I have four kiddos between 2-14 in the house. I find it increasingly hard to be more eco conscious & green in our day to day lives! Everything is plastic or has plastic ! How do you be more green in your house & how do you encourage your kiddos to follow suit?

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  • There are lots of companies now which offer refillable shampoo bottles, or shampoo bars. There’s a few that offer refillable household cleaners, too. I’d start with something like that.

  • This is a hard one… especially as kids at some ages ‘revolt’ and like to adopt completely opposite values to their parents. Unfortunately my ‘eco-conscious’ attitude to waste has had a negative impact and the kids are doing the exact opposite to me!. The kids wont finish anything up (eg leave the old milo and open the new), buy stuff they don’t need, buy stuff they do need (eg food! soft drinks) and just leave it, when they do have a clear out they chuck everything (including perfectly good stuff, and batteries never endup in the proper disposal bin ..). SO just bear in mind there are ‘stages’ and kids might not always comply with your efforts.

  • Get your children involved! Simple things like making snacks for lunch boxes rather than buying them – and kids love cooking!

  • start to grow your own veggies, get some backyard chickens who can eat the scarps and their dung and egg shells can go in the garden to improve the soil, start a compost bin, recycle plastic bottles, tins, glass jars, paper & cardboard and hard plastic. Reuse sandwich bags, reject all plastic bags, make and bake your own home cooked foods. Buy environmentally friendly soaps for laundry household and skin etc

  • We have a worm farm and the kids love feeding the food scraps to the wormies. I actually find my kids are the ones that tell me how to be green. At age 3 and 5 they have great green knowledge no doubt thanks to their school and kinder experiences.

  • I’ve found the bee’s wax or other reusable bowl toppers great at replacing cling wrap.

  • I have a compost bin outside the back. Have a 2 bins inside. Recycle plastic bags and whatever you can through doing artwork with them, kids love it. Good luck.

  • Recycle with your kids and make more homemade things and buy more bulk items when shopping and even bring your own bags when shopping in shops that have plastic bags ect

  • I try to (doesn’t always happen) make as much snack foods as possible as I find that’s the biggest culprit with young kids.
    I also bought some great containers to put leftovers into.
    I try to buy as much in bulk as possible and freeze it – ie 2kg mince and freeze the rest of it in a container that can be washed and reused.
    I re-use sandwich bags if possible and only use them if necesary.

  • Plastic shopping bags can be used for months if you take care of them. We keep some in the car boot in case we go into shops not planned earlier. We also keep a sturdy esky in the boot and yes, it is partially a type of plastic. Metal ones are a lot heavier to lift even when empty. We have been using it for about 40 years. No frozen or perishable food is wasted in arm/hot weather. I made some fabric shopping bags but they were stolen by some (kind?) person. We have sturdy plastic containers (I used my lunch box at work for 40 years) and then longer until the lid split. Very few people have ever washed and re-used plastic F&V bags. They were re-used for that had been home grown or bought in bulk. We have 3 bins (Large toy ones) one for rubbish that cannot be recycled at all, one for recyclable items and another for refundable cans, bottles and cardboard ones. Green waste either goes to the chooks or in the green bin.

  • I didn’t know about those laundry balls. Great tip!

  • One thing to do with plastics- you can get these things called Cora laundry balls that collect the microplastics that come out of your clothes in the washing machine and stop them from ending up in the ocean. Also, avoid buying any cosmetics with microbeads- tiny bits of plastic as well, then end up in the water supply.

  • Yes. Nowadays you can find some of those products at the supermarket too.
    I always bring my produce bags when I go shopping. Plus my reusable bags.

  • Thanks for your replies everyone! We do recycle, take part in the return & earn program as well as compost our scraps. I’ve started baking (some) snacks instead of purchasing pre-packaged, although I think I need to step that up a notch. I actually found a company called seed & sprout too! They sell little cotton mesh bags for veg & dry goods so I have bought these & I found some companies (good old google) who make compostable plastic equivalents like cling wrap etc so I’m very excited to try them too!

  • Create a system for recycling. That would be already a lot indeed. And if the kids see you doing that, they will follow your steps. What about a worming farm? I’m sure the kids would love helping with that.
    And instead of buying packaged products like biscuits, why don’t you make them yourself with the kids? It’s a nice activity and you avoid plastic. The same could be done with a lot of other products. Just do what you feel comfortable with.
    Success. :-)

  • Ive started growing our own veggies and compost so majority of our garden waste goes in there. I also keep our egg cartons and veg/fruit scraps for a friend who has chickens.

  • Also – get the kids involved in recycling and caring for the environment and world.
    Kids can benefit from taking appropriate containers to container deposit schemes too – a good incentive.

  • Recycling plastics to redcycle in your woolies or Coles. Then at least the plastic isn’t going in landfill! And trying not to get produce with plastic in it (which sometimes isn’t possible unless you go to farmers markets like above answer. I’ve started using newspaper bin liners mostly (not always). AND cloth nappies! Although your youngest is two so you are pretty much past that.

  • Shopping at Farmer’s market is a good way to avoid plastic. We take our own eco bags and the food is not wrapped in layers and layers of plastic. The bonus is children get to learn about food and see that it does not come directly from a store. It comes from the producers and growers.

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