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Recycling As a Family

Written by Leslie Stauffer


Posted on November 15 2019

When is the best time to start teaching your kids about recycling? Anytime!! But right now is a great time to start, whether you have a 1-month-old or 5 year old! Let’s try to make recycling just a basic part of life for our kids, whereas it was something we had to learn and adjust to growing up ( at least for my age group & above! ). It’s never too early to start putting good habits into our children’s routines. There are so many ways to teach ourselves and our children about recycling nowadays! It seems daily that new ways to recycle reduce and reuse are being thought up and put into action. I personally love a good video on “ how things are made” and YouTube is a great spot to look up videos on recycling for kids so that they can get a basic idea about what exactly recycling is, what landfills are, how items are recycled into new things and so much more!

One of the many reasons I love STC, they know how important it is to have eco-conscious and responsible brands easily accessible to all of us parents!! This is such an easy way to open the door to recycling as a family and to get your kids involved in a fun way! From clothes to toys, to diapers and shoes, Sweet Tea and Caviar has an amazing line up of responsible, eco-friendly, recycled and waste-reducing products and that list is ever-growing! STC is literally a breath of fresh air in a world that seems to be ruled by fast fashion and full landfills. Come, take a nice big breath of that fresh air, and learn how easy it is to recycle together as a family starting with these amazing brands! 


When I first thought of this recycling as a family topic, my mind immediately went to RePlay Recycled. I can remember the first time seeing RePlay, and thinking how adorable their stuff was, and then finding out it’s made from 100% recycled MILK JUGS!! It’s amazing! RePlay recycled was started in 1987 by a husband and wife team making a dish scrubber with a long handle made from recycled milk jugs, and have come a long way since then! They offer 17 different colors, all in an array of utensils, divided plates, supply cups, straw cups, bowls and as of 2018 have extended their range to include adult-sized products such as bowls and plates! Using RePlay is a great way to reduce your paper and plastic waste as a family! They are incredibly affordable and easy to clean, meaning you can cut out paper plates, paper cups, and even plastic water bottles! My kids were amazed when I set out a milk jug and some RePlay items and told them how RePlay was made! It’s an easy way to open to the conversation about recycling and is a great way to get kids excited to recycle all those milk jugs!!

Native Shoes is another amazing eco-conscious company that is serious about reducing, reusing & recycling. With their Remix project, you can send in your old native shoes to be recycled into so many cool things. They made seating out of old Native Shoes, and are currently collecting old Native shoes for a playground! How cool to help your child send in their used Natives, and then be able to show them exactly where those old shoes went to make something new! They are on a mission to have every Native shoe be 100% life cycle managed! Native shoes are amazingly durable, vegan, odor resistant, lightweight and kids love them! Native Shoes makes the classics that you probably thought of when you read the word “ Native Shoes” which is the Jefferson’s, Miles and Millers, but they make so much more! Snow boots, rain boots, athletic sneakers, sandals, hiking boots, the list is ever-growing! Be sure to check out the selection of Native Shoes over at STC & be sure to send them ( all!! Any kind of Native shoe can be sent back!) back to Natives to be recycled into cool new projects! 

A newer brand to Sweet Tea and Caviar, but a fast favorite, is the boy's clothing line, Me + Henry. Me + Henry is a classic boys brand that was founded in 2018 and is designed in London. They use leftover fabric from brands such as Ralph Lauren to produce their clothes and it makes for some incredibly cute and adorable items! This is a really great way to slow down the fashion industry and reuse it! The classic pieces will withstand the test of time and are one of the easiest ways to help in recycling by simply purchasing some wildly cute and stylish kids clothes ( which they need anyway!) Another brand STC carries and is  known to reuse older fabric from past seasons to create small scale productions of limited edition items. Mini Rodini also uses biodegradable bags to package their clothing and uses recycled boxes. It IS possible to reduce reuse and recycle actual clothing items at the source of production and beyond! 

Do you ever think about how you are contributing to landfills when you throw out a pile of old, broken toys? The people at QUUT did! QUUT makes sustainable, ergonomic and durable beach toys that are- you guessed it- 100% recyclable!! These toys are truly a stand out STC product in my eyes! The people behind QUUT were tired of their children’s beach toys merely lasting an hour before breaking, and having to buy new ones all the time. They came up with beautiful toys that actually, are able to be used throughout all of the seasons, and last while doing it!! The durability of these toys is insane and you can feel it and see it. No other beach toys I’ve seen look quite like Quut toys, and that’s a very good thing. We love to use our QUUT toys in the bath, the beach and the backyard! You can also use them in the SNOW! Talk about reducing waste and reusing what you have! QUUT makes truly versatile items that kids love to play with, plus, how many toys do your kids own that you can say are 100% recyclable?! Pretty cool. 


Plastic water bottles... they consume landfills, in fact, 38 million plastic bottles go to fill landfills each year in America alone. What can we do about this? Well, one obvious answer is to recycle those plastic water bottles! The other answer? Parkland backpacks, lunch bags, sandwich bags & duffle bags!!! Parkland  Design & Manufacturing was established in 2015 and the exterior fabric of each and every one of their designs is made from 100% recycled water bottles! Talk about a stylish way to recycle! They have numerous prints and many different sizes for their backpacks as well as styles. Their lunch boxes are top-notch quality, I have NEVER come across a more durable lunch bag. They make matching reusable snack bags to go along with their lunch bags, and they are another great way to help reduce waste!! Show your child how many plastic bags you would use a week for their lunch- compared to just a few reusable snack bags that last forever - AND are made out of recycled products?! A great company with fair prices, and a great mission! Every school age child needs a backpack and a lunch bag- another easy way to get into reducing, reusing and recycling with the help of Sweet Tea & Caviar! 

