We’ve all heard about the importance of living sustainably. Words like recycle, green and environmentally friendly are commonplace. If you have kids though, you may be thinking about living green from a different perspective, or you may have kids who have a few things to teach you about the environment and how to keep it healthier for them.
Here are a few simple tips you can follow to help your household go green:
Recycling is a basic habit everyone in the family can help with that helps divert waste from landfills. Get kids to research what is recyclable in your area and then collect paper, cardboard, glass, and probably most plastics, for recycling. If there isn’t a recycling collection program in your area there may be depots where you can take the material yourself.Be sure the effort continues outside the home as well. When you’re out to eat, or grabbing drinks on the go, take your empty containers and garbage home to recycle, if recycle options don’t exist where you are. Keeping an empty juice bottle in your bag and taking it home to recycle, rather than just tossing it along the way, shows kids your commitment and ensures you have a greener household, at home and away.
Keeping your food scraps, and either composting them through a city program, or setting up your own composter at home, is another way to make sure your home is as eco-friendly as possible. If you’re using a city program, double check to see what they consider to be compostable. If you’re doing it at home, everything from fruit and vegetable scraps to bits of meat to stale bread and coffee grounds can be composted.As an added environmental project, that compost can be part of a larger project to grow your own vegetables to teach kids even more about the environment. Pick one or two vegetables a season, see what grows well in your soil and the space you have and you can get kids out of doors, and engaged in something really interesting.
- Don’t forget water conservation
Water conservation can make a big difference on how much you impact the environment, inside and outside the home. Depending on the age of your home, you may want to consider changing some of your faucets and toilets to more modern options that use less water. Not only will these products create savings in your water bill, but they also mean a less significant impact on the environment.Don’t forget to think about water use outside the home as well. Does the grass really need watering or will it survive a dry spell and come back fine the next year? Watering gardens with a watering can, rather than a hose, uses far less water and achieves exactly the same goal.
- Think packaging
When you’re preparing your shopping list, think about packaging. Do you need the crackers that come in individual snack sized bags, that are oh so convenient but create extra waste? Or can you perhaps manage with a larger bag that you can divide up yourself into reusable containers? Instead of adding containers of premade orange juice or lemonade to the grocery list, consider instead opting for concentrate and making your own. There are probably many other items you usually add to your shopping list without thinking twice about how they’re packaged. When you do stop to think, you can significantly reduce the amount of garbage you bring into your home to be disposed of.
- Green products
Depending on your time, and how involved you want to get, there are a few options for ensuring you use greener, more environmentally friendly products in your home. There are a number of options now available in stores that simply require adding alternative products to your shopping list. Green cleaning products, detergents, even personal care products, can be healthier for your family, and avoid harsh chemicals being washed into the earth.If you have a little time and are up for taking steps beyond simply buying green, there are also a variety of cleaning products, and personal care products, that you can make yourself and that are even better for the environment, and equally effective. Do some research, add the necessary ingredients to your next grocery list and you have a project you and the family can get involved with – making your own products.Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to hurt and it doesn’t have to significantly change the way you live. Making a few small changes though can make a big difference, and can show kids that you really do care about the future world they’ll live in.
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