Are you trying to help your family live sustainably but you’re not sure where to start?
Start by focusing on ONE thing at a time!
Just by making small, simple changes to the way you normally do things your busy family can protect the planet and live sustainably every day!
You’ll be able to easily…
- Send less trash to the landfill
- Use less energy
- Use less water and
- Minimize your exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals
Still not sure where to start?
I totally get it!! And I’m here to help!
Here are 5 easy habits your family can start TODAY. You don’t have to do any research or figure anything out.
Just pick one and do your best with it!
It’s not about perfection! It’s about being aware!
Habit 1: Buy from local (or as close to local as you can get!) merchants.
How It Helps: Goods that travel a shorter distance to get to you, use less fuel.
You may not give much thought to where the items you purchase are actually coming from, meaning how far they are traveling to get to your local store. That’s normal!
Many items travel from elsewhere in the country or even from other countries. All of that travel requires fuel – and that fuel requires natural resources.
Now I realize that not everything you purchase may be able to be manufactured or grown closer to you. And, I’m not suggesting you give up those items you really need and/or want.
I am suggesting that you make an effort to start to be aware of your choices.
For example, if you are shopping for apples in the grocery store, see if there is a variety that your family would enjoy just as much that is from somewhere closer to you.
Or, skip buying apples at the grocery store and grab them at your local farmers’ market instead.
Habit 2: Turn off the water while scrubbing or soaping up dishes and back on when ready to rinse.
How It Helps: Wastes a lot less water by running it only when you r eally need it.
This habit may seem like a no-brainer but it was something I wasn’t doing until I was more aware.
A home faucet flow is, on average, just over 2 gallons per minute. I don’t know about you but I spend at least ten minutes at a time hand washing stuff I can’t throw in the dishwasher!
If you leave the water running the whole time you could be using around 22 gallons of water.
If you turn off the water when you’re not actively rinsing you could save A LOT of water!!
Habit 3: When possible, purchase organic produce
How It Helps: Reduces exposure to pesticides that can potentially cause illness
Choosing organic produce is an easy way to reduce your family’s exposure to pesticides but you don’t have to make the switch for all fruits and veggies.
A great resource for determining which fruits and vegetables are the biggest culprits when it comes to pesticides is the Environmental Working Group.
Their “Dirty Dozen” list provides guidance on which produce tests the highest for pesticides and recommends choosing organically grown versions instead to reduce exposure.
Habit 4: Collect plastic bags at home for drop-off recycling.
How It Helps: Reduces landfill waste and provides a resource for upcycling.
It’s a good idea to try to minimize the amount of plastic you use but sometimes it’s hard to avoid.
Sometimes the things your family needs – and that is easiest for you – come in plastic bags. Things like bread, produce, mailing envelopes, and even dry cleaning!
For more info on the types of plastic bags you can and can’t recycle check out this videos:
Keeping all of those plastic bags out of the landfill is as easy as sorting them instead of tossing them in the trash and then dropping them off at a local drop-off location.
To find the drop-off location near you, click HERE.
Habit 5: Praise family members for their eco-friendly efforts!
How It Helps: Encourages your family to keep up the good work and feel motivated to make even more eco-friendly changes!
You know you love getting encouragement for your effort, whatever they are, right?
So does your family! And, it’s so much better than nagging! Believe me, I’ve tried it!
Whenever you catch a family member tossing something in the recycling bin instead of the trash or grabbing their reusable water bottle make sure to notice – and give a quick, “thank you,” or “great job”! It will go a long way!!
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