Category Archives: kids

Birthday Presents and Zero Waste?

less-waste-birthday-present-ecologic-sustainable
less-waste-birthday-present-ecologic-sustainable

Birthday presents and zero waste lifestyle?

How do you do that?

Well to be honest its one of the hardest aspect of trying to live in a more sustainable way. You see, you can control what you buy in the daily routines of managing a household but can you really control what others give you?

My friends and family know that we are trying to live by making less trash but even so they won’t give up the oportunity to get that one gift the kids might like. It’s hard picking out toys that are sustainable and aren’t made of plastic and it doesn’t help they are also a lot more expensive. So how do you balance it out? Well the way we manage is to look out for gifts that are the most durable. Wooden toys are a great option in my opinion, fabric plush toys too. Everything that keeps your kids away from that nasty cheap plastic is always the best option. But these are what we as parents get and our kids know why.

This year this birthday present has the possibility of lasting a lifetime or more. We bought a contructable ride that has several contruction models. Not only is it a great durable and sustainable toy but it also develops technical skills so valuable in the future.

less-waste-birthday-present-ecologic-sustainable
less-waste-birthday-present-ecologic-sustainable
less-waste-birthday-present-ecologic-sustainable
less-waste-birthday-present-ecologic-sustainable

In terms of packaging there was a lot less plastic than the usual suspects, mainly consisting of cardboard. Everything comes neatly packaged and aren’t necessarily a disposable, as you will need to keep everything in place for the next module you want to build.

less-waste-birthday-present-ecologic-sustainable

If only we could get everyone around us on board picking out the more sustainable options in everything we do… but this isn’t realistic and I have come to be ok with this fact.

My kids know what’s the right option and in the future it will be them to decide what to choose. I can only hope that what we teach them now plants a seed in them, making them search always for better options and never stop questioning life.

Did he have less sustainalble toys for his birthday? Oh yes, so much plastic, it made me cringe. But I tried not to show it because I didn’t want to spoil his day – I just wanted him to be a normal 6 year old, not an adult full of worries about the environment.

*This post was not in any way sponsored – these are my own opinions*

Zero Waste Birthday

zero-waste-kids-birthday

A Zero Waste Birthday – Is there such a thing? There might be but I still haven’t gotten there. My youngest son just turned 6 years old and we had his birthday party at our house.

Where we live is has become increasingly uncommom for parents to throw a kids birthday party at home. The trend is to rent out special venues that host your childrens birthday party. Most of these venues are all but ecofriendly, having the irresponsible throw away culture we have unfortunately been used to. Its a poor choice in regards to food quality and in sustainability.

I’m still getting used to being back in Porto after living in Italy for three years. I miss the sense of community, the parents engagement with each other, promoting events and days out for the whole classroom. Everytime there was a birthday party, all parents would join in for the entire afternoon. Here its extremely uncommon for this to happen – at least that’s my experience.

At home there is a bigger chance of reducing the amount of waste you create. I set the table without any tablecloth – that meant less washing. I used ceramic plates, silver cutlery and normal glasses and had to use paper napkins as I didn’t have enough cloth ones.

zero-waste-kids-birthday-party
zero-waste-kids-birthday

To drink there was water, lemonade and some juice, diluted with water and wine for the adults.

We are not vegetarians although we rarely eat meat at home, so to eat there were some fruit skewers, mini sausage rolls, bread with ham, chips, chocolate cake, cheese and bread, and another peach cake, which I didn’t manage to photograph :/

Not the healthiest of options but hey, its a special ocasion!

zero-waste-kids-birthday-party
zero-waste-kids-birthday-party

The birthday cake was just divine. It was freshly made of chocolate with a strawberry white cream. I used an old candle from my oldest son and placed some lego toys for some decoration. I think it turned out just great, and I’m hoping you agree with me.

So what are your thoughts on birthday parties? What other tricks do you use, please let me know, as I would love to improve next time!

Zero Waste Kids Essential Kit

byoc-fabric-napkins-reusable-straws

Don’t beat yourself up if you forget that item, be it a napkin, a straw or a container so you can take home your lefovers, as the world won’t end because of it. At the end of the day millions of plastic packaging is going to be thrown out to the trash on that same day. But don’t let it make you surrender, because what we as consumers are doing is by far more important than the latter. We are the pioneers in an evolutionary change of consciousness. We are merely planting seeds, and just like seeds they might seem small and insignificant, but we all know what come out of them.

So next time you will do better. Next time you will be more organised and prepared for the unexpected, and this is what we must keep on saying to ourselves.

I am still learning as I guess all of you are but I would like to share with you my Kids Kit essentials when we’re out and about. (Please bear in mind that my kids are 5 and 8 yrs old so I’ve passed the nappy and the bring your own food for the baby phase!)

ZERO WASTE KIDS ESSENTIAL KIT:

1. REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE

I usually take one that’s big enough for both of them and they usually share it. We do refills from tap water if we need to.

2. REUSABLE STRAWS

This was a must item to buy as they would have a melt down everytime I would refuse a plastic straw.

All the drama has dissapeared and they do love using them.

3. CLOTH NAPKIN

I take a couple of cloth napkins so we cut down on our use of paper napkins.

4. CONTAINER/ LUNCHBOX

One thing I absolutely cannot bear is food waste. When we eat out all our leftovers come back with us in a small container. We strive to eat everything up but businesses keep pumping up the size of the individual portion. Sometimes depending on the place, we order the kids menu’s as they are substantially smaller or we order one plate for them to share. In Porto, where we live, there is a city hall campaign for restaurants to promote this action of taking home your leftovers, without any shame that might be associated with it. So in case you forget to bring along your container, the restaurant will provide you with a sustainable, biodegradeble option. I just love how they have set up an example!

5. ICE CREAM SPOON

After living in Italy for 3 years this was an essential 🙂 it was a always a struggle to refuse the plastic ones in our local gelataria. Most of the times we were unsuccessful, either they were to fast and stuck the plastic spoon on top, or they would use the plastic spoon to keep the icecream in place and just threw it out afterwards! It was painful, but eventually we were known as the ones who refused the plastic spoons, and would always receive a smirk from the owners.

So this is it. It doesn’t take much to cut out on some waste.

byoc-fabric-napkins-reusable-straws

Zero Waste Kids You Tube Channel

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I’ve been pondering this for a few months now, and besides feeling super uncomfortable in front of a camera, I decided to do this anyway. I believe some goodness will come from this, as I’m hoping to inspire some families out there with my tips on reducing the amount of trash we create.

This channel at the moment will be only in Portuguese, although I might look into adding some subtitles in the future if I get requests or positive feedback.

I have many videos on the making that I can’t wait to share with you. In the meantime, please leave a comment or some feedback either here or over on the YouTube Channel so I can follow your lead into what you’d like most to see.

Thank you for watching and for popping by 🙂