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Ways to Reduce Waste with Children

Ways to Reduce Waste with Children

We Tapped Francesca at Playdate to give us 5 Simple Ways For Parents To Reduce Waste at Home

Parenting young children is joyous and busy and exhausting and beautiful. It's also a time when household waste can seem to multiply overnight. From diapers and snacks to outgrown clothes and toys, the waste generated by a growing family can quickly add up. Fortunately, there are simple and practical steps busy parents can take to minimize their environmental impact without adding extra stress to their already hectic lives. And as an added bonus, most of these changes also save lots of money! Here are five ways to reduce waste as a busy parent with young children:

1) Swap Toys and Baby Gear with Other Families

Instead of constantly buying new toys and gear that your children quickly outgrow, consider setting up an exchange network with other families in your community. This not only helps reduce waste by giving new life to preloved items but also provides your children with a variety of toys to enjoy without breaking the bank. Organize a swap meet or use online platforms (i.e Asheville Area Moms group on Facebook) to connect with other parents interested in exchanging gently used items. You might even make a new friend! By sharing resources and embracing the circular economy, you can reduce waste while feeling a sense of community among busy parents.


2) Choose Reusable Snack Containers

Snacks are a staple in any parent's arsenal, but the individual packaging they often come in can contribute to unnecessary waste. Instead of relying on single-use plastic bags and containers, invest in reusable snack containers and lunchboxes. Opt for options made from durable materials such as stainless steel or silicone that can withstand the rigors of daily use. Fill them with your child's favorite snacks to reduce packaging waste.

3) Shop Mindfully

Investing a bit more in sustainably made, quality kids' clothing and toys is totally worth it! These items are built to last through all the rough and tumble of playtime and laundry day, which means you won't have to replace them as often, saving money in the long run. Plus, they're made with ethical practices in mind, treating workers fairly and using responsibly sourced materials, which is great for both kids and the planet. And bonus: higher-quality stuff tends to be safer for little ones, with fewer yucky chemicals. While they might cost a bit more upfront, the investment pays off, especially since you can often sell them later for a pretty penny! Speaking of resale value, instead of always buying new, check out thrift stores, consignment shops, or online marketplaces for gently used options. It's an excellent way to save cash and show your kids the value of recycling and reusing. Playdate even has an online consigment section- it’s the way of the future (and past)!

4) Use a Refill Station Like Ware

Parents of young children should definitely check out refill stores for their natural products! Refill stores offer a great variety of eco-friendly and natural goodies, from cleaning supplies to personal care items and baby essentials, all in bulk. Plus, natural products are much gentler on kids' skin, steering clear of harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can cause irritation. Shopping at refill stores (like Ware!!) means you're looking out for your little one's health while being kind to the planet. And bonus: buying in bulk often means saving some serious cash in the long run; especially when repurposing those old glass pickle jars instead of buying new refillable containers! If you’re curious, my favorite refillable item at Ware is the Rosemary Laundry Powder

5) Recycle and Repurpose

When it comes to managing waste, recycling and repurposing are your best friends. Set up a designated recycling station in your home where everyone can easily dispose of recyclable materials. Teach your children about the importance of recycling and involve them in the process to instill lifelong habits. Additionally, get creative with repurposing items that would otherwise end up in the trash. Empty cardboard boxes can become forts or craft projects, while old magazines can be used for collages or paper mache. By giving this “trash” new life,  you reduce your household's overall waste.

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Reducing waste as a busy parent with young children may seem like a daunting task, but with a few simple changes, it's entirely achievable. By embracing even a few of these suggestions, you can significantly decrease your family's environmental footprint without adding extra stress to your daily routine, and even saving a few bucks along the way. Remember, every small step towards sustainability makes a difference, so start where you can and celebrate your progress. Together, we can create a healthier planet for our children to inherit.

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