Hey, Green Junkie!
When it comes to taking care of our planet, it’s no argument that what we teach the future generations is massively important.
When it comes to green living and sustainability it can be a challenge to know how to teach our children how to care about the planet when they don’t really understand big world issues, politics or any reasons for why we should care.
So today, I am bringing on Kayla Powell to discuss how to guide your children to care about the planet, live sustainably and to continue the important work of taking care of our beautiful planet.
If you’re a parent, you won’t want to miss this episode where we discuss,
- The behind the scenes of Little Plastic Footprint
- How to teach your kids to live sustainably
- Why ‘Green Perfection’ is not the goal of being sustainable
- Simple everyday tips that help your child learn how to live green
- Why it’s important to allow our kids to have choice
- 5 easy swaps you can make today to be more green
You’ll discover that and so much more in this episode.
If you love this podcast be sure to leave a review and share a screenshot of this episode to your IG stories. Tag @greenjunkiepodcast so I can shout you out and publicly say thanks.
Thanks for listening and being here.
Your green bestie,
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Produced by: Alecia Harris
Music By: Liz Fohle
TRANSCRIPT FOR EPISODE 40
Stephanie Moram 0:00
Hey, Green Junkie. I'm your host Stephanie Moram and today I have the pleasure of speaking with Kayla Powell, and how we can teach kids about the environment and how to protect it. Since childhood, she has have a deep passion for animals and our environment. She's excited to offer quality products to like minded people. Her company is called Little Plastic Footprint. Her goal is to help people swap out their most used items for more sustainable choice without sacrificing quality, and effectiveness. She strives to make daily choices that are better for our environment, while giving herself tons of grace, when she doesn't always get it right. If you love learning new ways you can reduce your impact on the environment, please subscribe to my Green Junkie Podcast on whatever platform you get your podcasts that way you never miss another green living episode.
Stephanie Moram 0:57
Thank you so much for being here. I super appreciate it that you took time out of your schedule to chat with me today.
Kayla Powell 1:03
Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited. This is my very first podcast.
Stephanie Moram 1:09
Oh, awesome. Yeah. It'll be great. It'll be great. I promise.
Kayla Powell 1:13
Stephanie Moram 1:15
So the first thing is, I'd love for you to tell me a little bit about yourself and kind of how you got started on this sustainable journey.
Kayla Powell 1:23
So my name is Kayla. I live in Calgary with my family. I've got two little girls – five and seven. As you mentioned in my bio, as a little girl the environment and animals have always been a great passion of mine. So through that passion, I have read and educated myself on ways that I can protect animals and the environment. And when I had children, that just furthered my love of the environment and choosing products that wouldn't harm my family.
Stephanie Moram 2:01
And is that kind of how you got started with little plastic footprint?
Kayla Powell 2:04
So I got started with Little Plastic Footprint because my friends had a plastic free blog, which kind of morphed into they had a few products that they brought in. From there, it started to grow so much that they also had full time jobs and were unable to give it the love and attention that it needed. So they asked if I wanted to buy it from them. So I took over a Little Plastic Footprint about two years ago now. And I've turned it into what it is today adding a few more products, getting on social media more, doing my very first podcast, just trying to get the word out about products that we can use that are more earth friendly.
Stephanie Moram 2:48
So what kind of things do you sell on the website?
Kayla Powell 2:52
So we sell everything for home and body. So plastic free shampoo, we've got plastic free face creams and face washes, we have reusable paper towels, solid dish soap. So lots of things that are either packaged free or plastic free or reusable. The goal is to have products that we use every day. And when you run out of the product that you have, that you can come to Little Plastic Footprint to replace that product with something more earth friendly.
Stephanie Moram 3:31
That's great. So you know, we are both in Canada, and access to eco friendly products is not always easy, right? And way more options in the United States. So I love it when there's more companies coming out that are offering these products selling these products, because if you want a product from the US, you can buy it in bulk and then sell it on your store versus if I wanted that product, I had to get it from the US, I pay all sorts of fees for that one product. And it kind of doesn't make sense, usually for me to buy it. Or it's ridiculously expensive. And then the transportation for that one product. So you know, I love that you started this business where people local to you in Calgary and then people within Canada could go I can go to a Little Plastic Footprint, get my eco friendly swaps and just keep going back there and versus have to go to different websites to find all the products that they want.
