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7 Things to Teach Kids about Waste-free Living

Are you discussing zero waste with your kids? Like with most things, kids learn easier and quicker when they see those around them doing. So, when you come together as a zero-waste family, it makes it easier for your children to make zero waste living a way of life.  

Is zero waste possible with kids?

Of course, zero waste living is possible with kids. If you have older children, you might have to make a few adjustments but before you know it you will be well on your way to being a part of the zero-waste movement.

  1. Eco-friendly Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene might seem like one of the hardest places to make the switch to a zero-waste lifestyle, but it really isn’t We have a few zero waste ideas for you to try. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is a pretty simple swap to make and one that the whole family can make together.

A few other swaps you can make are.

Compostable Dental Floss: Switching over to an eco-friendly, compostable option is much kinder to the environment and won’t end up clogging up landfills.  

Compostable Wooden Ear Sticks: If you are a family that uses ear sticks, make the swap to these wooden ear sticks that can be easily composted.

  • Reusable things in kitchen

When you make waste-free swaps in your home, they will become second nature to your children and impact their purchasing decisions.

Grocery Organic Shopping Bags: This is such a simple swap to make but can make such a big impact on the environment.

Reusable bottle for water: Reusable water bottles are great when it comes to kids. If you invest in a stainless bottle for your child, it is much healthier for your child, for the environment and it will last longer.

Kitchen Roll: Kids are messy, ditch the paper towel and opt for this eco-friendly option. It does the job just as well and is much kinder to the environment.

Beeswax Covers: There is even an alternative to cling film! The gorgeous beeswax covers will keep your food fresh and covered.

  • Avoid buying plastic toys

Your child doesn’t need as many toys as you think they do. Very often when they have less toys, they play with them more. Many toys are made from plastic and can’t be recycled so they end up in landfills. An alternative to plastic toys is to look for handmade wooden toys. There are a few brands who are making green toys that can be recycled. You can also consider visiting your local thrift store and looking for pre-loved toys for your child (they will be cheaper, and your child will enjoy them just as much.)

  • Buying Secondhand clothes

Children grow very quickly which means they go through a lot of clothes. The fast fashion industry is not sustainable, environmentally friendly or waste-free and should be avoided where possible. An easy way to do this with kids is to swap clothes with a circle of friends or visit your local second-hand clothes store. You are all buy guaranteed to find a few outfits for your child at a thrift store.

  • Minimalism living

A very simple way to teach your children about living waste-free is simply by buying less. Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it. Very often the answer is that you don’t need but rather want it. Minimalism is not about never having nice things or the things you want but rather only bringing into you home the things you truly need and the things that bring you and your family joy. If it does not make you happy, then it has no place in your home.

  • Buy eco-friendly Wooden baby push walkers

Buy accessories and gifts that are environmentally friendly. There are items like the wooden push box that has been made from wood and is environmentally friendly. These are great items to buy as accessories and toys for your little one or to even give to a friend who is expecting their first baby.

  • Producing compost

Starting a compost heap with your family is one of the best zero waste activities to do as a family. Not only are you using your kitchen waste, but your children get to learn in the process. You do not need to have a large garden to start composting, you could live in an apartment – it can be done easily. When you compost you limit the amount of waste that gets sent to landfill and you create compost that you can use for your garden.

How can I start zero waste living with my kids for free?

A good place to start when it comes to zero waste parenting, is to teach your children to be content with what they have right now. Involving your children in your decision-making process also helps them to feel a part of the process, this includes explaining to them why you are making certain swaps or no longer buying certain things.


  • What does go zero waste living mean? The zero waste principles are to actively reduce the amount you are consuming and shifting to a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • How can family make less waste when living in big city? It is a process that starts with small changes to your everyday life.
  • What are the benefits of living family zero waste life? When you consume less you spend less which means you have more money to save, and you reduce your carbon footprint dramatically.

It is possible to make the move to living zero waste with children. It is easier to do if you make the shift as a family and get everyone on board to work together towards a common goal. If you have found this article useful, please share it with your family and friends.



  1. 23 August, 2021 / 10:27 am

    One of our favourite things to do is to visit the charity shops here, we love to buy and re-use old things.

  2. 23 August, 2021 / 8:49 pm

    Yes, children do try to imitate those around them and it is good to exhibit behavior you want them to walk out.

  3. 23 August, 2021 / 11:09 pm

    Our kids really love colorful, reusable straws and using their own water bottles that are reusable! It’s great to incorporate reusable products into their lives when they are young.
    Jupiter Hadley recently posted…A Day Out at Hick’s OrchardMy Profile

  4. Monica Y
    24 August, 2021 / 2:59 am

    Zero waste is a goal in our home, but it has too many steps to accomplish. We will go on small steps for sure

  5. 24 August, 2021 / 3:05 am

    This is an amazing list of how to start with kids! We are working on reducing our waste as much as possible in my home and follow with a lot of this. My boys have stainless steel water bottles that they take everywhere. We compost in the kitchen and try to use rags instead of paper towels as much as we possibly can.
    Stephanie recently posted…Simple Herbed Tuscan BreadMy Profile

  6. Melissa Cushing
    26 August, 2021 / 2:00 pm

    I am loving this post and you have to start young to instill these wonderful habits. Reducing waste is a huge thing and we too are always looking for new ways to improve. I appreciate your hearing and really enjoy your site πŸ˜‰

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