Parents can easily feel overwhelmed by the amount of waste that their homes generate. With all the toys, food, baby products, and new demands on your time, it's easy to feel that embracing waste is the only option. The good news is that there are some easy changes you can make that will help you take control and reduce waste.
Read on to find some quick and easy ways to reduce waste and bring a bit of calm back into parenting.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
It's a great campaign slogan, but when it comes to reducing waste, this catchy chant provides a perfect framework to evaluate how and where you can be reducing waste. Consider each area of your home and life and ask yourself 3 questions:
- Can I reduce the amount of a product that I consume and discard?
- Which items can I reuse and repurpose instead of throwing them away? (Hint: If you can't reuse them, someone else might be able to.)
- Once you've tried your best to reduce and reuse, ask yourself if the remaining waste can be recycled
1. Choose Open-Ended Toys
Keep the clutter and the waste down by choosing open-ended toys. Many toys just have one use or game that can be played with them. They get boring really quickly. If your kids never want to play with their toys or are asking for new toys, then chances are, you need to invest in some open-ended toys.
Buying open-ended toys that last helps to reduce waste, keep the clutter down, and actually entertain the kids. Look for toys that can be used for more than one game and which encourage imaginative play. Think magnetic tiles, wooden blocks, and animal figurines.
Open-ended toys typically appeal to a wide range of age groups and can be used in many different ways. Toys that just have one use get boring quickly, but open-ended toys stay fresh and exciting for years and sometimes even generations.
2. Forage for Toys
Acorns, pinecones, sticks, and stones all make great toys. If you live in an area where you have access to a garden or natural space, then let the kids forage for natural toys. Natural toys encourage imaginative play and they're totally free. The best part is, once the kids are done with them, they can either be composted or returned to the outdoors.
You might be surprised by how many items are cluttering your draws that could provide hours of fun for kids. Things like buttons, packaging, boxes and even old kitchen utensils can be repurposed into wonderful toys.
3. Choose High-Quality Toys
No one loves having a house full of broken toys. Where possible choose toys that are well constructed and built to last. If you're buying open-ended toys, then you're not going to need nearly as many toys. It's worth paying a little more for something that will last.
Price isn't always the best indicator of quality though, so look out for toys that are well constructed from durable materials. Wood is often a favorite choice because it lasts so well and has a timeless quality. If you're buying plastic toys, make sure the plastic is strong, durable, and can be recycled.
4. Meal Plan
Meal planning sounds like a lot of work, but here's the truth: meal planning helps free up time, reduce your mental load, and cut down on the waste in your fridge. Meal planning is the easiest way to reduce the wastage of food. If you've planned what your family will eat, then you only need to buy those foods. That means you're not just buying a bunch of fresh produce to keep in the fridge in case you need it.
There are many different ways to plan meals. If you're just starting out, then try to plan all the meals and snacks for just a few days at a time. Once you've gotten the hang of it, you can start planning for longer periods.
If you doing meal planning and still struggling with waste, consider planning for a leftover meal at some point in the week. It can be really fun to put out any leftovers and allow the kids to choose what they feel like eating.
5. Reuse Clothes
Buying or accepting second-hand clothing is a great way to reduce waste as a parent. If you have more than one child, you can also pass clothing items on from one child to the next. When you're finished with the clothes, keep the cycle going by passing useable items on to someone else or donating them. Clothes that are really worn through can be repurposed as cleaning rags or used in crafts.
Buying higher-quality items can help reduce waste. Low-quality items tend to wear through quickly and need to be discarded sooner. High-quality clothing will last longer which means more kids will be able to use it. Choose classic styles, patterns, and colors to make sure that the clothing can be used for many years.
6. Buy Fewer Clothes
A great way to reduce waste is simply to start out with less. Make a list of the clothes your child needs and try to stick to it when you're shopping. Essentially, you're trying to build a capsule wardrobe for your kid. Choosing items that can easily mix and match makes it easier to put outfits together and cut down on the amount of clothing you need for each child.
You'll need to put some time and thought into your child or baby's wardrobe. Putting in the thought beforehand will help save you time every day. The best part is, your kids will find it easier to keep track of their clothes and dress themselves.
7. Choose Plant-Based Diapers That Can Be Disposed With REDYPER™
Many parents feel guilty about the effect that their diapers are having on the environment, but can't face the extra work that goes along with cloth diapers. The good news is that with REDYPER™ there's an option that's even more convenient than those traditional diapers that are clogging up landfill sites.
Green parenting doesn't have to mean always making the hardest or most time-consuming choices. As technology advances and businesses respond to consumer values, there are more and more products available to help you reduce waste without sacrificing convenience or quality.
DYPER diapers are effective and convenient. Their diapers are made without harmful chemicals or potential irritants such as natural rubber latex, alcohol, perfumes, PVC, lotions, TBT, or Phthalates. DYPER diapers are also independently tested and certified Standard 100 by OEKO TEX®, a leading Swiss certification body, and achieved the coveted 5-star rating by DermaTest®. They offer an incredibly convenient diaper subscription service. They'll help you figure out how many diapers you're likely to need, deliver them for free and even top you up on short notice if you run out.
They're competitively priced, with a four week supply typically costing $89 with a subscription. Choose to use their REDYPER™ system, and they'll take your diapers, compost them, and even purchase carbon offsets for you. It's really is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to start reducing waste in your home.