8 kid-friendly, eco-friendly plastic substitutes

The plastic items we use on a daily basis have become such integral parts of our world that even the thought of cutting plastic out entirely of our lives can seem intimidating. Why not take baby steps and expose your child to the idea of reducing their use of plastic! This simple step will encourage them to become more informed about its impact on our planet and empower them to look for other solutions!

The idea is not to throw away everything that is plastic in your life, but rather to not buy NEW plastic products. The plastic you have already purchased will end up in the landfill anyways, so if it is in your home and being put to good use, it’s better there than in the landfill! However, next time you have to replace these items, think about going plastic-free!

In this article, we focused on only 2 areas to start with where your children spends a lot of time:

Watch for more instalments as we unearth other “baby steps” that your child can take and that will have a big impact on the planet and their ecological footprint. We encourage you to share YOUR tips and tricks that you are incorporating in your life with our community by commenting below. Together, we can make an impact!

For School

1. Packing lunch:

Gone are the days of pre-packaged lunches. Cut the plastic (and sodium) by preparing some delicious homemade food, packed in reusable or biodegradable materials.

Try these items next time you’re preparing lunch:

2. Cutlery:

Ditch the Dollar store plastic cutlery and replace them with reusable or biodegradable, compostable wooden utensils.

3. Bottled Water:

Bottled water has a multitude of warnings and effects on both our bodies and the environment. The most noteworthy of warnings are those about Bisphenol-A or BPA. BPA, usually found in plastics, has the potential negatively affect the brain, behaviour and prostate gland of babies and young children.

Did you know?

                                 (Ban The Bottle)


Cut bottled water completely with a BPA-free stainless steel water bottle. Check out this Simple Modern 17 oz bottle that comes in a variety of fun colours your kids will love!!


4. Straws:

Everyone knows about the big movement to eliminate one-use plastic straws. I like to encourage my kids not to use straws at all but for smaller children, it is still fun to drink from a straw. There are also many people who require a straw to consume liquids. Try stocking your cupboard with a set of eco-friendly, environmental-friendly, reusable, and washable BPA-free stainless steel straws! These are readily available at most stores and online at Amazon, check out this Sellurite straw set.

If you still prefer a disposable straw, these paper straws by Alink, are biodegradable and available in a variety of fun colours! Many large corporations, such as A&W, are announcing that they will ban all plastic straws from their locations, replacing them with biodegradable straws!

In the bathroom

5. Floss:

Flosspot Elegance Collection Zero Waste Floss: This cute mason jar is refillable making it a once in a lifetime container purchase! The floss is made of 100% silk floss completely biodegradable, it will go back to the earth in only a few months. The whole packaging is entirely toxin-free with a corn-based cello for outside packaging.

6. Toothbrush:

Brush naked Bamboo Toothbrush : Bonus this comes as a package of 4 toothbrushes with cute colours on the handle to differentiate per child! Coming from Brush Naked, a Canadian family-owned company, these eco-friendly toothbrushes have handles made 100% of Moso Bamboo. Each toothbrush is wrapped in a 100% biodegradable cello wrap made from wood and cotton pulp as well as the box is completely recyclable. Bristles can be a bit trickier… While Brush Naked does make entirely biodegradable bristles, those only last 2 weeks whereas nylon bristles will last at least three months, thereby creating less garbage. Taking into consideration that the bristles only accounts for 1% of the mass of the entire toothbrush, we feel it is a good choice and still a huge win for the environment!

Did you know? Moso bamboo grows quickly, can be harvested in just a few short years, naturally repels water, is antibacterial and gone in months after you dispose rather than centuries as plastic.

7. Body Wash

Replace body wash with bars of soap not wrapped in plastic. Bulk Barn carries several all natural bars of soap unwrapped that you can purchase completely free of plastic. You can also choose to shop at Lush, one of the first companies to offer unwrapped bars of soap, shampoo and even conditioner. Experiment with different scents and colours and choose the one that your child likes the best!

8. Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs for your ears: These one use items are convenient, but may be causing even more harm than good for the environment and your hearing! When purchasing these items, making the right choice can have a HUGE impact. Several brands make use plastic, so while you are saving a few cents, you are creating trash that will be around for centuries to come.

But do not despair, we found great options available to help avoid plastic.

If this resonates with you, consider our Love My Planet English eco-camps for your children. In a fun and engaging way, children will learn how to make small positive changes in their world to reduce their ecological footprint with HANDS-ON activities. Experiential learning at its best!

Camp Tournesol is an experiential learning organization dedicated to make a positive impact in each camper’s life.

About Martine Brouillet:

Driven to make an impact in second-language learner children in their quest to become bilingual, Martine Brouillet founded Camp Tournesol in 2001 in Ontario, Canada. The company’s flagship French camps have since become leaders in this market, welcoming tens of thousands children and spawning sister products servicing these families such as the Brouillet French Academy. Her passion and concern for the environment inspired her to create a new brand of eco-friendly camps, workshops and summits: Love My Planet. To learn more about Camp Tournesol, visit www.campt.ca.

Contact Martine Brouillet at martine@campt.ca | 905-891-1889