Kayla Powell 4:21
That's exactly it. It saves time shopping at one store as opposed to like you said, having to source these products out yourself from several different businesses. So I'm happy to be able to offer that.
Stephanie Moram 4:34
And do you have any sort of one or two products on your site that you love that like your favorite?
Kayla Powell 4:39
Oh, it's hard to choose a favorite. I absolutely love our make nice dish soap that has been a very easy swap for my family to make. We've got our bristle brushes, you just rub it into the block of soap and it makes me feel so good knowing that I don't have to buy the plastic bottles not only just the plastic that the chemicals inside of them, I tend to find that plastic free goes hand in hand with chemical free, not all of the time. But a lot of the times, it just feels better to make those choices for my family. What else I love are our facial bars and our shampoo, it makes so much sense not to ship these bottles when it's 90% water and just have the concentrate in your hand and add your own water, it just saves so much plastic packaging. And then of course the wait to ship it around the world. So those are, those are kind of my favorites, I think.
Stephanie Moram 5:42
And like you said, there's so much water. So when you're buying shampoo, and you're buying dish soap, and you're buying conditioner, even cleaning products, when you're buying those products that are usually in plastic, most of its water. So by making the swaps like buying, you know, your shampoo bars, your conditioner bars, you know, there's companies that make like tablets, and you just add the tablet and you add your own water. I have a bristle brush for like cleaning my dishes. And it's also like a piece of soap, right and you just rub it on. So we're just eliminating the plastic, but we're also limiting all the water that is being used. And like you said, the heaviness of these products being transported.
Kayla Powell 6:24
Exactly. And I find the products smell better, they work better, and they just look better in your home. When you can have a nice glass spray bottle that you add either a strip or a tap to and then add your own water. I personally find it just looks prettier, too.
Stephanie Moram 6:41
Yeah, I mean, if you have plastic spray bottles at home, use them until they're no longer usable and truly live sustainably. But again, like having those nice glass bottles or having a bar soap out versus like, you know, I'm still I still have all my shampoo that I refill. And I want to transition to shampoo bars and conditioner bars. But I haven't transitioned yet. I still have those bottles and I've had them for I'm going to say like six years, the same bottles just keep using them over and over again. And they are coming to their work, or life.
Kayla Powell 7:16
No, that's great, though. I think that's so great to reuse what we have, and a lot of thrift stores have bottles that we can purchase.
Stephanie Moram 7:25
Yeah. And so you like you said you have two kids?
Kayla Powell 7:29
Stephanie Moram 7:30
How old are they?
Kayla Powell 7:32
Five and seven.
Stephanie Moram 7:33
Two little girls, right?
Kayla Powell 7:35
Stephanie Moram 7:35
So you are in the middle of you know, teaching your kids how to care about the environment. Right? So what tips do you have to offer when you know you have young kids or maybe you have older kids, and you want to kind of teach them of the environment to care about the environment and how they how they can understand the importance of living sustainably that makes sense.
Kayla Powell 7:57
Right. So I think the biggest thing, what I have learned is, and I'm sure a lot of parents can agree you can tell your kids everything you want to tell them but they're truly going to follow in your actions. So when my girls see that we use reusable products that we use solid dish soap, they're growing up in a home that values the environment, and they can see the changes that we have made. I think it's also important to teach that nobody is perfect. We are not a plastic free home. My kids have plastic toys, I think it is all about balance. And how I teach my kids is often taking them shopping with me – sometimes that's a headache – but taking them to the grocery store and showing them you know, how can we reduce our plastic footprint where we can reuse or bring our reusable shopping bags. We can choose products that maybe come in a box and not a plastic bag. So they have fun with that they have fun looking for those products. I do want to mention with that I understand that that is a privilege absolutely to be able to go to grocery store and have options and to teach my kids that I do just want to acknowledge that it is not always the easiest to teach your kids about sustainability when maybe your options are not there. Economically, that can be difficult. So I just wanted to touch on that too. But yeah, taking my children shopping and showing them the choices we have and letting them choose what they believe is the best choice.
