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Baby Steps to a Greener Home: Simple Tips for a Low-Waste Household

At GoBe Kids, we prioritize sustainability across all of our products—it’s how we make sure that our products will be enjoyed by your family for many years to come! Moreover, we know firsthand that while raising a family is a joyous journey filled with love, laughter, and incredible memories, there are definitely moments when waste just seems to magically pile up and you wish your household produced less waste. While we can’t do much about the price of groceries, we are here to help share our favorite “green” tips to help you and your family create a more environmentally-friendly home.

From reducing food waste to giving everyday household items a chance at a “second life”, we hope you’ll find these tips helpful (and sustainable!). Keep reading to learn more!

Reduce Food Waste

There’s no better place to start than in the heart of any home: the kitchen. When life gets busy (and we know it does!), it’s surprisingly easy to get carried away with meal prep and forget about the fresh produce that you may already have hanging out in the fridge. Of course, it’s great practice to plan your meals and shopping lists to make sure you don’t overbuy—but even the best laid plans run into a snafu or two from time to time. Here are some of our favorite (and creative) ways to use up any “extra eats” in your kitchen:

Leftover Veggies

  • Don’t let carrot peels, potato skins and celery tops go to waste! These are great additions to any homemade stock or broth. The best part is you can freeze any broth you make to use in future dishes. We call that a win/win!
  • Have a green thumb or looking to "grow" one? Hold onto any seeds, pits, and cuttings to start growing your own vegetable garden.
  • Have you ever gotten fresh herbs from the grocery store and realized you have a good amount leftover? Mince and freeze leftover herbs in oil or water and they’ll be ready for future use!
  • Just in time for Halloween, you can scoop out the insides of your jack-o-lantern and blend them into a pumpkin puree that is perfect for pie baking.

Extra Fruit

  • Fruit or leftover fruit scraps can actually be great additions to simmer pots (for any season!). Not only do you get to use up all the parts of the fruit, but we promise your home will smell absolutely delightful!
  • Leftover apple or pineapple skin can actually be boiled and strained to create the base for a yummy tea!
  • Transform citrus peels (clementines are perfect for this and they’re a great hit with kiddos!) into a delicious and simple candy using this recipe!

Other Food Tips

  • Transform dried bread crusts (or leftover crusts from cutting your toddler’s sandwiches) into delicious croutons or breadcrumbs.
  • Don’t be so quick to toss out that bread heel—add it to your brown sugar container to help soften it up and make it easy to use for your next baking adventure!
  • Coffee is an essential part of adulting—but don’t discard those used coffee grounds right away. Turn them into a DIY body scrub and an opportunity for some TLC for you!

Reuse & Repurpose

Next up on our list, let's talk about how you can give everyday household items a second life. More often than not, we all find ourselves wondering “how did we get so much stuff?” (trust us, it happens to the best of us!). Rather than stress or feel overwhelmed at the prospect of having to discard a lot of extraneous items, here are some great ways to give household items a “second life”:

  • Glass jars can be used for a plethora of purposes from storing leftover cooking oil to fulfilling all sorts of storage needs around your home. They’re great for storing pantry staples, your kiddos’ craft supplies, or even used as small planters!
  • Got old towels or t-shirts lying around? Cut them up and use them as extra cleaning rags. They work just as well as disposable paper towels—with the added benefit of being both reusable and machine washable.
  • One of our favorite ways to repurpose items is to see how our kiddos can enjoy them! It’s amazing to see how many different ways you can transform household items into sensory-rich toys that your children will love. What’s even better: all of these “toys” are incredibly budget-friendly!

Embrace Sustainable Shopping

You don’t need to purchase anything to be conscious about your footprint-you can actually get a headstart on sustainable practices during your next shopping trip. Keep a stash of reusable shopping bags in your car or near your front door (these are a great option since they rest perfectly on your cart while you shop). Canvas totes are another great option to have on hand for your next shopping trip and keeping your reusable bags near your car keys means you won’t easily forget them!

Also, don’t forget that one of the best ways to incorporate sustainability into your shopping is to shop second hand or thrift. There is an endless inventory of gently-used items that you can find at second hand stores, garage sales, online—many of which are just as good as buying something brand new (and a great deal more wallet-friendly!). Moreover, there are also “Buy Nothing” groups that you can check out on social media within your local community.

Teaching Kiddos About Sustainability

Any opportunity to involve your kiddos is yet another way to create fond memories and instill eco-conscious values that they will carry well into adulthood. Teaching our children about sustainability and the importance of “Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse” not only makes sustainability a concerted family effort, but it’s just one more way we can work together to take care of the beautiful world we live in.

  • Show your kids the importance of reducing waste by demonstrating sustainable practices for them to see. When kids see their parents actively recycling, reducing waste, and reusing items in a conscious way, they will be more encouraged to follow in those same footsteps. If you and your kiddo want to see what happens to plastic after we recycle, watch Murray on Sesame Street visit a recycling center!
  • Visit local parks, plant a garden together, or watch educational documentaries to engage your kiddos in fun and informative activities focused on the environment.
  • Start small to teach big lessons. For example, guide your kiddos to turn off the water while they are brushing their teeth to teach them how to think ecologically and preserve water usage.
  • Encourage your kids to get involved in DIY projects that involve upcycling or repurposing clothes and objects. Not only is it a fantastic teaching opportunity, but it’s a great way to bond and learn together.

 

Last (and certainly not least), it’s important to remember that creating a low-waste household is a journey. Do what works for you and your family, whatever that looks like. Every effort—no matter how big or small—counts when you’re looking at the larger picture of preserving and protecting the environment. By incorporating sustainable habits and involving your family, it is entirely possible to make a positive impact on the environment while creating lasting memories with your loved ones. Please share how you and your family work towards a greener, more sustainable future by emailing us at hello@gobekids.co or posting and sharing on social media!

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