How to become a zero waste family, mum’s top tips

Mum Anita wants to show you that being an eco-parent doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it’s rather easy! Here are her tips for families to reduce their waste at home.

As parents we are constantly juggling the needs of others, children, work, chores, money.

The state of the planet is the last thing on our minds. But by applying zero waste and minimalist principles, I want to show you that being an eco-parent doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, it can be easy!

Having a baby has also made me much more realistic about how I apply the zero waste principles to my life, it’s about effort, not perfection. There are some things we can do, and somethings that might be just be a bit too hard due to lack of sleep or time. And that’s okay.

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How we became a zero waste family

Encourage your children to recycle to help the planet. Image: iStock 

Here are my favourite essential tips for reducing your waste:

Make secondhand your first choice

Op shops and garage sales– discover your local charity shop, they have amazing, and often brand new, baby clothes and accessories. Garage sales are absolutely full of baby gear in great condition for next to nothing, especially in the suburbs. Just wash them in a hot wash before your baby wears them.

Make it yourself

Make your own baby food – use a high-speed blender to make your own organic, plastic-free baby food. Freeze the food in baby portions for easy access. I collected small glass jars which could easily be frozen, or you can batch cook and freeze larger portions. There are number of other things you can make such as beauty products, homemade creams and also cleaning products! For more recipes check out my Instagram (@rocket_science).

RELATED: How to change your recycling habits

How we became a zero waste family

Anita shares more tips in her new book ‘A Zero Waste Family: In Thirty Days’. Images: Supplied

RELATED: Parents share their best tips for reducing household waste

Participate in the share economy

Join the library, toy library or a swap group – we need to take advantage of our local resources. Our library has Storytime and Rhymetime, it also has Indigenous storytime, and loads of other free activities for children. A small weekly subscription can get you access to a local toy library which allows you to borrow toys whenever you want. Participating in the share economy allows you to prevent virgin resources being used to make more ‘stuff’. It also prevents clutter from overwhelming your home.

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Get outside

One simple, yet highly effective way to be an everyday activist is to head outdoors every day as a family. When your children are connected with nature, even if it is a simple walk in the local park, this allows them to see the beauty and grandness of nature. You also come to appreciate nature is worth fighting for. We need to be everyday activists so that we are reminded that Earth is the only home we’ve got – there is no Planet B.

Finally, the best way to live a zero-waste life is to lead with grace. Changing habits, living more mindfully, and leaving a gentler footprint on the planet can be a real shock to the system for some children who are used to having whatever they want, and there may be some ongoing backlash.

However, the good news is that children model your values. If you lead with grace, and embrace a ‘waste not, want not’ attitude, you can make a long-lasting, positive impression on your child, no matter what their age.