Most families want to make environmentally friendly choices but there are often barriers in the way. Parents may not know where to start or it may seem cost-prohibitive to purchase an eco-alternative or it might be that busy family life simply gets in the way. Trust us, we know - it's easy to procrastinate!
But leading a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to be an onerous task if you start small. The ways in which we live always have an impact on our planet, so even the small choices we make can have a big difference to a family’s carbon footprint.
So whether you’re an ardent recycler who never forgets their reusable coffee cup and canvas bags or simply a busy parent looking for some quick tips, it can be surprisingly easy to get your family to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Just remember, don’t strive for a level of perfection that you’ll never achieve.
Be imperfectly vegan, imperfectly zero waste or imperfectly plastic free…
Here are 10 tips to get you started:
1. Lead by example
Make it normal to say NO to single-use plastic and remember to bring your reusable bottles and cups everywhere. Show your little ones how it's done, and pretty quickly they'll get the picture.
2. Ditch the car
Car pollution is one of the major causes of global warming - cars emit carbon dioxide and other nasty greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming and ultimately climate change. So next time you're being nagged by your kiddies to scoot to school, remember you're doing your bit for the environment too! ⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. Conserve energy
Encourage your children to turn off lights when they leave a room and to swich off their electronic devices. Add an extra layer of clothing when it’s a little chilly, instead of just turning up the heating. Little actions that become habits can make a big difference.
4. Save water
Talk to your children about the importance of conserving water and make it part of your family’s lifestyle. For instance, teach them not to waste water by turning the water off while they brush their teeth or by taking shorter showers. Turn it into a family competition to see who can take the fastest shower.
Invest in a compost bin and show your kiddies how to dispose of their food scraps. Explain how the scraps will be turned into food for worms and how the process is saving the food from going into landfill. Not only will you be creating your own nutrient rich soil, it also reduces methane emissions that come from food waste in landfill, therefore lowering your carbon footprint.
6. Reduce, reuse and recycle
There are lots of ways to tackle waste but the most important thing we can all do is to not buy too much ‘stuff’ in the first place. For the things that you already have, there are lots of alternatives to just putting things in the bin; reuse, repair, repurpose, refuse, rehome…
7. Shop responsibly
Do your best to buy from sustainable sources, and consider retailers that have a ‘buy back’ policy. Buying from local shops run by local people is a great way to support your neighbourhood and connect with your local community.
8. Stop junk mail
Contact your local Royal Mail depot and request not to receive the endless junk mail, put a note on your door and opt for e-billing.
9. Avoid plastic
Do your best to avoid single-use plastic when you can. Buy in bulk so there is less packaging, remember your own reusable bags when you shop and try to make your children’s lunch boxes plastic free. Could you use an eco-alternative to cling film?
10. Get planting
As the weather start to warm up, getting our children busy in the garden from an early age will teach them about caring for the environment. No matter how much space you have - be it a single plant pot or a meadow - planting flowers and shrubs will provide a habitat for native bees, birds and other animals. Try planting herbs, vegetables and fruit and help your children learn the value of growing our own food.
We can’t change the fate of our planet on our own but when we all come together, the impact can be huge. If everyone made small lifestyle changes it would add up to make a huge difference. Just remember, that no one is asking for perfection, so don't radically change your life. Just do what you can and before long it becomes a habit and you're on your way to making a difference and changing the world.
If you’re looking for a little helping had then It’s Our Planet Too has a range of new eco activity kits for children – a Tool Kit For Eco Heroes. Available as a one-off purchase or as a subscription, these 100% sustainable tool kits are full of activities to inspire children to want to protect our planet. Their Tool Kits make use of items you already have around the home or even in the recycling box. As a social enterprise, It’s Our Planet Too donate 50% of their profits to good causes.
About It’s Our Planet Too
At It’s Our Planet Too, our vision is for every child to believe that they have the power to protect our planet.
Founded by Kate, a mum of two in recognition that our children today are growing up in a world facing very real challenges. Their generation is starting to take notice of our impact and the importance of taking care of our precious planet.
Through our products and messaging, we inspire children to love and care for our environment and empower them to become little eco heroes who seek to make a positive change for a greener future. It’s Our Planet Too is committed to sustainable practices, ethical products, minimal waste and having a positive environmental impact.
As a social enterprise, we commit to giving 50% of our profits back to good causes.