Adopting eco-friendly habits isn’t easy in a consumer-driven world. As the family grows it can get even tougher, since providing for kids can often feel like a never-ending stream of things to buy.
It can also be tough to get other family members on board with an eco-friendly lifestyle if they think it means they’ll have to give up stuff they enjoy. It’s important to realise that every little helps and even small changes can make a huge difference when we’re all doing them.
It’s not about never buying anything new, it’s more about considering where clothing comes from, how it’s made, what it’s made from and how long it’ll last.
helps, and it’s possible to get good quality items with plenty of useful life left. If it’s been a while since you were last in a charity shop, it’s worth paying another visit, whether you’re trying to save money or not. With everyone becoming more aware of landfill problems and other issues, ethical shopping for sustainable fashion is a growing trend.
It’s also well worth scouring charity shops for growing children’s clothes, even if just for playing. They’re outgrown so fast; you can often find excellent quality kids’ clothes that others have donated. Don’t forget to donate your own too when you’re sure you don’t want to keep them.
Holding onto possessions for longer can sometimes have the unwanted effect of overcrowding the house, despite buying less. One way around this is to save all those precious items you’ll want to use again one day, in .
It applies to everything, whether you’re saving nursery furniture for when the family expands, good clothes you want for younger siblings, or seasonal household goods such as garden furnishings or DIY tools and hobby equipment.
Operating a seasonal self-storage unit gives you space to properly see what you have so you don’t buy unnecessary items, plus more space at home to look after the rest. Swap things in and out of storage as they’re needed or as the seasons change, and you’ll find things last longer and stay in better condition.
It’s very satisfying to pick food from the garden that you’ve grown yourself instead of buying it in the supermarket.
Growing food is also something kids like to do. They can dig, find worms, help to plant seeds or seedlings, help with watering and nurturing, then eat what they help to produce. It’s a fun way to learn where food comes from, the importance of the seasons, the effects of too much or too little water or sun, and why the climate matters.
You don’t need much space. Even if you have no outdoor space at all, it’s possible to have a small herb garden on the windowsill, or even just some beansprouts in a jar.
Show Kids How to recycle – have different bins labelled with what goes in them such as plastic items and vegetable scraps. Just having a small compost caddy in the kitchen for waste such as eggshells, coffee grounds, onion skins and veggie trimmings, helps. Saving compostable scraps, then transferring them to an outdoor compost bin and discovering soil after a few months is a great lesson in the cycle of life.
Try and use less packaging. We’re all used to taking our own bags into the supermarket, but still walk out with tons of items that are overpackaged. Wherever you can buy loose items rather than prepacked ones. You could even consider things like shampoo bars etc. instead of buying another plastic bottle.
Try making your own furniture polish to cut down on sprays and aerosols. All you need is some beeswax and oil, along with essential oils for fragrance. Everything is fairly easy to get hold of, and the polish is a quick make and lovely to use as well as being kinder on the environment.
Making memories together is part of what having a growing family is all about. Spending time in nature, whether in the woods, the park or at the beach is lovely at any time of year if you’re dressed appropriately.
As well as having fun together as a family, it’s a perfect time to show kids the beauty and value of the natural world, its diversity and intricate co-dependence.
Unless you take the time to point out flowers, grasses, ants and beetles, kids probably won’t notice those small individual elements. But you can show them how to appreciate the wonder of nature and help them understand how important it is that we protect it.
It’s impossible to think about changing habits around the world, but perfectly doable in small stages within your own household. From making or growing your own consumables to setting up , every little step adds to the bigger, eco-friendly picture.