We’ve talked about the Four Rs of sustainable design this week and how recycled materials can add value and elegance to your home. But what are the Three Rs when it comes to designing your kids’ rooms? Teaching kids about preserving and protecting the planet is important. But what other opportunities for life lessons could sustainable designs bring to our home? More than we think.
Let’s start with three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose. These three key principles are related to utilising recycled materials, but they are also crucial concepts for managing our kids’ stuff. And, as you will see with some of the extremely cool sustainable design ideas, they can also be great fun!
Most kids have an insatiable appetite for stuff. They crave what their friends have and experience sudden absolute devotion to whatever toy is on the store shelf or in the commercial in front of them. It’s absolutely normal for kids to want. But the growing collection of more and more things that they play with just once can wreak havoc on our carefully chosen, beautifully designed rooms. It can also have a major impact on our kids in the long term when they do not learn the value of enjoying what they have. However, some great new design ideas are offering opportunities for kids to more fully appreciate and use their rooms, and may help to reduce the need for more stuff to entertain them.
And this fun design by Dan Pearlman in Toronto offers a whole castle of creativity and climbing!
Kids grow and so does their need for new stuff. They move from a crib to a toddler bed to a big boy bed to a teenager’s bed in about the same amount of time it will take us to replace one refrigerator. A pair of shoes maybe last 6 months on a growing boys’ feet. A beautiful new dress is discarded by our daughter in even less time as they change their favourite colour from pink to magenta. Ongoing change means continual consumption. However, we can teach our kids about valuing quality, loving interesting pieces and utilising great materials over and over again.
This piece by CASA Kids offers a twin, platform bed, a large closet, 6 drawers and a bookcase. You can also take it apart and use each component individually to build a bigger bed for your growing child.
This amazing chair from Stokke is a purchase that lasts a lifetime!
Re-purposing means using objects or materials again for something else. If you are not a handy person or want to make sure that whatever you are creating is well designed and built, you can hire a local artist or tradesperson to help you out. Re-purposing is great fun for kids as they see their previously loved items turned into something new and interesting. They also learn that giving or throwing away stuff they don’t use anymore are not the only options.
This table and chairs set made by BRC Designs shows the versatility of old building blocks.
Check out this creative and eco-friendly dollhouse from Dishfunctional Designs!
Reducing, Reusing and Repurposing not only provide great options for minimizing the level of stuff we collect and/or discard but they provide fun ways for kids to get more out of their rooms and what they have already. The Three Rs also help kids learn important life lessons that show them how to create a truly sustainable future.