Natural Living Des Moines


Reducing Waste and Being Green With Children by sarahtar
May 18, 2008, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s an interesting subject – reducing waste when you have children. This is not always as easy as it might seem, but here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Use cloth diapers. Now, I’m not going to go into all the reasons cloth diapers are superior to disposables. Suffice it to say, in my opinion, they are. (Please ignore the disposable-diaper-funded studies in England recently that have tried to say that cloth is worse for the environment than disposables. Read the actual studies and the flaws in them become obvious.) For the purposes of this list, it is clear that cloth diapers produce far less waste than disposable diapers do. In fact, they produce no waste at all.
  2. Breastfeed. No waste. Can’t breastfeed? Use glass bottles, skip the plastic disposable inserts. Buy formula in the largest cans you can find.
  3. Get yourself a few of the small size SIGG bottles and use these instead of disposable cups that one might acquire at a drive-through, convenience store, or restaurant. Bonus: your kid drinks the water that’s in the cup, not a soft drink or juice.
  4. Bring your own in-restaurant entertainment rather than using the restaurant’s disposable kids menu and crayons. (Those crayons are often just thrown away, barely used, after you leave.)
  5. Invest in some re-usable drawing mediums. Magnetic drawing boards, the aqua-doodle, etc. They will never replace paper for drawing on, but they can cut down on some of the paper waste from drawing. We have found these particularly useful when in the car or at an activity away from home.
  6. Use the back of junk mail and other unwanted paper as art paper. Use old catalogs and magazines for art projects. Use old phone books as paint palettes or a cutting surface. Use old newspapers to protect your table from overzealous painting. (Better yet, invest in a remnant of oilcloth and use it over and over.)
  7. This really shouldn’t need to be spelled out, but try to avoid anything that’s single-use and disposable. Disposable plastic placemats, disposable disinfecting wipes, disposable cups and utensils. You can easily find non-disposable replacements for these items. (a soapy washcloth, reusable cup, reusable utensils.)
  8. Instead of buying snack-size packages of snacks, buy larger sizes and repackage them into smaller (reusable) containers yourself.
  9. Don’t buy antibacterial anything. They don’t actually work that well. And they invariably come in small plastic containers, or as single-use wipes.
  10. Get your baby products from a local business like Prairieland Herbs. Their products are all-natural, wonderful, and they’re local.

Those are my ten tips for right now. I’m sure there are at least 500 more!


1 Comment so far
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hi, i’m new to des moines, and i just found your blog last week. i just wanted to say thank you for all the great local tips and links🙂

Comment by *mindi*




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