Here at Little Miracles we are passionate about sustainability, both in the centres and the world as a whole. The focus on this blog post is what we, the Little Miracles Community can do to help work towards a sustainable environment.
Let’s start with the lunchbox. We all have meals away from home and throughout Australia we are creating an unsustainable level of waste with the packing of this food. Moving towards litterless lunches is a great way to start reducing your contribution to this.
The goal of packing a litterless lunch is having no waste to throw out when you’re finished eating. Anything that can’t be eaten should be brought home to be washed and reused or composted. With many great products available today, reducing lunchtime waste is getting easier.
Here are six practical tips to packing a litterless lunch:
1. Reusable food containers: try to avoid plastic ziplock bags and glad wrap and pack lunches in reusable, eco-friendly containers such as food-grade stainless steel or plastic lunch containers that can be used throughout the entire year.
2. Refillable drink bottles: refillable stainless steel drink bottles encourage users to enjoy tap water right throughout the day. Choose BPA free, a safe substitute to plastic bottles which are a major contributor to landfill.
3. Buy in bulk and save: cut back on packaging avoiding individually wrapped snacks such as yoghurt, dried fruit, cheese etc. Buy larger sizes and portion out into reusable containers, saving both resources and money.
4. Shop and cook with the children: involve children in preparing meals for a fun family activity. Children are more likely to enjoy eating their own creations and less likely to throw away food knowing the work that went into it.
5. Buy fresh, local (where possible) and in season produce. Ideally only compostable scraps like apple cores and banana peels will remain after eating. Not only is it healthier for the whole family, it supports Australian farmers. Buying in season and local produce also reduces your foods carbon footprint.
6. For the parents, have your favourite cafe pour your coffee into your own travel mug instead of a take away cup and feel good knowing you’re taking concrete steps to reducing unnecessary waste.
The great thing about this is every little bit helps, every single bit of packaging you don’t use benefits the environment.
We would love to hear your ideas for a litterless lunchbox!
Turn your leftovers into compost or have your own worm farm! Compost bins are available for all sizes and budgets. The products of these can be used for your own veggie or herb garden, if you aren’t able to have your own garden you can still compost, I’m sure you know someone who would love to put your compost on their garden!
Here at the centres we love turning recycled materials into great art and craft experiences for the children. We are happy to use what you might have too. Kitchen rolls, warping paper, newspapers etc all make great collage materials and painting implements. What cannot be used should go into your recycle bin, it is worth taking the time to separate the recycling from the rest of the garbage. Another way to help reduce waste and our impact on the planet is hand me down clothing and baby/toddler items. Websites like freecycle or gumtree can help you find local people to get things from. If you have items you no longer need, consider donating them to a charity shop rather than throwing them away. Planet’s Ark National Recycling Week is from November 12-18th, we would love your ideas on how to mark this week.
Using cleaning products that are natural and environmentally friendly can go a long way towards protecting the environment. Here at the centres we use these products wherever possible. At home there are many things you can do to clean in a more sustainable way from the products you use to using grey water. You will also be surprised by just how much you can clean using bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and water in varying concentrations!