Tips on how to reduce plastic and packaging waste when out with your family this summer!
Use what you have
Living low waste doesn’t need fancy kits—use what you have. We made kits from items we already own and have left them in the car. We also made ones for our day pack that we normally take out. This way we don't have to worry about packing it for each outing as we are scrambling out the door. Some items we keep in the kit:
- Cutlery from the kitchen - No need to grab plastic cutlery out.
- Tea Towels - make great napkins, tablecloths, clean up wipes.
- Tupperware - having empty tupperware on hand in the car or one in my backpack helps to eliminate single use plastic from leftovers when eating out (which also helps with food waste - win win!).
- Stainless steel straw.
- Reusable coffee cup.
- Reusable water bottle.
Plastic Free Snacks
If you’re heading out for a hike, day trip or literally anywhere with kids you’ll need food. It can be hard on the go to have snacks and treats without plastic packaging.
- Get a cone! Want to save the Earth and its oceans? Eat ice cream in a cone! Seriously, single-use plastic items like ice cream spoons account for more than 40% of plastic waste, and each year about 8.8 million tons of plastic trash flows into the ocean.
- Pack a lunch with plastic free containers, beeswax wraps and bags. There are so many options from stainless steel to bamboo that are lightweight and easy to carry. Beeswax wraps and snack bags are great options to carry snacks and keep things fresh.
- Spend a day making batches of muffins or energy bites and freeze them. They make easy plastic free snacks on the go. We love the Energy Orbs Premix from Cuculi foods.
Social distancing Picnics
It feels like we have a lot of picnics in our upcoming summer and it can be tempting to have an instagram worthy picnic. Single use and pre made foods come with a lot of plastic, use these simple ways to have that memorable picnic without the waste:
- Dishes and cutlery - bring your own.
- Avoid pre made trays and platters.
- Skip the frozen and pre packaged meat/food and shop at local butchers and shops.
- Bring your own tablecloth - or borrow your moms like us as we never have a tablecloth.
- Have the kiddos make the decorations.
Keeping safe in the sun
Everytime I open that one drawer in the house, half empty sunscreen packages fall out. This year we are committing to using everything we have first, emptying out all those plastic containers of sunscreen. Then making the move to sunscreen that hits as many of the elements on the list:
- Reef Safe.
- Quality ingredients.
- Broad spectrum.
- Safe for the kiddos.
- Sweat and water resistant.
Don’t stress it
This might be the last section on all our blog posts and in every pep talk we give ourselves. Trying to reduce plastic and packaging waste while mindful of costs and how our choices impact the planet can be overwhelming, especially during a pandemic. This isn’t about being perfect, it is about taking the small steps every day that are good for you, your family and your life.