Anyone with a family knows that it can be tricky to live in a way that is as environmentally friendly as we would like. It is often more cost-effective and convenient to make the wrong choices. We end up buying clothes and trying to avoid reading too much about where they came from, we pick up food items in single use plastic because we’re in a rush. During the pandemic, we have all been pushed to the absolute limit in terms of how much time and energy we have, and we have all been worried about our finances. It has been far too easy to let a lot of things slide that we would rather not.
Now, we are heading into what we hope will be a slightly easier time. The number of people getting vaccinated keeps going up, businesses are reopening, and we can finally see our friends and loved ones which felt like fresh oxygen after eighteen months. Speaking of breathing room, it does finally feel as though we can take a breath and think about what we’d like to change. That means finding a way to live a greener lifestyle. Statistics show that we are all looking for ways we can change our habits. Because we cannot afford to ignore the news reports from around the world about how climate change is here, and how we need to act right now if we want to make sure that the world is going to be a habitable place for our children, let alone our grandchildren.
With that in mind, here are a few easy things that you can do around the home to help you and your family cut down your carbon footprint.
Think About Energy
When we were all staying inside and locking down, pretty much every room in the house had at least one electrical device running. When you have kids, it can feel like the dishwasher and the clothes washer are barely ever switched off. What’s more, we are now heading into fall and winter and that means that many of us will need to start cranking the central heating soon. While there is always going to be a limit to how much energy usage you can realistically cut out, there are little tricks to help you be a bit more conscientious.
Something as simple as making sure your TV or computer are properly switched off at the wall instead of sitting on standby can make a real difference. With items such as washer-dryers, we all know that they are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to energy consumption. It might be worth thinking about investing in a newer model with a better energy efficiency rating.
Keep The Heat In
On a similar note, there is nothing more frustrating than having to keep the heating on around the clock because your home can’t keep it in. With that in mind, if you own your home, then you should start thinking about making changes and home improvements. Insulating classic problem areas such as your loft or basement will help keep the heat in. You should also invest in double glazing for your windows to ensure that you are only using the energy you need.
We are going to see more extreme weather in the years ahead. It is worth taking steps now to make sure that your home can not only handle harsher cold snaps and hotter summers but will also create as little waste as possible while doing so.
Shop For Eco-Friendly Clothing
Over the last few years, we have seen a huge push both within and without the fashion and clothing industry for more sustainable methods of production and more environmentally friendly materials. However, as you would expect, there are still plenty of companies and brands out there are not putting their money where their mouths are.
The good news is that it is easier than ever to check whether the brand that you are buying from has put the work in and is making their clothes from sustainable materials. Baby clothes and accessories can be particularly tricky, but if you are looking for baby sleep sacks, wearable gowns, blankets, and other items, Babysoy uses sustainable and green fiber derived from soybean for their products. You can browse their range and learn more about their materials at babysoyusa.com.
When It Comes To Recycling, Think Big
We are all savvy and conscientious enough to recycle plastic, glass, and tins around the house, not to mention paper and cardboard. Many of us are of the generation that was brought up hearing about the importance of recycling and understanding how easy it was to recycle a lot of household items. The harder step is to make sure that we are buying items that come in recyclable packaging. When you are doing your weekly food shop, try to avoid buying things that come wrapped in unnecessary plastic or Styrofoam. Take your own bags with you to the supermarket and bring some extras along if you are buying loose fruits or vegetables instead of picking up those small single-use plastic bags. If you are ordering items online, try to make sure that you are ordering separate things in one go and request that everything is delivered in on package.
There is also one big recycling tip that we all need to be thinking about now more than ever. There has been a lot written about how big an impact electronic waste is having on the environment. We are talking about computers, laptops, cellphones, and other items that are full of metal and plastic, and which often end up on a landfill. Electronic waste often requires specialist recycling, so find out if there are any locations in your area which offer it. Alternatively, look for local charities or institutions, such as libraries or schools, which could benefit from used electrical items that still work.
Teach Your Kids About What Your Garden Has To Offer
Sometimes it feels like our kids know much more about the environment than we ever did, and we should all be open to learning about new ways of recycling or shopping responsibly. But there are still a few things that we can pass on to our young ones, even if they feel like they know it all!
The garden is a wonderful place to teach your kids about nature, and about how we can nurture and care for plants and wildlife. Try getting them started on growing their own by buying some seeds for fruits or vegetables. Growing plants is a wonderful family activity that will not only get them outdoors but will help them to be interested in a healthy diet. It is also a great way to teach them about how environmental factors have an impact on local animals. If you put in some plants that insects will love, you will soon have a variety of birds coming to see what all the fuss is about. This will teach them about how an ecosystem can form, about what kinds of animals will come around at different times of year depending on the weather, and how you can have a positive impact on the local wildlife population by doing something as simple as hanging up a bird feeder or installing a bird bath.