Zero waste parenting in Geneva

Zero waste parenting in Geneva

In this Zero-waste-series I will share with you projects, ideas, and places, that can help you create a green and healthy planet for all of our kids. This time I’ll focus on all-about-kids zero waste solution.


One of our goals as a family this year is to decrease the amount of waste we produce. We start by decluttering, being more detailed recyclers, and more conscious consumers.

The more we’re into it, the more I see how in our busy lives there is hardly any place for making own granola, dishwashing powder, jams, and buying food only on farmers’ markets and in “en vrac”(eng. in bulks) shops. In response to that, I did what I love doing – I researched and put together a list of more or less simple solutions. I genuinely believe every small step matters.

The zero-waste journey’s goal is not to become 100% zero waste in a month or even a year. Each family can find its own pace, compromises. There are things each one of us can easily let go (like plastic straws, plastic food foil) because replacements are affordable, easy, and nice.


The smaller the kid, the more clothes they need (at least what many of us are told at the beginning of parenthood) and the faster they grow out of them. We buy, use, dump/sell/donate. Constantly.
Solutions: buying second hand (Kidsadress or a new app Petit Marche) and renting (Les P’tits Louent or Biboutic).


Back to crap… Kids, diapers, waste. Nappies from supermarkets are easy to get, easy to put, and easy to dispose of. But they also take ages to decompose. What if I told you there are (almost as easy) solutions that are planet-friendly at the same time?
Solution: Reusable diapers. Definitely not for me but maybe for you? It’s just an option, check it out and then decide. Who knows, maybe you won’t be grossed out and find it practical. Reusable diapers are better looking and easier to use than 40 years ago. In Geneva, there’s even a company that can deliver a clean, fresh set of 35 nappies to your home every week (Eco-couches).


How many toys do kids play with? And how many do they own? Toys take a lot of space, become dull too quickly, and cost a fortune. In Geneva, there is a way to have toys, change them as often as one likes, and save money at the same time.
Solution: it’s called a ludotheque. You can read about it in this short article on Parentville. It costs 30 CHF a year to be enrolled and borrow toys. Nice?

Baby BOX instead of a cradle

Yes, there is even a solution to replace cradle in a zero waste friendly way. Let’s face it; cradles take space, are not used for a long time, to then retake a lot of space in the basement. How about an easily transportable « cradle », that can later become storage for baby’s firsts, or toys?

Solution: Baby box, the Scandinavian style but in Switzerland. It’s called Baby Nids, and it is lovely.


This one is pretty obvious, but damn so easy to forget: good old libraries. Even small libraries in the region have a selection of books in languages other than French. It is mostly: English, German, Spanish, Portuguese. If you find a Polish section, please let me know!


What if in the end we still end up having quite a lot in the recycling bin? It can all be used for bricolage, DIY and fun for kids (e.g. bowling with pet bottles). The master of that art is Recrecrea, organising kids workshops across the canton, mainly in La Julienne, Mamma Lisa de Puplinge, and Bibi Cafe.

How to not the waste in the house is the key! Start with decreasing your interest in leaflets or business cards (grab a photo of them with your phone), don’t accept free crap, samples, kinder egg toys. Think about if you need all the newspapers and magazines. Every item for each you no-thank-you is a win!

In the future articles from this series, I will try to tackle food, shopping, bathroom, kitchen, and other areas of our daily lives. Stay tuned!