The connection between our environment and our purchase decisions is easily overseen. But once you see the amount of trash that is bought with every regular grocery shopping tour, you can’t make it unseen. Since I realized how much garbage I was producing by buying packaged groceries I want to make this visible for everyone else too, especially kids.
A package free grocery tour with my wonderful Hood River neighbors is a great start but now I also want to get my kids involved. As June is just 2,5 years old, I have to keep it simple for now. The environment is a too complex topic so outdoor places like the playground are our environment substitute. I made it a goal for me to pick up at least one piece of trash every time we’re there. What doesn’t seem to be something already has an effect: June picks up items that she identifies as trash and brings them to the trashcan, all by herself.
Grocery shopping can be fun with kids (when they are not hungry or tired): shopping cart race with pretended turbo speed, counting apples, picking the right bell pepper…
So now I’m inventing games around packaging in the grocery store:
- Potatoes snuggle much better in the cotton produce bag than plastic bags
- Toilet paper towers (that works only with single wrapped rolls, not the huge plastic wrapped package)
- scooping bulk oatmeal in our oatmeal jar
The toilet paper paper wrapper is compostable, so this one makes a great ball for compost bin basketball later on. And the toilet paper roll snake that crawls on its own over the cash register conveyor belt to the employee is much fun too.
That’s where we are so far. I’d like to get to a point where our ‘environment’ includes some animals to make it even clearer. The wildlife population isn’t huge here in the city but I might be able to point out trash close to squirrels or birds. We can save them from accidentally eating plastic and feel like great helpers…
What do you think? Do you have other ideas around packaging and trash for toddlers? Please let me know via the comments.