Sustainability isn’t just for the adults. Half the point of sustainability is to make sure that the world we leave behind will be even more beautiful for the next generation than it is for this one, so why not get the next generation involved? Making sustainable choices with your kids is a great way to introduce them to the idea of protecting the environment and an excellent companion to any educational programs they may be watching, as it lets them actively participate in creating a better world. So what are some sustainable ideas for kids? Here are four awesome ones.
Reusable Colored Straws
Fun and colorful straws are a hallmark of modern childhood, and reusable colored straws are a great way to show that going sustainable doesn't mean giving up fun. Reusable colored straws means that the whole family can pick out their favorite colors (starting with the youngest of course) and take them wherever they go. When you give them to your kids, pair it with a kid friendly program on oceans and explain how they’re saving the sea turtles.
The supermarkets may be dominated by cheap plastic toys but that doesn’t mean those are the only option. There’s actually quite a variety of toys you can choose from that are not only made from wood, but made from fast growing renewable species of wood. While it’s hard to go completely plastic free with children’s toys, we have to recognize that reducing plastic is still a great step. Remember, sustainability is never all or nothing, and changing habits sometimes takes baby steps.
Sustainable Kids Clothing
Growing children, unfortunately, require just about the complete opposite of the ideas of slow fashion. The Slow Fashion movement argues that we should reject the ideas of disposable fast fashion and instead buy durable clothing that will last for years. Of course, children are lucky to fit in the same piece of clothing for a year, let alone multiple years. That doesn’t mean we should give up on the idea of sustainable children’s clothing completely. First of all, just because the kids will outgrow the clothes doesn’t mean it can’t be made sustainably. Keep in mind that eco-friendly clothing will also be better for the kids, as safer dying methods for the environment will also be safer for sensitive skin. The other thing of course is to simply buy gently used clothes. Of course if you have multiple kids or your siblings have their own kids hand-me-downs are always an option (especially if you get Unisex pieces like the store we linked too). But if that’s not an option, you can always organize your own clothing exchange. We at Rust and Fray believe that it takes a village to raise a child and to save the planet, so clothing exchanges are a double win for us.
Now Play-Doh (the brand) is not exactly the world’s most wasteful company, but that doesn’t mean there are better options out there. If you want to go the all natural route, opt for some Eco-Dough to get sculpting dough that dyed from fruits and vegetables and can be revived from it’s “dried-out” state with a bit of olive oil. Wanna take it a step further? Introduce your kids to the world of zero-waste by making your own! If you hope to someday get your kids hooked on making their own deodorants and soaps, this is an easy entry point that they’ll have almost as fun making as they’ll have playing with. The best part? It’s dirt cheap. Keep in mind that at the end of the day that dough is dough, and even the “real” Play-Doh is mainly just bread dough plus some extra structural and aesthetic ingredients. So why not go to the kitchen and save money as you eliminate unnecessary plastic containers?
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