Since time immemorial, pollution has been an issue around the world. Globally, an estimated seven million individuals die annually due to air pollution. “WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air that exceeds WHO guideline limits containing high levels of pollutants, with low- and middle-income countries suffering from the highest exposures,” the World Health Organization said.
In the Philippines alone, pollution (air, water, land) contributes 16.4% of deaths— and that is due to pre-pandemic pollution. So just imagine how many more deaths are possible in the long run due to the massive amount of disposable face masks the are adding to the pollution problem in the country due to the pandemic. (Read: READ: Civil Society Groups Respond to 2nd Draft of the NDC)
To prevent the situation from worsening, many have started exploring zero waste lifestyles, particularly zero waste eating. Even children are now being educated about the importance of lessening waste from food consumption through the following tips:
#1: Teach Your Children About Pollution, the Environment
First of all, kids have to know why a zero waste lifestyle is important. That is why parents and other adults in the household need to educate them about the environment and the pollution that affects it. (Read: 3 Ways to Start Living Zero-Waste This 2021)
Kids should be able to understand what pollution is, and what it does not only to the environment, but also to humans like them. There are many resources on pollution that are easy to understand and are kid-friendly, just like this one.
#2: Create a Package-Free Kitchen
Most of the things we buy from grocery stores come in plastic packaging, so why not try and make your kitchen pantry as packaging-free as possible? (Read: 5 Ways to Achieve Zero Waste in Your Wedding)
Start by investing in food-grade glass containers to store cereals, biscuits, produce, and other kitchen items. You can also teach your kids to buy from farmer’s markets more to support local businesses and reduce plastic waste.
#3: Prepare Zero Waste Snacks for Your Children
Most zero waste snacks are either fruits or vegetables— and that’s a good thing! You get to teach your kids to eat healthy, while also showing them what zero waste eating looks like.
But how do you do this? You can do it by feeding your kids fruits such as oranges, apples, or bananas (or vegetables) as a snack, and use the peelings for other purposes. You can use these peelings as compost, natural air freshener, or even a fruit or veggie mask!