Sustainability at home; a little change goes a long way.

by Sesame Lane Admin on 12/10/2016 4:41:27 AM
Have you ever tried to delve into the world of sustainable living and found yourself feeling a bit...overwhelmed? This article will show you how, when it comes to sustainable living, a little can go a long way.
 
Teaching our children to be sustainable is increasingly important, as global climate change becomes a reality. Giving your kids the tools to be sustainable and help make a positive impact on the environment is invaluable. You are preparing them for their own future and helping them to become responsible for their environmental footprint.
 
The main thing about the tips we're going to give is they cost little (or no) money to implement; they’re simple and seriously impactful.
 

Easy Ways to Be Sustainable at Home

#1 Reuse Paper/Card

Surely you get as much rubbish in post as we do, most of it you don’t want or need and you find yourself filling up on envelopes and bits of card from packaging. These things are easily recycled, but why don’t you use them to their fullest potential before throwing them out?
 
Rather than simply throwing them in the recycling bin have a designated space for all these reusable bits of rubbish and let your kids get crafty with them. Boxes can help to build a fort; envelopes can be cut up and used to create cool and colourful collages.
 
Even if you don’t have a clue what to do with them, your kids will, they’re good like that.
 
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#2 Give up Bottled Water

Australians spend $500 million each year on bottled water. How many of those bottles are recycled? Less than 40%. But even the bottles that are recycled create greenhouse gases so it’s better to not use them at all.
 
Invest in a solid, BPA free water bottle. They’re great and they’ll cost you a whole lot less in the long run.
 

#3 Green Up Your Transport

Find yourself taking the car to pop down to the shops, or for a day out with the kids? Why not try using public transport, walking or getting bikes. Your kids will absolutely love getting out of the car and exploring where they live.
 
Kids love feeling like they’re going on an adventure and you can always make using public transport feel exactly like that. Also, public transport tends to work out cheaper than using the car (and hey, walking and cycling are free!)

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#4 Xeriscaping

Plant drought tolerant native plants in your garden and create a low maintenance garden space. It’s a great way to get your kids involved in looking after living things without it being a massive chore.
 
You can also conserve water by using a drip irrigation system or ensure your soil structure retains more water by using a mulch. There’s a great way to do it all here.
 

#5 Use Non-Toxic Cleaners

It’s easy to feel like we need to use all the bleach in our homes to make sure we get rid of the germs our little ones bring into the house. But do you keep on top of how much this all costs?
 
Natural household cleaners not only save you money but they reduce the amount of chemicals you have in your house, and you won’t be throwing away a load of plastic containers.
 
Vinegar, lemon, baking soda and essential oils are just a few of the many ingredients you can use to make your own household cleaners (they smell loads better too).
 
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#6 Turn off the Water

It’s a habit you may have to break yourself but teaching your kids to turn off the water when they’re brushing their teeth is a great way to conserve water.
 
In fact it can save 8 gallons of water per day, per person. That’s nothing to be sniffed at.
 
The same can be done when it comes to washing hands, dishes, when dad shaves etc. You’re helping teach your kids that water isn’t endless. Saving it now means you’ll have enough when you need it later (and you’ll save money).


#7 Eat Local

Much of the food that ends up on your plate has travelled at least 1500 miles to get there. Despite this, there will be local businesses within your community who may be struggling financially and a little local help can go a long way.
 
Not only will you be teaching your children about where their food comes from but also buying locally (whether at a shop or farmers market) will be integrating your children into the community and helping local people keep their businesses running.
 
It may be a little more expensive to do all your shopping there, so start off small, but every little helps and it’s an important lesson for your children to be aware of where their food comes from.
 

#8 Eat Lower in the Food Chain

What does this mean? Well, we are top of the food chain. We eat animals, animals eat plants or smaller animals and the smallest animals eat plants and plants alone.
 
It doesn’t mean going vegan, or even vegetarian, but it’s about making a conscious effort to eat less meat and dairy products. Meat and dairy require a lot of water to produce and they contribute hugely to greenhouse gases, not to mention they cost you more to buy.
 
Reducing your meat and dairy intake will make your home more sustainable and will save you money on your food bill. Taking these staple foods out can feel a little bit daunting but once you get used to it, it will be second nature.
 
Take some inspiration from these dairy and meat free meal ideas:
  If your kids are involved in the gardening you do, and enjoy going down to the farmer’s market to pick out brightly coloured veg they’ll be more into eating meat and dairy free.
 
Kids can be difficult to please when to comes to food but if you make it fun and keep things positive, you’re more likely to have success!

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Easy Steps to Sustainability

These 8 easy steps to sustainability will set you on the path to having a more eco-friendly (and cheaper running) household. Sustainability isn’t something for adults to deal with alone. Your kids are the next generation so teaching them all about it means they will care more for our planet as they grow.
 
It’s incredibly important for your children to feel a sense of responsibility for the planet, saving money and being eco-friendly. They enjoy learning about nature, food and being creative, so having simple ways to be sustainable at home are some easy ways to have your kids engage with sustainability, connect to the world around them and have fun.