Homeschooling can lead to a lot of waste, particularly wasted paper. And even when you are recycling the papers that you use, you still feel bad about the amount of paper that you use. I know I do. I am thinking of ways to reduce our paper consumption, and try zero waste homeschooling in the next school year. Once I started to think on, I realized there are so many ways to make our homeschool zero waste. Starting with just a few simple ideas.
Zero Waste Homeschooling – Tips for Less Waste
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Zero Waste Homeschooling using Gardening
Gardening is the perfect science curriculum for your elementary homeschool. It is also perfect for teaching your children life skills. The best way to stock your fridge/freezer/pantry for the winter months, saving you from buying them and the plastic packaging that comes with it.
Make It Don’t Buy It
Include your children in making these things too. They are great lessons, science, and life skills lessons that are going to cause wasted paper.
I make all of our bread instead of buying. It is super easy and delicious, maybe too delicious when a loaf usually disappears when it comes out of the oven. I have been making our own laundry detergent on and off for years. As well as other things around the house.
In making our own and using them in our homeschool lessons and life, it creates less waste in our home. I reuse our bread bags and our laundry detergent containers for these.
Can you create your own lessons plans from reading books instead of buying a curriculum? Whether you choose to buy new or used books, or borrow them from the library or a friend. Creating a curriculum that is created for your child, and that you can reuse for your other children.
Zero Waste Homeschooling – Go Digital
I will be the first to say that we are not digital in our homeschool, not completely. But as my kids get older we’re doing more online. Math for instance is zero waste for my girls as we use Teaching Textbooks.
I am exploring other options for the coming year (and from here on out) that are more digital and less wasteful. There are two different ways that we have been learning best: video – documentaries and movies, and literature – fiction and non-fiction. These are reusable resources for us, between using Netflix and Amazon Prime video, and borrow DVDs from the library. We are big on the library so we borrow books – paper, ebook, and audiobooks from the library all the time and will continue to do so.
Focus on what you CAN do
You don’t have to make huge changes and become completely paperless in your homeschool. I can’t go completely paperless because we are still working on early elementary grades including printing and handwriting. But that doesn’t mean other learning can’t be paperless.
Homeschooling let’s us educate and live in our way, and we’re moving towards, if not zero waste homeschooling, then less-waste homeschooling.