Lifehacks and Tips Parenting

Easy Lower Waste Ideas for Families with Kids

Food leftovers, diapers/nappies, toys and clothes, crafts – all that produces tons of waste. How to reduce waste without discomfort and too much effort? Read on to find out.

Why bother at all and for other environment-friendly ideas, you are welcome to check the previous eco post.

Disposable diapers/nappies make a ton of waste per one child in a year. What can I do? Use Cloth diapers/ nappies.

It’s not only good for the environment and your baby’s skin but  also much more cost-effective. And look how cute they look.

Frankly, we use disposable diapers/ nappies on our travels but at home – only the cloth ones.

You can go even further and go diaper-free. We’ve done it partially with both our daughters from birth. This strategy is also a step towards easier potty training. And  early potty training is another way of saving the Earth (and money).

Wet wipes are extensively used for babies’ bums and hands. They are easy to use but they produce tons of waste, can leave irritation on the skin (from rubbing and chemicals in the wipes). How can we avoid them? Use water and reusable wipes (any cotton cloth will do). Works for us. And for Mother Earth.

Food pouches are very convenient with little kids. But you don’t have to buy new plastic package every time, there are  reusable alternatives which you can fill with your own, home-made-with-love puree.


Do kids need a lot of toys? No. Moreover, recent research shows that too much choice of toys is bad for children’s development. Though, having all the same toys at home becomes boring with time.

How to avoid the temptation of buying new toys every time your precious baby is bored? Swap with friends or in local groups, buy used toys and sell those nobody plays with, preferably buy toys made of natural materials instead of plastic – they are not only better for the environment, but also for the health and development of your child.


Renting toys

There is a special service in the Netherlands – a toy library (Speelothek). It costs 25 Euro per month (equivalent to a simple dinner at an average restaurant), and you can borrow 3 toys each time. After 3 weeks or earlier, you bring them back and take new ones. Thus, you always have “new” toys at home and you don’t need to think what to do with a heap of toys.

Talking about libraries – when was the last time you checked yours? Dutch libraries are marvelous – they have a great selection of kids’ books, not only in Dutch, but also in other languages.


If anything can make your home zero waste, it’s child’s fantasy. There are things you need to buy for crafts but a lot of non-toys can be used for kids’ creations before being dumped:

  • magazines, newspapers and brochures are great for developing cutting skills
  • magazine cuts can be glued into new creations
  • envelopes and letters we don’t need are good for drawing/ painting
  • boxes are always useful for multiple purposes, like drawing on them:


Breastfeeding moms, here are some useful goodies for you:

  • reusable pads will help you to avoid leakages. Disposable pads will cost you more, you can run out of them and they can even be the reason of fungus. You can buy reusable pads online or at a local store or make them from a soft natural fabrics.
  • even better – milk catchers – don’t loose a single drop of the ‘white gold’.

Have you used any of these? Share in the comments 😉

2 replies on “Easy Lower Waste Ideas for Families with Kids”

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