Posted in Family Life, Parenting

100 Easy Ways to help your family become more eco-concious

100 Easy ways to help your family become more eco-concious

Over the last year I have started to focus more and more on the small steps we can take as a family to become more eco-concious and sustainable in our everyday life.

I recently compiled a list and thought I’d share them for anyone else on the beginning or even long into a more sustainable, green and healthy life choice.

The Earth is what we all have in common.

Wendell Berry

100 Easy ways to become more eco-concious

  • Walk – wherever possible walk to where you are going. Start a walking club, especially if you live in an area that may not be that safe and walk in groups. Walk with the kids to school or to a bus station, train station or taxi rank to cut the use of fossil fuels
  • Public transport& lift clubs – make use of public transport as often as you can. The less cars on the roads the better.
  • Lunches – pack your lunches in reusable containers or beeswax covers.
  • Takeaways– supply your own containers and eco coffee cups when buying takeaway to reduce the amount of packaging used.
  • Straws – wherever possible use reusable or biodegradable straws.
  • Baby nappies- use cloth or choose your disposables well as you do get “Green” biodegradable disposable nappies, they however cost much more than less eco conscious brands.
  • Meatless Monday- choose vegetarian options as often as you can if you can’t commit to becoming vegetarian or vegan.
  • Bathing & showering – shower more regularly and keep these short. If you do bath, use the water to flush toilets, wash items or water plants and gardens.
  • Car – using cruise control on your car will save on fuel.
  • Maintenance – service your car and big appliances often as this will ensure they last longer saving you buying new ones each year.
  • Shopping – Batch your errands and shopping to allow you to be in one space and get everything done at once. This saves on fuel.
  • Reusable shopping bags – Take your own reusable shopping bags with you when you go shopping.
  • Screen time – limit the use of screen time and technology, saving electricity.
  • Lights – switch off any lights that you are not using and switch to energy saving bulbs
  • Recycle – take the time to sort your refuse into recycling, not only is it good for the earth, the animals will be safer.
  • Repurpose – repurpose items into arts and crafts projects or new gifts, decor and toys.
  • Reuse – Buy second hand and support thrift and charity shops. Reuse containers and other items for new purposes.
  • Regift – Anything you’ve not used in 6 months is most likely not going to be used. Regift your unused items to family or friends who may need it or donate to charities.
  • Wrapping paper – reuse any wrapping for other gifts or use newspaper. Save gift bags and reuse them or use fancy scarves, dish towels or other material to wrap a gift.
  • Nature– spend more time outdoors.
  • Think of the environment– when choosing activities to enjoy as a family choose from those that have the least impact on the environment.
  • Be the example – model the change and eco friendly practices you are trying to achieve or implement in your home.
  • Talk to your family – teach your family to be eco conscious and talk to them about why it is so important.
  • Litter bugs – Do not litter. Join beach clean ups or other litter clean ups as families to highlight the importance of not littering.
  • Clean home – Keeping a clean home and teaching our children to respect their belongings as well as their environment is the foundation to teaching our children to become eco concious.
  • Washing clothing – use cold water to wash your clothing rather than hot water. This won’t affect how clean your clothing becomes.
  • Full loads– never run a machine without a full load. If you are doing the washing wait until you have a full load.
  • Detergent – Try to use a green detergent brand and if not,do not use use too much.
  • Hard chemicals– where possible stay away from hard bleaches. You can use a homemade bleaching agent which is much softer on fabrics and surfaces.
  • Dry cleaners & Tumble driers – avoid them both. Make use of the sun to dry your clothing.
  • Freezer efficiency– make your freezer more efficient by ensuring it remains full, even if just with ice as your freezer still uses energy to freeze this space.
  • Shut the door- try not to open and close your fridge door often. Take everything you need out at one time or pack everything back together.
  • Clean your fridge– a Crack to the fridge seal or a leak can cause your frqidge to use more energy. By keeping your fridge clean weekly you will spot these faults easily. Vacuum the back coils and clean the door seal often.
