Reducing plastic during the school holidays might be the last thing on your mind. But we like to look at it as the perfect time to teach the kids a thing or two about reducing single use plastics.
Plastic Free July is coming up, so this is a great time to start the conversation and educate your children on sustainability. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite activities that help encourage plastic-free habits that they’ll carry into adulthood.
1. Set up your waste system at home
Usually we’d leave the kids out of something like this but we’ve got a fun way to get them involved! We recently set up a rubbish system at HQ and gave our bins a bit of a makeover by painting them. Not only does this add a bit of fun to a rubbish situation, it’s also a great way to get kids involved and teach them a thing or two about waste along the way. Check out our blog here for some tips to get you started and an idea to make it crafty.
2. Teach them about composting
Composting our food scraps is one of the best ways to put our food back into nature rather than landfill. It’s also a great way to talk to children about the life cycle of food and where it comes from! Take them into the garden and teach them about how soil works, and how food scraps can break down into soil. Our Compost Bin can be a great benchtop reminder for the family to compost food waste either in your Green Organics Bin (if your council accepts scraps) or by setting up your own compost bin at home. This can be a great afternoon activity for the entire family if you’re keen.
3. Get out in the garden
This is a win - win! It helps you get some gardening done and is a fun activity for the kids. While you’re gardening, encourage them to feel the dirt, leaves, flowers and seeds. Ask them to name different colours, sounds they hear or animals they see. This is a great way to help them become fully present and take in their surroundings. If you get them involved in the process of gardening from an early age it helps them gain a better understanding of the process and where their food comes from.
4. Plastic-free toys and games
Kids and toys go together like adults and coffee. If you’re thinking of treating the kids to something new these holidays challenge them to think of something that’s plastic-free! Depending on their age this could be a book, a wooden toy or even their very own Sustainable Tote. When it comes to games, encourage them to think of some that involve being outside, playing in nature and using things they already have. This will help them become resourceful and less reliant on plastic items to keep them entertained.
5. Get crafty
Setting the kids up with a fun, crafty activity is a great way to keep them entertained for hours. You can either get involved with them or spend the time getting things done around the house. We like to collect things that would typically get added to the recycling bin like tin cans and toilet paper rolls. These make a great base for painting or using to grow seedlings. Or if your kids are fans of play dough (let’s face it, that’s most kids) there are some great homemade play dough recipes you can try too.
6. Environmental clean ups
Participating in a beach, river or park clean up is a great family activity that will get you outdoors while doing something good for the environment and community. We love doing beach clean ups with Byron Rangers so check them out if you're in Byron Shire or find a local organisation close to you. If you can’t find something already organised, get your community together and organise your own. To help get the kids excited about it, see who can collect the most rubbish or the most interesting item!
7. Grocery shopping
We know what you’re thinking...grocery shopping - really? But hear us out on this one. Grocery shopping can be one of the hardest ways to avoid plastic but if you get the kids involved you may find solutions you hadn’t picked up before. Make it fun for them and challenge them to track down plastic free pasta or help you choose the package free bread at the bakery section while using your own reusable produce bags.
8. Pack a picnic
Whether you’re heading away or planning a picnic in the park make sure you pack your essential reusables to avoid any unnecessary plastic. Smoothie Cups, Plastic-free Lunchware and Water Bottles can help you to cut down on so much plastic while on the move. Get the kids involved in preparing the snacks beforehand or bake something special the night before that you can enjoy when you’re there!
We hope these tips will help you to start a plastic-free discussion with your family and give you some ideas to try during the holidays and beyond.