How to Cut Down on Waste this Summer

How to Cut Down on Waste this Summer

Erin Burt

School is out, warm weather has finally (FINALLY!) arrived. It is also a time for increased waste. From dollar store trinkets to help fill the long days at home, to snack-packed picnics at the park, we have a way of increasing plastic consumption in the warmer months.

There are a whole host of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and make you a stylish mom and hostest with the mostest!

Ditch the disposable swimmies and grab reusable swim diapers. Swim diapers run the gamut from simple to full-fledged matching tops, bottoms, and hats. Many come with SPF built into the fabric for ease of protection.

Ditch the excessively packaged crafts and start a summer recycle project that starts with a nature hunt. Sometimes the prepackaged boxes are a rich afternoon of fun, and they can be quite helpful when nature runs out of possibilities. But first check outside (flowers and grass and rocks and more). Then look out for all the leftovers in the house that might otherwise go in the garbage. Boxes can turn into ships and packing materials can turn into who knows what when you add them to toilet paper rolls and construction paper scraps.

Ditch the plastic and styrofoam kitchenware and Invest in reusable stemware. Silicone bowls and plates are microwave safe while Re-Play uses recycled water bottles for their generously cut plates, bowls, and utensils in a rainbow of colors. For everyone in the whole family there are a variety of glass, metal, and recycled plastic cups and bottles. Stay hydrated in eco style! Even old saran wrap can be replaced with a reusable beeswax option!

Ditch the dollar store and check out 2nd-hand thrift. I get it. The dollar store is sometimes a budgetary wonder--a quick way to give the kids a treat and not blow the bank. At the same time, sometimes it’s worth the investment to grab a quality toy, provide your child creative play with fewer toys, and check out the thrift when you want to go on an old-school treasure hunt!

Ditch the stuff and invest in experiences. Memberships to the science and history museums go with many perks beyond just a one-day visit. Spreading out your trip with a membership allows you to invest more deeply in all the museums have to offer. Check out small and local too-- bigger doesn’t always mean better. Also touch base with your local public library and schools. Many times there are free and low-cost activities to enjoy through the dog-days of summer.

Ditch the silence and take on the opportunity to talk about care for our environment with your child, no matter the age. Encouraging thoughtfulness of actions is something that has neverending benefits in your child’s life.

Lynette is a mom of three children from ages 2 to 6. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

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