The Power of Sustainability Practices for Little Ones

The Power of Sustainability Practices for Little Ones

By Maureen North, Co-Founder & COO of Make It Cute

With Earth Day around the corner, it is the perfect time to look for teachable moments with your kids to help them become better stewards of the Earth. This Earth Day, Maureen North, mom and co-founder of the sustainable Play Decor™ company, Make It Cute, dishes her favorite kid-friendly sustainability practices.

Kids are eager to help in so many areas of life, and by fostering that eagerness, we, as caregivers, can make a giant difference in our homes and for the Earth by teaching them about sustainability and how they can practice it in everyday life. The earlier sustainability practices are discussed and practiced, the larger the impact on children’s mindsets and, in turn, the well-being of the planet, which is why it is never too early to start discussing how children can be “Planet Helpers”.

4 Tips to Turn Your Child Into A “Planet Helper” 

Tip #1: Create and Use a Reuse Bin

Dedicate one spot in your house to collect items that can be repurposed. Whether it is cardboard packages, an egg carton, jars, magazines, or old clothes. Create a singular spot with a simple storage basket that is accessible to the entire family, where everyone can have a hand in being a “planet helper” by deciding when an item can have a second life. Show your kids how items can be used for multiple purposes, for example, how a piece of cardboard can become a canvas for a new artwork piece or a sign for your children's play area.

Reuse Bin Blog Image

Tip #2: Practice Water Saving

Water is one of the most fundamental elements we have on Earth and it's finite. Teaching children how they can help preserve it can supercharge their “planet helper” powers. Empowering children to become water savers can drastically reduce your family’s water use. Make sure to teach kids to save water during tooth brushing, showering, and the less common practice of collecting rainwater to use to water the garden or plants in your home. Kids love seeing how much water they can collect from each bout of rain and in this case, they can see exactly how much water it takes to keep a garden going.

Rinse Cup Gardening

Tip #3: Buy Used/Pre-Loved Clothes and Toys 

Encourage purchasing items that are pre-loved or able to be donated to reduce your family’s carbon footprint. This can range from clothing to household items to your children’s toys, like Lalo’s Play Boxes, which has a donation program called Re-Play to make toy donation easy. This will reduce the amount of waste in your community and extend the life of many items that would normally end up in landfills without a second thought. Thinking with a circular economy mindset, you can make sure to be thoughtful about your family’s purchases and encourage kids through example to think about the lifespan of items and to make earth-friendly responsible choices when purchasing items by choosing items made from recycled materials or ones that are biodegradable.

Tip #4: Get Involved in Community Clean-Ups 

Nothing motivates a child more than turning an activity into a competition. Being tasked with seeing who can clean up the most–or the fastest–is a foolproof way to get kids excited about cleaning up a local community spot. If possible, having this area be a place that is special to your child makes the experience even more meaningful. You can certainly decide to tackle a park or area of beach with your family, armed with garbage bags, gloves, and a standard trash picker. Or, you could multiply your impact by hosting, or joining, a community clean-up day like the events Make It Cute community members will be participating in the weekend before Earth Day (April 20th or 21st of 2024). You can find more information about EARTHDAY.ORG’s The Great Global Cleanup and how to join in at EARTHDAY.ORG: Make It Cute Cleanups.

There are limitless ways to encourage your kids to be kind to the Earth but the most important way to foster their love for the planet is to model it. Let your kids see you making planet-friendly choices and hear you being an advocate for the environment. Talk through your actions as you complete them to give your children the language and exposure to what it means to protect the environment. 

Turning children into “planet helpers” takes intentionality. Choosing ways that are part of your child’s everyday life, like using their clothes, toys, water they use daily, and local surroundings will make environmental stewardship more relatable, which will lead to more meaningful learning experiences for them.

For a limited time, get 15% off with code EarthDay15 at Make it Cute!

About Make It Cute

Make it Cute

Make It Cute was born from the founders’ desire to preserve the intentional design of their homes while also incorporating playful elements for their kids to enjoy, so they decided to take action. And so, the concept of Make It Cute™ was born, introducing sustainable Play Decor™ to your creatively chaotic (and wonderful) home.  

Driven by their passion for responsible materials and philanthropy, Make It Cute set out to reinvent a timeless classic - the children’s playhouse. Their goal was to create a line of Play Decor™ that was adorable, safe, and planet-friendly. By fusing their love for creativity and charity, they created a brand that promotes responsible play while giving back. For each playhouse purchased, Make It Cute plants a tree in partnership with EARTHDAY.ORG’s tree-planting initiative The Canopy Project.

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