Becoming a sustainable family is not something that happens overnight. This process takes time, practice, and a lot of planning and preparation. Here are some tips on how you can become a sustainable family.
- Talk to your kids about being green– Let them know that their choices can and will affect the environment. Teach them about buying products that are good for the environment and are more eco-friendly. Let them see that recycling and purchasing green products is the way to go.
- Drive less– Minimize driving and polluting the environment as much as possible. Consider walking to locations that are near your home or using a bicycle for those places a bit too far to walk. Purchase an eco-friendly vehicle that uses less resources and provides cleaner emissions. Carpool and combine trips when possible to save gas and time.
- Grow your food– Consider teaching your family the fine art of gardening. It is important that you can show your family where food comes from and then start growing that food yourself. You can control the pesticides used and even compost your trash to save space in trash piles and to enrich your soil the natural way. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can grow some garden items in a 5-gallon bucket. The vegan lifestyle is also a great way to maintain and not take too much from the environment.
- Green your home– First start with the temperature and realize that recommendations are 78 degrees for the summer and 68 degrees for the winter months. Air filters should be cleaned monthly to keep the system functioning without interference. Change out light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and ensure that windows have weather stripping to keep heat and cold air inside, depending on the season. Use power strips to keep “ghost drain” of energy from being excessive. Sustainable families have the best green homes.
- Clean green– Cleaning with the chemicals available today is very harmful to your family, especially with all of the toxins found in the chemicals that are used for everyday cleaning. Start turning to natural cleaning products that are just as effective and that are considered safe. Use less than the package recommends and still see positive results. You do not need to see bubbles to believe that things are getting clean.
- Use less water– Start conserving water by not leaving the water running while doing dishes or brushing your teeth. Consider the old dishwashing method with one side of the sink with soapy water and the other side with clean water. Using a very efficient dishwasher that is energy rated is also a great option. Limit showers to 10 minutes or less and install low-flow toilets to use less water per flush. Also, consider getting rain barrels on your property that can collect water that you use for gardening or washing the car.
- Buy local– You may not have the time or the space to grow your own food. However, you can still be effective by buying local foods from farmer markets. Show your children that farmers and their families spend all year growing and preparing food to be eaten by your family and let them understand the true value of hard work.
- Reduce waste– Try to reuse items whenever you are able. Reuse packaging when shipping, purchase clothes from resale stores, buy used cars, and buy items that have been refurbished instead of purchasing everything new. This will allow for the reduction in waste that society has become fond of. Your sustainable family can help by reducing their waste.
- Recycle– This can be easy or hard depending on the city you live within. There are cities that provide recycling services that are extremely beneficial to the community. They make it easy by not even requiring sorting by the residents. Other cities do not have this service, but do have stations set up with recycling sorters. This is still a great way to bring your trash out of your home and put it to a good reuse. Hazardous waste should also be recycled like old paint, batteries, and used oil.
- Simplify– Your life can be simplified if you allow for it. Reduce the amount of electronics you need. Reduce the number of cars you need or boats. Then work on simplifying bills, by paying all online and not requiring the post office to deliver all of these, but have them delivered electronically. Making online purchases saves you time and resources.
Sustainable families are not born, but created. By putting in the work and teaching the values, it is possible that you can positively contribute to the world and leave a generation behind that is willing to continue that process.