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5 Family Friendly Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

5 Family Friendly Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Guest blogger! We ask our favorite supermom and sister-in-law to write a blog for us every so often - in exchange for free goodies. Enjoy!

By Kimberly Huebner:

My husband Ben and I used to feel like we rocked it out when it came to reducing our ecological footprint. We WERE NOT mass consumers. I mean, we composted nearly all of our waste and we were the type of people who would turn around on the way to the store if we forgot reusable bags.

Having a Baby is Life Changing
Shortly before our first lifestyle change arrived.

A single event altered this lifestyle completely. Our baby boy Jonah arrived, and OH BOY for such a little thing he created a LOT of waste. Then, just to dig our dumpsite hole further into the ground, we welcomed our baby girl Amelia a short 18 months later.

As the months have gone by with two extra humans in our life (Jonah is now 3 and Amelia is 19 months), we've had to learn to adjust certain parenting methods to meet our own ideals of living even if this is a little more inconvenient.

I know, I know, as parents we ALWAYS strive for convenience because life is already hard. But there are a few easy modifications we have learned to make as part of our daily living:


Luckily Ben and I were common composters before having kids, so it was already a habit of ours. Because our kids eat A LOT of fruits and vegetables, in an average day our family creates a nearly full, LARGE bowl of compost.

Many people don’t like to compost because they think it's gross. There are many ways to make it less smelly and more convenient. For example, we recently started keeping a designated compost bowl in our refrigerator and taking it out every other day. It doesn’t smell and it doesn’t create fruit flies!

I also recommend (when space allows) having two outdoor composts going at a time – 1 actively composting (sitting) and 1 you contribute to daily. Then you can use this compost in your vegetable garden and/or flowerbeds. There is much more to composting, but believe me, it's easier than you think! Get some information on composting here.

Compost from Lunch with Toddlers
The compost I collected from lunching with two toddlers.

2. Rag Stations: Don’t get me wrong, paper towels and Lysol wipes are my jam when it comes to poop, pee, and vomit – but to my great relief these are now a rare occurrence in our home. Most spills are beverage and food related. I have readily available rags and towels in EVERY room of my house. It is as simple as keeping worn out bibs, dish/bath towels, etc. and putting them towards a new use! Both my kids no longer use bibs, but I LOVE using our soft, loved bandana bibs with warm water to wipe sticky hands and faces.

Rag Station
One of my many rag stations through out the house.

Reusable Bags & Tupperware:

We usually have at least one outing a day. Whether this outing is 20 minutes or 3 hours I know one thing for sure: We MUST bring snacks! I used to throw snacks in plastic Ziploc bags, but the shear amount of plastic I threw out doing this makes me cringe. We all make mistakes right?

I opted to start using Tupperware for things like sandwiches and fruit, and reusable bags like Bumkins for dry goods. One thing I love about having my decent-size, yet compact diaper backpack from Parker Baby Co is that I can easily fit Tupperware snacks inside along with everything else!

‘Trash Bag Snacks’

Ever give your child trail mix? Well, you can make your own with leftover snacks! Whenever my kids leave a bowl of dry Cheerios, pretzels, raisins, etc lying around I will dump it into a Tupperware and store it for later. My husband makes fun of me for this, hence the name ‘trash bag snacks.’

Sometimes the combinations get weird, like mini rice cakes, goldfish and dried cranberries….but guess what? It can seem like a whole new interesting snack to your kids! Just pop one of your pre-made ‘trash bag snack’ Tupperwares in your diaper bag and you're good to go.

'trashbag snacks' for toddlers
You better believe I'm adding those pretzel fragments to our 'trash bag snacks.'

DIY (Do it yourself) Crafts:

My kiddos really enjoy arts and crafts. I would say we spend 1+ hours a day simply creating. If I were to constantly buy craft materials I would go broke.

My kids' craftiness gives another opportunity to reuse materials around the house. We've all seen how people repurpose cardboard boxes into rocket ships or castles… Well let’s think even further outside the box here and start using things like toilet paper rolls, milk jugs, or even last month’s calendar page to make something fun or interesting!

Now, I am not saying these tactics will work for everyone, but I do think that if you step back and look at your own lifestyle, you may just find little ways you can help reduce waste…. Maybe the eggs you buy every week come in Styrofoam and you can just as easily buy ones with a recyclable carton, or maybe you don’t utilize reusable drink containers nearly enough.

A little mindfulness can really go a long way, and it can help our children learn these valuable lessons of reducing, reusing, and recycling.


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