  • Cooking – use a pot the correct size as the burner plate to avoid losing heat and wasting electricity.
  • Put a lid on it – use a lid in your cooking pits to allow you to cook on lower settings and save electricity.
  • Ovens – only pre-heat for baking. Do not open the door often and turn off a few minutes before the food us cooked and use the heat to continue cooking your meal.
  • Appliances – purchase energy efficient appliances
  • Laptop vs desktop – when choosing a computer always buy a laptop as they use 10% less energy than a desktop.
  • Printer power– If you need a new printer, invest in an ink jet printer as it has a low energy consumption.
  • E-waste – recycle your ewaste in order for it not to full up landfills.
  • Batteries – use rechargeable batteries, saving the need to constantly buy new.
  • Disposable products – change as many disposable products like razors, toothbrushes, etc to sustainable options.
  • Organic– Buy as many organic vegetables and fruit as possible.support your local farmers and farmer markets.
  • Pesticides – Do not use pesticides in your garden.
  • Watering plants – water your plants in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid over watering in the noon sun.
  • Planting – plant more trees, bushes and indigenous flowers. Succulents look beautiful when blooming and use very little water.
  • Keep track – sit down as a family and look at how much electricity and water you use, discuss ways to reduce this and work on achieving using less each month.
  • Trash cans – have a Competition by giving each family a bin and see who uses the most dirt in a week. The winner could get a prize.
  • Trees, glorious trees – plant as many trees as you can.
  • Adopt an area – adopt an area. This could be a stretch of beach, street, park or community garden. Keep this area litter free and visit often.
  • Compost – start a family compost bin to use in the garden.
  • Start a garden – even the smallest home can have a garden. Starting a container garden or vegetable patch will save money in the long run and save you trips to the shop.
  • Furniture – use furniture made from natural materials or buy used furniture to upcycle or repurpose.
  • Containers – save your containers to reuse as pot plants, to package meals for the homeless or store small nick nacks.
  • School duties- any lighly used school supplies or unused books and other stationary can be donated to local schools and charity organizations for others to reuse.
  • School uniforms – most schools have a thrift store where you can buy gently worn school uniforms or donate back to when your child outgrows theirs. Many times these shops assist parents who can’t afford uniforms.
  • Toys & books – pass them down, recycle, donate or sell old toys to toy exchanges or on Facebook market place.
  • Old clothing – like toys and books you can pass them down, recycle, donate or sell old clothing on Facebook market place. For clothing that is stained you could turn it into rags and old tshirts can be used to make yarn wool and recreate an entirely new item.
  • Hygiene products – if you have a store of hygiene products you were gifted and won’t use, other than re-gifting them at Christmas you could donate them to a local old age home or homeless shelter.
  • Napkins vs serviettes– choose material napkins over serviettes and material placemats over paper printed ones.
  • Left overs – pack any left overs into a reusable container instead of a wax or plastic wrap. You can freeze these. We often can’t eat the left overs fast enough and will leave the containers marked for the homeless.
  • Make your own – make your own natural detergents and household cleaners.
  • A cup of water – when brushing your teeth or when men are shaking try to use a cup of water instead of running the tap. If you must run the to switch it off until you need it,do not let it continue to run.
  • In the pantry – always keep lemon juice, bicarbonate and vinegar. You’ll be surprised at how usefullthese products are.
  • Car wash – when having your car washed use a professional car wash that uses recycled water.
  • Rainwater – collect your rainwater to reuse on plants.
  • Reusable bottles– pack your coffees, teas and cold drinks into reusable bottles, cups and flasks. Take these with you when you go out.
  • Evening in – use the car less and replace an evening out for a date night in or a family meal specially prepared and decorated for at home once a month.
  • Exercize – walking or riding a bike to where you are going is a great way to exercize.
  • Make your own – convenience foods are super handy but it is easier on the environment and much less packaging if you make your own things like smoothies, cake mixes, baby foods and pre- cooked meals.
