smallest eco-warriors. These five tips will help you and your family get started on your conservationist path.
1. Bring your own Bottle
Allow your children to choose their own BPA free water bottle. Label it and put your older kids in charge of looking after their own. While buying a bottle of water is convenient for a few minutes, single-use items like these account for more than 40 percent of plastic waste which commonly ends up in our waterways and oceans.
2. Say goodbye to cling wrap
While cling wrap cannot be recycled and is rarely re-used, there are eco-friendly alternatives! Choose a beeswax wrap, or put snacks or leftovers in BPA free, reusable containers. Not only are these far better for the environment, they will be reused hundreds of times and will ensure nasties don't leach into yours or your baby's food!
3. Ditch the straws
Straws really suck for the environment. As tiny single use plastics that take over 100 years to break down, they will outlast you. They often end up in oceans and our waterways and are known to commonly kill sea animals. If you really need to use one, go for paper or metal straws that can be washed and reused.
4. Go for Glass
For baby bottles and food storage, you can't beat glass. Some of the chemicals that go into baby bottles and containers can be just as harmful to us as they are for our environment, particularly when being reheated again and again.
5. Make your own baby food
While supermarket food pouches are convenient, they're non reusable and are made from non-degradable plastics that will not only outlive your toddler, but probably their grandchildren as well. The preservatives and additives added to these to ensure they can sit on the shelf for months at a time, are also a turn off, as are the flavour if you've ever tried them! It's so easy to make your own babyfood, and if you're after convenience, invest in a reusable food pouch for when you're on the go.
6. Encourage their love of nature
Giving your little one time in the great outdoors will allow them to grow their own passion and love for our planet. They often need little encouragement to enjoy seeing insects crawl over logs or watching fish swim in our waterways. And when you next choose a book for your little one, think of picture books that encourage their love of nature, from simple guides to insects or trees, to stories about saving the planet (The Lorax by Dr Seuss is one of our faves!). A little bit of encouragement and time will go a long way!
While following these ideas when you can will have a direct effect on the environment, modelling these values to your little one will have a further lasting impact. If you can remember to bring your own bags to the shops and a reusable cup for your takeaway coffee, your kids will grow up doing the same.