Stephanie Moram 9:45
I think that's so great. So I love thrifting and I really wanted my daughter to like thrift because if I'm going to buy clothing, it's either going to be more expensive because I'm buying sustainable clothing or we're going to go thrift. And she didn't necessarily love it at first. But she realized she could get more stuff with her money. And now she loves it. And she saw me thrifting, right. You know, my kids bring back their banana peels, they bring back their granola wrapper, because I've mentioned them, you know, multiple times, you know, it was a process like, Oh, don't forget to bring your wrapper. And now they just do it because they also see me when I'm out and about that. I don't just throw the banana in the trash, I'll bring it home and compost it, or they know I'm bringing the wrapper home because I'm going to use a TerraCycle box. So it is definitely watching because we can bang our head against the wall and tell them to do things. But if they're, if this is all they know, you know, this is what your girls know. They're so young, like my kids, this is all they know, as well. They don't know any different. You know, they come home and they're like, Oh, there's another organic kid in class just like me. Or there's another kid that composter. Well, there's another kid that had the same organic granola bar as me or Oh, there's another kid that uses stainless steel for their lunches, or, Oh, this other kid has a stainless steel water bottle. So they see they're getting validation also from other kids. So I think that's helping, but right, I just love that your kids are so young, that you're able to teach these things. You can go to a thrift store when they're super young and show them like, hey, we could buy a cup new or we can buy it here.
Kayla Powell 11:19
Exactly. And that's just the norm to them. Right? And I love my daughter came home from school and she said, Mom, we don't have a recycle bin, all the paper, all the yogurt cups, everything goes in the same garbage. So I love that she's even aware of that. And and then then I had an opportunity to say, Well, why don't we ask your teacher? You know, we can get a recycle bin? Why don't we ask her? Why it's all going in one bin. Maybe she sorts it after or but just the awareness around it. I thought that was pretty cool.
Stephanie Moram 11:54
I think kids, they notice things more like how do I say this? Like they see things more than we think they do you know what I mean? Like they're more observant.
Kayla Powell 12:02
Stephanie Moram 12:03
So I think she probably see so many things at school, you can Oh, I don't have recycling or, you know, my kids will be like, they don't have composting, like, I know that they have to be composting bins in front of the school. And I'm like, who's using it? And can you share a couple of ways, you know, like, your kids are younger. And as they get older, it's going to be easier to explain certain things to them and be more like blunt, or more direct with them, right? Like I tell my daughter, I'm like, You're killing the environment when you do that, like, it's a joke. Yes, I'm not being mean about him. I like, you know, have like, a stick in my hand. I'm like, gonna hurt her or something. But, you know, it's like a joke that we have. I'm like, Hey, that hurts the environment when you do that. And she's like, Yeah, I know. Okay, so I can because she's 11 and my son's nine where your kids are younger. So what are things that you do that might be a little bit more gentle for like younger kids, so they understand the importance of living sustainably? Is there anything you do specifically?
Kayla Powell 13:06
The library has been such a great resource to go to. Not only is it sustainable, to reuse books, and share books, but to go there and learn about the environment, there are so many great books set for kids of all ages. So that's been a great jumping off point to talk about the environment. My girls constantly see me picking up garbage. That's something I got from my dad, I just can't help I can't walk past a piece of garbage. So they've seen that and then just having open and honest conversations, I usually let my kids lead the convo. Because I think especially with my seven year old, she can start to get a bit of eco anxiety. And that's not the goal with this. So just allowing her to come to me and ask the questions. And often reassuring my girls that these changes are helping and more and more people are aware of the damage to the environment. And so, you know, we're going to be okay. Whether we are or not, I don't know, but I like to tell my girls, we're gonna be okay. And this is why we do what we do. And just never the shame or guilt of if they want that plastic toy, you know, just kind of being reasonable, because I think if we restrict our kids completely well, as soon as they're out living on their own, I think, you know, they'll live in a pile of garbage just to spite me. So yeah, teaching them that progress, not perfection. And the goal is to make small changes that add up to big changes.
