Zero Waste Projects for Kids
DIY,  Eco-Parenting

7 Super Simple Zero-Waste Projects for Kids

Eco-parenting: 7 Zero-Waste Projects Your Kids Can Do TODAY

Raising eco-friendly kids is easier than you think! In my post, Eco-Parenting: How to Grow Greener Children, we talked about modeling eco-friendly behavior, teaching environmental ethics, and using or seeking products that are better for the earth and our health.

I also have several posts on eco-parenting through different lifestyle stages:

How to be an Eco-Parent: The Baby Stage
The Ultimate List of Eco-Friendly Baby Products
Eco-Friendly Toddlers: How to Eco-Parent Through the Toddler Years
The Best Eco-Friendly Toddler Toys

Zero-Waste Projects for Kids

This list of 7 Zero-Waste Projects is meant for your elementary-aged kids. They are all simple and can be done with limited parental involvement (10 points for independence!).

Best of all, these projects reuse or repurpose things that otherwise would end up in landfill.

Zero-waste is all about waste prevention through reusing and repurposing!

1. Orange peel bird feeder

Our first zero-waste project is to use orange peels as hanging bird feeders. For this, you will need an orange peel, a toothpick, twine, and bird seed.

When peeling your orange, be sure to keep the outer halves intact as this will hold our birdseed. With the peel side down, take a toothpick and poke holes across from each other in the peel about ¼” from the top.

Feed the twine into the holes using the toothpick to help push it through. You should now have a string going through both sides of the peel. Poke two more holes across from each other and repeat with another piece of twine.

Zero-Waste bird feeder for kids

You should now have four holes and 2 pieces of twine all the way through to make an “x” in the middle. Scoop birdseed into the orange peel openings and carefully tie it to a tree branch. Watch your bird friends enjoy!

2. Start a compost bin

Composting is a way to reduce food waste and give back to the earth. Use the compost you produce in your garden or potted plants.

Start by choosing a place for your compost pile. The easiest way to do this is to choose a small patch of backyard that is out of the way (i.e. won’t get stepped on or bothered daily).

What to add to your compost:
“Brown” (dry) materials such as cardboard, egg cartons, dried leaves, and egg shells
“Green” (wet) materials such as fruit and vegetable food scraps, grass clippings, and coffee grounds

Do not add meat or dairy! This disrupts the bacterial balance.

Simply let the food scraps decompose and aerate your pile every couple of weeks by gently turning it over.

Another option is starting a worm composting bin! Visit my Instagram for my #wormyjourney compost updates!

3. Grow an avocado tree

After you eat an avocado, don’t throw out the seed! Wash off the pit and dry thoroughly. Prepare a glass jar with water almost up to the top. Take 3 toothpicks and gently push them into the avocado seed at a downward angle, equidistant apart.

Zero-Waste avocado tree

Please note, the flatter part of the seed will be submerged in water, with the pointy part on top where it will sprout – make sure your toothpicks are angled correctly).

Place your jar with the avocado seed on a windowsill with bright light and check water levels frequently. The bottom half should always be submerged. Make sure your kids check on it regularly!

The results of this one take some time (up to two months!) but once you see the seedling it will be so worth it! After you get some growth, you can plant it into a pot with dirt.

Here’s what mine looks like a year later:

Avocado tree from seed

4. Use banana peels as plant fertilizer

Bananas are high in calcium and magnesium which plants love. When you’re done eating your banana, put the peel in a large cup or bowl and fill it up with water.

Take a stick or a straw and stir up the banana peel, poking it a bit to release the nutrients and fibers. Let it soak for a couple of hours, then use the water to water your houseplants. Toss that banana peel on your compost pile!

5. Repurpose boxes & cardboard tubes for art projects

Have a box or bin dedicated to clean, recyclable products such as toilet paper tubes, small cardboard boxes, empty yogurt containers, etc.

Whenever you’d like to create something, go to your bin and choose your supplies! My son has made countless costumes, robots, garages, airplanes, etc out of recycled products.

All it takes is some imagination!

6. Use paper packaging for gift wrap

Going to a birthday party? Upcycle the brown paper packaging in your shipping packages for wrapping paper. Have your child draw designs or write notes directly on the wrapping for interest.

You save paper, and money, and have a customizable canvas for any kind of event!

7. Pack a zero-waste lunch

Packing a zero-waste lunch doesn’t have to be difficult (or Pinterest-worthy!). Simply use fresh foods, opt for reusable containers instead of disposable bags, and use bulk snacks instead of single-serving snacks. Arm your kids with these tools and they can make their own zero-waste lunch on the daily 🙂

For more zero-waste lunch packing tips, check out my post here.

There you have it! 7 Zero-Waste projects your kids can do TODAY.

If you liked this post, let me know in the comments! And check out more of my green-living posts here.

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