How to Help Your Family Transition to Sustainable Living
With more people on the planet than ever before the transition to sustainable living has become more important than ever. We all want to hand down a healthy planet to our kids, but sustainable living can sometimes seem like an intimidating task. Sustainable living should, however, be simple, fun and accessible for everyone. With these principles in mind, here is an easy step-by-step guide to a more sustainable life that will have you clean and green in no time.
Growing your own food is a great way to kick-start a more sustainable life. If you have little ones, be sure to get them involved. Gardening can be a great way to teach children where their food comes from and can help them to get excited about vegetables. Snow peas and strawberries are a great place to start; they’re delicious and easy to grow. Make a start now, and your only problem will be keeping your kids out of the garden. If you’re pressed for space, consider going vertical. Vertical planters can be a great way to start growing food, even in the smallest of homes.
Reduce Food Waste
Every year 1.3 million tonnes of food goes to waste. Reducing your families food wastage can be a great way to think about more sustainable living. Shopping smart is one of the best ways to reduce your family’s food waste. Plan out your meal and snacks, so you enter the supermarket with a list of what you need. This is a great way to cut down on the food you don’t need, food that more often than not ends up at the bottom of your bin. Best of all shopping with a battle-plan will help you save time and money all the while making your lifestyle more sustainable!
Say No to Single-Use Plastics
Even with the best recycling habits, a large amount of plastic cannot be melted down and re-used. This “single-use plastic” ends up in landfills leaching into our oceans and fresh-waters. Single-use plastics don’t biodegrade in nature. They break down into smaller pieces, eventually becoming microplastics, damaging our fragile ecosystems. Not to worry though, it’s not all doom and gloom. Building good habits now can help you reduce your plastic use. Simple things like remembering to bring reusable shopping bags can make a significant difference over time. Many companies even offer waste-free grocery shopping. Simply bring your own jars and containers and stock up on the essentials such as coffee, muesli and even peanut butter. Best of all these refill stations can be extremely cost-effective.
Technology is one of our best tools for sustainable living. Checking some of the large power users in your home can be a great place to start. For instance, energy-efficient heaters can heat your home with a fraction of the electricity used by a conventional heater. Making the switch to energy-efficient appliances can help you save money and live more sustainably. Be sure to also think about where your home’s heat is going. Thermal blinds can help trap precious warmth in your home and help you save a significant amount of electricity in the long run. Embracing technology can also be done on a budget. There are free apps that do everything from cutting down your electricity usage to connecting the community to build an urban garden. Get involved, and the possibilities are endless!
There’s no time to waste, start a discussion within your own family about why sustainability is so important for the future of our planet. Talking with your family can be a great chance to get creative and come up with your own great ideas! Building good habits now means a better future for your family tomorrow. Even the smallest of lifestyle changes can truly make a difference for this world we share.
Auckland-based creative writer Harper enjoys reading and writing about a diverse range of topics from travel and lifestyle to business and technology to sustainable living. Check out her Tumblr page to see more of her published pieces.