Stephanie Moram 14:47
No, and I think it's great because, you know, my kids are a bit older. So they'll say, Oh, can I get this? I'm like, Oh, is there another option? Instead of that plastic option? Can we find a different option? You know, my daughter might go and she wants books to go on Facebook Marketplace, she'll go to my Facebook and start searching for books. So really I found these books, these are the books that I wanted instead of going to chapters. So and it's also questioning right, as your kids get older be like, Oh, so you want this? Is there maybe another option out there? Is there something? Can we get it secondhand? Is there a sustainable option that's maybe less plastic? Or, you know, again, we're not perfect, either. My kids have plastic stuff, but I'm always kind of questioning them and getting them to think, you know, we don't need this product, maybe or there's a better product out there. Right? It's those types of conversations that our generation like your kids, like this generation of kids, you're having these open conversations with them. So as they get older, they can also be like, Oh, do I really need this? Or can I get it secondhand or a better option?
Kayla Powell 15:53
I find to it helps with living a slower, simpler life when you do have kids that have an understanding of what it means to have excess and what it means to have just a bunch of junk versus some quality toys. Right? It leaves more room for us to take care of each other, not our stuff. So there are so many benefits to teaching our kids about the environment and the choices that they make.
Stephanie Moram 16:24
Yeah, I love how you said the quality stuff. So my son loves every sport, like every sport, he's nine. And we our money goes into those like toys that he plays outside. So you know, here's a little scooter that I bought for 20 bucks at Value Village. He has a bike. He has, you know, a baseball bat. He has a mitt. He has all these things. And some we got secondhand. Others we bought new but for more sustainable brands, but we have a lot of outdoor toys, but that's what he plays with.
Kayla Powell 16:50
Yeah, there's value in that.
Stephanie Moram 16:52
Right, exactly. And he doesn't have a lot of toys because he doesn't play with them. You know, we're gonna see basements full of toys, and the kids don't really play with it. So it's to show that value of like, Hey, you have this Lego, then when you want to play with it anymore, we'll replace it with something else that you will play with.
Kayla Powell 17:17
Stephanie Moram 17:17
So my husband's family, his parents have kept a few of the toys he played with when he was young. And so whenever we go to visit them, they're in Vancouver. It's like the wooden train track and my kids just love it. And it's amazing to see these toys that have lasted, you know, my husband's nearly 40. So for decades, and there, they look in perfect condition as opposed to some of the junk.
Kayla Powell 17:46
My kids have gotten stuff on their birthdays that don't even last a year.
Stephanie Moram 17:52
Yeah. And so on that topic of saving toys. My son plays with playmobile now. When he was a kid, he favored PlayMobile.e He loves it. He loves putting Lego together and he likes Playmobil. So those are the his two biggest toys. And we have a gas station that was my husband's when he was a kid and I call it the electric station.
Kayla Powell 18:17
No, I love it.
Stephanie Moram 18:19
But it's a gas station. And it's in great condition. And some of his Playmobiles, my husband I were taught really, we should keep like little pieces of it. Not like all his Playmobiles because we don't have room for it, but some of them so if he decides to ever have kids, maybe you Oh, maybe he will. But if he decides to have kids, we have like a couple of his little Playmobile toys that in all honesty, like my husband's turning 40 And like a week and that Playmobile looks exactly the same as a Playmobile my son has, like it hasn't aged.
Kayla Powell 18:48
Like, there's some memories. Yeah. And then nostalgia of it.
