One of the most important things to know about going green, is to just be aware as a consumer (and also wear a green wig if you have one, like my daughters are, above.)
But in all seriousness, going green as a family doesn’t mean that you have to completely rearrange your lives dramatically. Just changing simple little things can help improve the environment around you.
So, here are 10 ways you and your family can go green together:
1. Carpool, walk, or ride the bus to school or work. If you live within a couple of blocks from school or work, there’s no reason why you should be driving or riding there. You’re inside over eight hours a day, so why not enjoy the morning and afternoon walks as a way to prepare/ decompress for the day? If you live further away, it’s more eco-friendly to hitch a ride with friends or to take the big yellow school bus. You wouldn’t want to deprive your kids of school bus memories, would you? Plus, it might make your afternoons a bit less stressful.
2. Resuse scrap paper for coloring, doodling, and taking notes. Did you accidentally print out too many copies of your online shopping receipt? Give it to the kids to color on, or use the back to make a grocery list.
3. Make your own baby food. Avoid all the preservatives of canned baby food and make your own with organic fruits and vegetables. Even doing this just once or twice a week can prevent tons of gallons of pesticide from being sprayed on plants, as well as preventing hundreds of jars from being thrown away.
4. Make your lunch eco-friendly. Packing a lunch for you or your little ones? Use reusable plastic containers instead of plastic baggies or tin foil.
5. Buy less battery-operated toys. Batteries are one of the main items that are sitting in land fills. Buy your children wooden blocks or cardboard puzzles instead of the latest and greatest gadgets.
6. Use eco-friendly cleaning solutions. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also better for the kids. Prevent toxic chemicals and harsh fumes in your home and make your own cleaning solutions out of vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.
7. Buy “green” school supplies. School supplies are often made with slick plastics that are made from toxic chemicals. Protect your kids and the earth by buying backpacks with natural materials, recycled paper, and metal lunchboxes.
8. Donate old toys and clothes. As your kids and your family grow older, you’re eventually going to outgrow your clothes and move onto better toys. But instead of letting them sit on a dusty shelf or throwing them away, be sure to donate them to younger cousins, friends of the family, or Salvation Army.
9. Use reusable bags everywhere. Don’t give into the temptation and convenience of a plastic bag. With so many cute options and availability, it’s hard to make excuses anymore.
10. Turn off the electronics. I know you love your gadgets as much as I do, but sometimes it’s the best thing to do. When was the last time that you had a family dinner without the television or your laptop? Sit at the dinner tonight as a family and enjoy the simple art of conversation. Try it at least once this week, promise?
Do you have any other tips on how you and your family go green? I would love to hear some feedback!