I want her to know from the get-go that different materials go in different bins. This will make it something that is natural to her throughout her life and will also mean I won’t have to go through the rubbish and sort it for her! I used to love going to the bottle bank and smashing all the bottles so I could try that with her too (even though we have a glass recycling bin at home- it’s just not as fun!)
I would like to instill in her the idea of ‘make do and mend’. It’s difficult these days to avoid the culture of cheap products that are easy to buy and easy to throw away, and the need to be constantly upgrading phones, computers and cars. I want to teach her how to fix things, like sewing up a hole in her clothes or reusing materials rather than chucking away. I want us to try up-cycling furniture together, and doing arts and crafts with stuff we would normally throw away or recycle, like toilet roll tubes or scrap paper.
I hope I can get her in the frame of mind to buy second hand where we can, and sell things on when we don’t need them anymore. Sites like eBay have made this so easy, and something that would have been a nightmare to do when I was a kid. You can even use eBay to treat higher value purchases as borrowing – as you can resell items after little use. (Obviously they may lose some of their value). You can even buy larger items and use Shiply to deliver them if you can’t pick them up yourself. I kept a few of Alyssa’s baby things as mementos but the rest of them I either passed in to Cousin Lily or sold them on eBay and what I made bought the next things she needed – especially when I first went freelance as a blogger and was counting every penny.
In our culture, it seems OK to throw away food before it’s actually gone bad, and we pay far too much attention to expiry dates. I want to teach Alyssa to not be scared or snobby about food, so will teach her things like making banana bread with overripe bananas, and teach her how to tell when different types of food are OK to eat and when they need to be thrown away. I hope to get her involved in cooking from an early age so she is confident and knowledgeable about nutrition and she already enjoys baking cakes with me in the kitchen and I’m pleased to say that at the moment she has a really great relationship with food.