Speaking of plastic water bottles, is your family guilty of buying 24 count packs of bottled spring water? Do you know that 80% of what you pay for bottled water is just for the packaging?! Eighty percent! Imagine what you can save from purchasing a S’Well water bottle?! A 17 oz S’Well water bottle ( size of a plastic water bottle!) costs $32.00 without any discounts applied- a pack of Poland spring water, 24 count is $6.00, purchasing a S’Well water bottle will pay for itself within the time you would have purchased 5, 24count Poland Springs water bottle packs. If your family is anything like mine, you go through ALOT of water, so it most likely wouldn’t take long to purchase 5 packs of water. S’Well has super fun designs - which kids prefer anyways over a plain boring old bottle of water! They have just released a line of Frozen ll snack containers and water bottles that of course, STC has in stock! S’Well bottles feature triple walled, vacuum insulated construction that keeps cold beverages cold for up to 24 hours, and hot beverages hot for up to 12 hours! No plastic water bottle can do that!!! They also have a copper layer that creates a condensation free outer surface, which is pretty awesome, as sweaty water bottles are a pet peeve of mine! S’Well water bottles and snack tubs are an incredibly impactful way to minimize your waste as a family and reuse! 


Disposable diapers... an incredibly huge portion of human trash in landfills... in fact, over 20 BILLION disposable diapers are put into landfills each year in this country, creating 3.5 million tons of waste. We all know that diapers are not good for our earth... but one thing I didn’t realize- how about the effects of MAKING disposable diapers?! An estimated 200,000 trees are lost each year to make disposable diapers for babies in the U.S. alone! If you want to start early ( which is a great thing) get your baby recycling, reducing & reusing from birth with Gro Via cloth diapering systems! Yep, I keep telling you guys, STC really is that one-stop-shop!! You can purchase 4 cloth diaper shells for the cost of 2 packs of diapers, which is a great start to cloth diapering & well- those 2 packs of disposable diapers would last 3 weeks? Maybe? Cloth diapers withstand the test of time and can be passed on from baby to baby- another great way to reduce recycle and reuse! It’s also so easy to add GroVia diapers to your registry - thanks to the fact that you can actually make a registry on Sweet Tea & Caviar! Or- instead of asking everyone for a pack of disposable diapers to bring to your baby shower ( which sadly seems to be so common!) ask everyone to bring either a diaper shell, liners, or the easy, biodegradable bio liners that make cleaning a breeze, are disposable- yet won’t sit in a landfill forever. The money you will save by cloth diapering is almost as good as how much you will be helping to save the environment! Almost... 😉 GroVia was founded in 2008, and their Hybrid diaper shells are revolutionary and so easy!! Grab the waterproof shell, snap in a liner, or fold in a classic cloth diaper foldable, or use the bio liners, put it on your baby and you are good to go!!! The diaper shells are made with numerous snaps so they will fit your baby for a long time! Not to mention the gentle fabrics used to make GroVia diapers are yuck free- something we know disposable diapers aren’t, and babies' skin is so sensitive, let’s treat it right by putting the softest and gentlest diapers we can on our babe’s bottoms. Cloth diapering is a great way to start em young, and there are so many amazing resources about the topic, there is no need to feel overwhelmed! It’s been made to be such an easy process thanks to GroVia’s amazing system!

Playdough that can help impact your environmental footprint? YEP! It’s possible with  Land of Dough! Established in 2017 after realizing kids playdough contained all sorts of nasty things such as synthetic dyes and plastic!! The Land of Dough team makes small batches of playdough by hand, using wholesome natural ingredients and- BIODEGRADABLE GLITTER- how amazing and cool is that?! You have NEVER seen playdough as beautiful and cool as Land of Dough’s play dough- I will guarantee you that! Land of Dough’s packaging is 100% recyclable- so once the fun dries out ( let’s face it- all playdough sadly sees it’s day at some point! However I have land of dough that is 9 months old and still just as good as the day I purchased it!) you can have your kids throw the playdough away, and not worry about it clogging up a landfill! And have them put the packaging in the recycling bin! 

Another company working to reduce the waste that comes with toy packaging is Mudpuppy. Mudpuppy was founded in 1992, specializing in puzzles and has expanded to offer puzzles, books, toys and games! An amazing brand that gets little minds working, they have won over 200 awards, and have been featured in numerous magazines. That right there is a no brainer for this brand of fun, bright, modern and art-focused toys, books and games, but look a little closer. All of Mudpuppy’s products feature at LEAST 70% recycled packaging, such as their wood puzzles that are also printed with non-toxic ink. Their board books, such as “ The Little Artist Board Book Set” is made out of 90% recycled paper for the greyboard. The “ My Favorite Things” wooden magnetic shapes are made from 80% percent recycled wood, and the adorable milk carton packaging is made from 85% recycled paper. Mudpuppy’s price point is really incredible considering the quality, and effort they put into every item. With all these amazing, affordable, money-saving and earth-friendly options at your fingertips at, why would you choose any other non earth friendly options?! 

Part of recycling as a family is to look a little deeper at the products we are purchasing, using and discarding. Lucky for you, as an STC shopper, the staff cares about the products they offer to you, their customers, and only bring on the best brands that stand for something whether it is recycled products, all-natural products, organic clothes, lines that use environmentally responsible factories, and so much more. We NEED to make recycling, reducing & reusing such a habit for our children that they do it without thinking, just like using the bathroom. Our earth, our children’s earth, depends on it. Thankfully we all can help to make a change and recycle together as families, with the help of STC because we know they only put the best products out there for us to purchase. 


Guest Blog by Hannah Chagnon, a long-time STC loving mama to two beautiful boys!