Stephanie Moram 18:52
Yeah. Yeah. And I just think it's great to like, like that your husband's dad, husband's parents held on to that when your kids come they're like, oh, wow, like this is this was dad's and it's wood and like it has meaning behind it. Right? Very cool. And you're showing kids like things can last a long time. You don't have to buy something fast fashion or you don't have to buy a toy and like throw it out in a week like he can last for 40 years or 30 years. Exactly. Since you have a shop that you sell, like products and stuff, Little Plastic Footprint. Can you share like five swaps? Five things? I know we touched on it a little bit. But is there five things you can talk about that might be less eco friendly that you could swap out to something a little bit more eco friendly?
Kayla Powell 19:39
Yeah, so I would say paper towels. You can save so much money in so many trees by switching to reusable paper towels so they I sell them either on a roll or offer roll. The ones I personally use are on a roll. They're next to my sink and you literally just grab one at a time as you need it. And it's not to say that we don't buy paper towels, but I buy thing of paper towels and it lasts me the entire year as opposed to going every month and buying new ones. So not only is that cost effective, but of course it helps planet.
Kayla Powell 20:15
Dish soap I mentioned, I love the plastic free dish soap that we have toothpaste tabs. So that's another great thing with kids is when they get a squeezed tube of toothpaste, it is so messy. All over the sink, I don't know what happens is like they paint with it. So the tooth paste tabs have cut down on mess. And then for skincare I've been using probably for a decade. Now we've got two different options for just solid facial bars. And I find it gentle on my skin, it's helped with redness. And I love just the natural product of it. And of course, it doesn't come in packaging, so that's great. And then haircare shampoo bars were such an easy swap for me. I've got thick, curly hair, so it was probably the one that I was hesitant to try. But I love them. So those are five pretty easy swaps that people could make.
Stephanie Moram 21:17
And on the topic of like shampoo and conditioner bars. Also swapping out like using actual bars of soap versus like body washes could be swapped for people. We have this little like soap saver. Yes. So we put like our soap in and then when it's at the end, you just put another soap in it. And then that soap, a little piece of soap at the bottom just kind of meshes with the other piece of soap.
Kayla Powell 21:40
No, it's so good. I like to take those traveling, like the bars that are nearly about to go but good enough for a weekend away.
Stephanie Moram 21:48
Right? That's so funny. I love it. So I would like for you to share with the audience where they can find you where they can find Little Plastic Footprint on social media, your website, if anyone's looking to swap out some of their products, you can go to Little Plastic Footprint. But if you wanted to share a little bit more.
Kayla Powell 22:07
Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram @littleplasticfootprint. And it's kind of a mishmash of my personal life parenting and plastic free swaps. And then the website is littleplasticfootprint.com. And then you can always message or email me. And I would also like to offer your subscribers an INTRO10 coupon for their next purchase.
Stephanie Moram 22:33
And what is there like a certain code that they need to put in?
Kayla Powell 22:37
Oh, yes. So just putting INTRO10 will get you 10% off your order.
Stephanie Moram 22:41
I missed the 10 part. That's cool. And all that information will be in the show notes. So if you didn't catch something, you don't want to re listen to it. Just scroll into the show notes and you'll see the discount code and you'll see where you can find Kayla and Little Plastic Footprint. So again, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your information and education around kids and the environment. I really do appreciate it.
Kayla Powell 23:08
Thank you so much for having me, Stephanie. It was a pleasure to talk to you.
Stephanie Moram 23:13
Thank you. And if you are looking for more green living inspiration, I have a couple of other episodes you might want to catch. Number six, sustainable self care and eco bathroom tips. Number three, stop putting your food in the trash. That's all about food waste. Episode number two is five simple ways to reduce your waste. You can stay connected with me on Instagram at Green Junkie Podcast, or @thisisstephaniemoram. And don't forget to subscribe to the Green Junkie Podcast on the platform you're listening on. If you’re curious about reducing your environmental impact, as an individual or as a business, I’ve got you covered. For direct access to me, your sustainability consultant and Green Living Expert, click the link in the show notes where you can ask me questions and get a customized plan on how you can live more green on an individual level and/or how to implement sustainable strategies into your business for a positive climate. Hop on a one-on-one call with me or ask me your questions via email if zoom is not your thing. Thank you for listening, and I’ll see you next Tuesday, reen junkie.