Living sustainably with kids is a challenge. And while we still have a long way to go, I have a few products that have become staples in our home.
it’s hard to know where to start and can sometimes seem overwhelming, so the first goal we had was to make snack time zero waste. Whether they were at summer camp or we were spending the day as a family at the park— we wanted to eliminate plastic and waste from our snacking routine.
1. Klean Kanteen
Water bottles were our very first change and we have used this same company since the kids were babies. For our water bottles, we use—almost exclusively—Klean Kanteen. Klean Kanteen’s products are stainless steel and they come insulated (which are great for full days in the sun) or uninsulated. Even the uninsulated stay cold for a few hours outside.
The main reason I love them is 1. we wanted stainless steel and 2. these ones are durable. They last forever. We bought our first one around 8 or 9 years ago and it is still going strong. Our kids drop them, throw them, and knock them around—and we have never had one break, or dent to the point that we can’t use them. Plus, they are cute and my kids love the colors.
For snacks, we have tried a few different reusable bags, and hands down our favorite is Lunchskins. They hold snacks well and (what is most important to me) they are EASY TO CLEAN! There is something about the thickness and quality of these that make them hold up better AND make them wipe clean—like really clean.
They have an easy velcro closure so the kids can use them and don’t need any help. They have been amazing for vacation, long car rides, and trips to the park. My son also loved them for his lunch bag at school.
We successfully used these on our Disney vacation and they were perfect. They fit everything from sandwiches to fruit and veggies so each kid had three or four snack bags and a Klean Kanteen each day in the park!
My other favorite thing about Lunchskins are they are very reasonably priced—starting at $4.99. And they offer free shipping on any order! Also, with the code LS25 you can score an extra 25% off!
3. Kids on 45th
The other area I really wanted to tackle but that has always been difficult for us, is kids clothing. They grow so fast and destroy clothes at a record pace in the summer, so when I found Kids on 45th is was perfect. They offers gently-used kids clothes, delivered to your door. This option is friendly to your wallet and the planet (we also plan on responsibly donating these after we are done, to avoid them ending in a landfill).
To shop, you go to the Kids on 45th website and fill out size and style for clothes (I was able to do a combo box for both my kids) and then you select what you want: t-shirts, shorts, tank tops, sweatshirts and the quantity you want of each. You can also select style—like hipster, tomboy, classic. Prices range from $2-$6 per item. Once you make your selections you check out and a box is shipped to your door with all your goodies.
I was extremely impressed with the quality of the clothes. They ranged from brand new to very slightly used. There were no stains, tears, fraying, or even piling.
As far as style, I received 19 items total— 10 for my daughter and 9 for my son. Of the 10 items for my daughter, we received a pair of Jordache like-new denim jeans shorts that fit better than any pair of shorts she owns. As soon as they come out of the wash, she is wearing them again. There was also a Gap stripped shirt that has become a regular favorite. There is also 2 Old Navy long sleeve floral shirts and navy navy blue tank top I loved, a Tea brand denim skirt and 90 degree yoga pants—both of which are adorable. The only thing we probably wont use is a floral dress that isn’t my style. But 9 out of 10 were items I would have purchased myself.
For my son, again, I was impressed with the quality and style. There was only one pair of shorts that wasn’t my style. Everything else, I would have picked out myself. Because he is very thin, we did receive a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts that will never fit him, but we also lucked out and two pairs of short I loved had draw string waists so those work! In the future I may shy away from ordering him pants. He has too unique of a size.
Overall, I couldn’t believe how much I liked the clothes and how high the quality everything was!
My favorites from the box: girls Jordache jean shorts, girls Gap Hello t-shirt, girls 90 degrees yoga pants, boys Spiderman sweatshirt, and boys Gap gray sweatshirt.
Least favorites from the box: girls purple floral dress and boys plaid shorts.
I still can’t get over how much I liked the style of the clothes. I am fairly picky when it comes to clothing, so I was impressed with the selection.
If you would like to give it a try you can use code EASTORDINARY to get $10 off your purchase!
4 & 5. BeautyCounter Sunscreen and Buzz Away Insect Repellent
With summer comes sunburns and ticks and mosquitoes. Everywhere we go, and I do mean everywhere, we bring these two products. They are all-natural and they work. We have used BeautyCounter Mineral Sunscreen all Spring and Summer and while it does have a hefty price tag, once you use it, it is tough to go back to any other brand. It is less greasy and blends faster and easier than anything else I’ve used. And it stood the test of 10 days in the Orlando sun.
Because we live in New England, bug spray is a necessity. We have been using Buzz Away for three summers now and while my daughter and I (who are mosquito magnets) still get a few bites, I realized how well it works the one time we didn’t use it and we both has DOZENS of bites. Buzz Away is the best Deet free bug spray I have found and they wipes are great to keep in my purse for unexpected times we need it.
There are so many products that are worth mentioning, but I have found that, this summer, these 5 are what we are using daily. (And I will be ordering from Kids on 45th again for a back to school box.)