Monday, 10 July 2017

Kid's Crafts - Plastic Free July

When children hear about environmental issues, such as the impact of climate change or plastics in our ocean, they can be quite overwhelmed by the size of the problem. They might be thinking 'if adults can't fix this, how can I?'
Plastic and other rubbish floating in a harbour
It might be tempting to minimise the problem or pretend it doesn't matter, but we'd be doing them a disservice because their generation will be affected even more by these issues. What we can do is remind them that the one way to solve a problem is to break it down into small manageable steps, and then to start identifying which small steps we can follow at home.

It's one good reason to get on board with Plastic Free July, being part of a movement shows children they aren't alone.

In fact Plastic Free July makes for a great school holiday project. Read on for some craft ideas.


The first thing to get clear is that Plastic Free July doesn't necessarily mean throwing out existing plastic containers at home and replacing them with new ones, or this could get rather expensive! Remind them that we are trying to reduce waste overall, so throwing things out might not be the best first step.

What it does mean is
  • saying 'no' where possible to new plastic coming into the home, especially single-use plastic bags, plastic food wrap, and other single-use plastics 
  • finding alternatives to plastics where possible.
Here's some crafty ideas to help you on the way:
  • make your own muesli bars and dips, reducing the amount of plastic packaging that would come from individually wrapped bars or dip containers (here are a few of my favourites: Tahini Bars, Banana Tramping Bars, and any kind of hummus dip).
    Banana Tramping Bars
    and beeswax wrap




















    • sew shopping bags out of fabric remnants (don't forget to take them with you when you go shopping)











    • make newspaper bin liners, using some simple origami
















    And when you're done with indoor activities, head to the beach for a fossick and while you are there pick up rubbish, every little bit helps!












    Useful links
    Plastic Free July - http://www.plasticfreejuly.org and http://osof.org/july/

    Muesli bar recipes -
    http://www.thekitchenmaid.com/2013/10/treat-me-tahini-bars.html
    https://explorediscovernature.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/favourite-snacks-for-outdoors.html

    Photo credits: Indonesian harbour photo, L. Longuet Higgins