  • Water – don’t continue to buy a new bottle of water each time, use a bottle that is reusable.
  • Aircon– the air-conditioned takes a lot of electricity a much more efficient option is a ceiling fan. Allow your aircon to warm up before just adjusting the settings and service it often to prevent leaks.
  • Gas – switch off any gas when not in use.
  • House colour matters – if you live in a warm continent you should paint your house a light colour and likewise if you live in a cool continebt it should be a dark colour. This will save up to 5000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  • Repair – repair items that are broken.
  • Minimize– Buy less stuff and only own what you need or use.
  • Free cycle- I personally live the Freecycle services on Facebook and it allows people to give away the items they don’t want or look for items they need.
  • Go digital – use as little paper as possible.
  • Online shopping – online shopping saves you needing to go into the shops, thus less cars on the road and tends to help many people stick to a budget and only buy what they need.
  • Green gifts – when gifting for family and friends choose green options.
  • Businesses– support businesses with good environmental records and policies.
  • Buy local – Buy local products. Craft fairs, farmers markets and online marjet places are the best way to source local products.
  • E- tickets – purchase all your tickets online where you can.
  • Online banking – go digital and print less. Do as much of your banking online as you can.
  • Make up – choose brands that are not tested on animals
  • Food waste – don’t waste food. Only use the correct amount of ingredients to make what you need. If you have left overs freeze them or save them to give to the homeless. Teach your children not to waste food.
  • Plastic – try to cut out plastic all together and buy products and toys made from. Wood or sustainable products.
  • Lego – repurpose and Lego or plastic building blocks by donating them to schools or charities,reading them in crafts or sending them back to the Lego factory for recycling.
  • Insulate your home– this will help you save on electricity during winter.
  • Microwave – as crazy as it sounds the microwave uses less electricity than a stove, use your microwave where you can.
  • Avoid flying – flying is one of the most environmentally damaging things you can do and besides road trips are much more fun.
  • Seasonal foods – only eat foods, fruit and vegetables that are in season.
  • Open windows – opening your windows allows fresh air into your home, avoids a mould build up in damp spots and gives you a great opportunity not to use the aircon.
  • Volunteer – use your time to volunteer in projects that you are passionate about for example I love the beach and attend every beach clean up that I can.
  • Educate – use opportunities to teach others how to become more eco-concious.
  • Energy audits- energy audits are a thing and you can get one done to see just how much electricity your family use and where helping you to conserve electricity going forward.
  • Shower – install low flow shower heads in your showers so that you do not waste water.
  • Toilet buddy – place a brick in your toilet cistern or get a toilet buddy to stop the toilet filling up as full. Many of us don’t think how often we flush the toilet nor how much water it uses with each flush.
  • Recycle – recycle all your waste correctly. Set up separate bins to do this.
  • Fish are friends – only eat fish that are in the SASSI green list. And if eating out ask the waiter if your fish is from the green list.
  • Toilet paper – purchase recycled toilet paper. My favourite is Gud sheet.
  • Bird & butterfly feeders – encourage birds and butterflies into your garden by putting out water, feeders and planting flowers to attract them.
  • Save the bees – encourage bees in your garden and only shop sustainable local honey.
  • Cellphones – unplug your cell phone if it is done charging.
  • Reuse the paper – keep any paper that kids can draw on if it’s been used on one side, or shred it to make packaging and pet rodent beds.

This is a very practical list of very easy ways you and your family can start to become eco-concious. Don’t aim to achieve them all in the beginning, rather pick one or two at a time to start to implement.

Let’s change our world for the better.

Have I missed out any others? List them in the comments below .

Author:

Fun mamma S.A. was created in 2012 by Mamma Bear, Judy MacGregor.as a Facebook community page to educate, encourage and inspire parents.

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