Mrs. Walker here again, and I’m here to talk about a lesson that I try to teach my young ones daily. It’s about the benefits and importance of sustainability. Now, if you are a parent, I don’t have to explain to you about how, with each lesson that you attempt to teach your child, you have to make it fun and interesting to them, or else they simply won’t pay attention. So, consider this blog my present to you, a list of great tips and truths about easy recycling, but tied up with a pretty (and fun) bow.
Leave No Trace
Are your kiddos involved in Boy or Girl Scouts at all? Well, they teach their scout pledges about how important it is to bring with you only what you can carry out with you. Surprisingly, this rule of thumb can also apply to hotel stays away from home. For instance, we like to bring reusable water thermos’ rather than purchasing plastic water bottles or using one’s supplied by the (uber-expensive anyway!) mini-bar in the room. We also always bring one set each of reusable silverware, a plate, and a cup to eat any takeout, room service, or to-go food from local vendors (opt for those that use recyclable containers to serve, when can!), as well as our own refillable travel-size shampoo, conditioner, and amenities bottles, to avoid the trap of single-use throwaways hotels graciously—yet wastefully—supply!
When out and about, shopping for groceries especially, I have made it a point to empower my kids by encouraging them to make their own informed choices. So, while heading down the aisles at our grocery store, we talk together about packaging especially. I allow them to pick their own cereals, juices, and things, while asking them to explain to me the reasoning for their choices being environmentally friendly. They have learned to look for: glass bottles of juice, recyclable packaging versus plastic and Styrofoam-wrapped items, and more. The proud looks on their faces when they are tossing their eco-friendly items (which they chose themselves!) is priceless.
Bring Your Own Bag
Remember the single, carefree days when BYOB meant Bring Your Own Beer?! Well, now BYOB, at least in our household, stands for “Bring Your Own Bag!” We have made it a habit of keeping reusable woven bags from home in our car, so that they are already at-hand whenever we are out at the store or market. This saves us from ever having to rely on the provided plastic bags in a pinch.
Buy in Bulk
Another excellent way to outsmart the plastic plague is to buy in bulk. Instead of opting for that boxed cereal or plastic jar of peanut butter, choose a market (many co-ops and farmers markets have these options) that has bulk bins, and one which either offers recyclable containers for your use onsite OR allows customers to bring their own containers to fill. This rule also applies to farmers markets, where many vendors are more than happy to allow you to buy their produce and place it in your own satchels and containers from home. It’s also a great way to start a conversation with others who may see you doing so, giving you the chance to explain why making such decisions is so important and encouraging others to follow your lead.
Save it for Later
There have also been many times when we have been out and about, away from home, yet have not had access to a recycling bin. We now keep a little plastic bin in the back of our minivan, which we use to hold these items until we return home to our regular household bin. It’s much better than throwing the items in the trash, simply because we see no other present alternative in the moment. Planning makes perfect, I always say!
While, as a mum, I know that there is no way to be perfect in every way, there are simple, easy ways to do our best, and in every way we can, treat our own mum (Mother earth, that is) with the love and care she deserves. So, abracadabra fellow mum and dad magicians, go and cast those sustainability spells on your own young ones…the world will thank you, and we will too!