They truly want to live plastic free and NOT just because they’ve seen someone talk about it online or on the telly. It’s heartfelt.
They’ve witnessed the damage for themselves when helping to clear bucket loads of plastic rubbish from our local ponds and – most sadly – walking beside the Thames. The foreshore next to London’s most important nature reserve is covered in plastic trash. Yikes.
But the challenge is, they – like middle and high school kids everywhere – are responsible for loads of single use and little-used plastic.
It’s NO use just nagging us parents about it. They have got to change stuff themselves.
So we’ve been on the look out for simple plastic free tips kids can put into practice with their friends at home and at school.
I’ve got a big list of very cool plastic free living ideas for you below that will appeal to 7 to 12 or 13 year olds. They helped us see plastic in a different way and actually helped us get excited about and enjoy living with much less plastic.
The tips encourage kids to spot all the single use plastic they’re responsible for but also lots of other plastic that ends up as toxic trash.
They also encourage them to do some detective style investigation and be super imaginative and creative about alternatives.
I hope your kids have fun with these. They truly will help them to make a difference.
30 Plastic Free Living Ideas
- Buy vintage lego : buying plastic toys might seem a weird tip when we’re trying to go plastic free but it’s super important. We need to keep ALL the plastic toys out there out of the ground and out of the ocean. So buy pre-loved lego, duplo, play mobile and the rest rather than buying new. Ask on local groups on Facebook – there will always be families ready to pass some on.
- Give Barbie a bath : give outgrown dolls a good old clean and tidy up and sell them on for someone new to love.
- Find a good home for all your other old plastic toys, whether it’s a plastic trike or a bucket and spade or a bath toy. Have a fun weekend giving them a scrub and donate them. Because if they lie there getting grotty, they will end up as trash.
- Make your mum happy by saying NO to plastic freebies that clutter up your bedroom driving your mum totally crazy until they end up in the trash too …
- Save your pocket money for seriously cool adventures. Go see the most awesome show – we so loved Harry Potter And The Cursed Child – or your fave team play rather than splurge it all on yet more plastic Shopkins or Hatchimals or whatever else you’re collecting at the moment …
- Buzzy bee wraps : cut out clingfilm and plastics bags for school snacks with reusable beeswax wraps. You can buy them or make your own
- Get baking so you can ditch plastic wrapped cookies and bars. We love super yummy 5 minute cheese straws.
- Recycle crisp packets : set up a crisp packet recycling scheme at your school.
- Make sure your apple a day comes loose and if your local store doesn’t sell them loose, write a letter and complain.
- Wash hands with a good old bar of soap rather than hand wash in a bottle.
- Shower and bath with soap instead of shower and bath gel in plastic bottles.
- Get in a lather at hair wash time with a shampoo bar wrapped in paper rather than a plastic bottle – Lush UK have a big range of delicious smelling choices.
- Tell Santa you really, really don’t want any more bubble bath in a plastic bottle.
- Hold a plastic free party : without plastic straws, cups, plates and cutlery and use paper lanterns rather than balloons …
- … and give friends plastic free party bags.
- Seek out gorgeous crayons and say no to plastic pens. When your pens next run out replace them with lovely coloured pencils, crayons, chalks and pastels.
- Be original and style your own totally unique pencil case or pencil roll from fabric rather than buying a plastic one.
- Love cardboard : redecorate old cardboard folders and wallets for school work rather than buy plastic stationary.
- Don’t get sticky with glue in plastic bottles. Make your own glue with flour and water. And look out for compostable tape as plastic tapes stop lots of cardboard from being recycled effectively.
- Make your own craft supply storage from old ice cream tubs rather than buying new.
- Say no to plastic bags and upcycle your own fold up fabric bag to carry to school. You could create one from old jeans or a t-shirt or even make a unicorn bag!
- Never go thirsty again : always carry your own drink in a reusable bottle.
- Go crazy for ketchup : if you love ketchup – or other sauce – buy it in a glass bottle.
- Find out if you have a local milkman who delivers milk in a glass bottle, plastic free.
- Start a reuse box at home and school for all plastic bags so none go in the trash.
- Start a makers box at school and bring in plastic packaging to reuse as craft supplies
- Start a swap shop : most new clothes and gear come wrapped in plastic, so swapping old ones at school rather than buying new is a powerful way to cut out plastic.
- Get a new toothbrush : next time you need a new toothbrush buy a bamboo brush rather than a plastic one.
- Try crunchy toothpaste : switch to toothpaste tablets that come in a paper bag rather than boring old paste in a plastic tube. Or try a toothpaste stick.
- Share plastic free finds : every time you find a cool new way to cut out plastic tell your friends and class all about it. By spreading the word – loudly – we can be the change we want to see …
I hope you have fun going plastic free. We would love to hear your ideas and how you get on.
Please do share this post and for more ideas check out these other eco-friendly tips for families …