Climate change is quickly becoming the defining global issue of our time—shifting weather patterns, rising sea levels, biome shifts, and changing food production seasons are just a few of the effects we’re starting to experience.
With that said, it’s becoming increasingly important to embrace environmental responsibility and progress towards more ecologically-conscious living.
As with most values and good habits, the best way to inspire and instill is by example! By prioritizing simple changes to your day-to-day lifestyle, your family can make great strides in embracing greener living.
- Teaching your kids to respect and value their environment is the first step to seamlessly integrating sustainable practices in your lifestyle.
Start by planting a native tree or fruit in your backyard, setting up a small garden with herbs or vegetables, or building a functional birdhouse. Kids can check up on these little projects throughout the week and watch the direct effects of their efforts on the natural world!
- Although this one may seem pretty obvious, it’s important to be mindful of devices that require power even when they seem to be powered off.
Electrical items such as small kitchen appliances, hair styling tools, electric toothbrushes, cellphones, and laptops should remain unplugged when not in use. Even if they’re powered off or fully charged— they’re still consuming energy, so disconnecting will conserve energy and save you money!
- As consumers, we have a chance to express our support for sustainable production each time we make a purchase.
By scoping out second-hand shopping sites and communicating with friends and relatives about your family’s needs, you can forgo the monetary and environmental cost of purchasing directly from manufacturers … and it won’t be long before you notice the savings stacking up!
Otherwise, seek local small businesses and environmentally-conscious larger corporations that are aiming to reduce their carbon footprint, producing less waste, or utilizing renewable, organic, compostable, or recycled materials.
- You can contribute to supporting sustainable food production by opting for locally grown produce, shopping at bulk grocery stores, using reusable shopping bags, planning family excursions to explore a nearby farmer’s market, or substituting your usual Friday night dinner spot with a new farm-to-table restaurant.
According to the authors of a recent study, “today, and probably into the future, dietary change can deliver environmental benefits on a scale not achievable by producers.”
- Involve your kids in seasonal clean-ups where they can participate in gathering toys, books, clothes, and other goods that they no longer use or want for donation to local charities or resale on sustainable second-hand shopping sites. Allow them to participate in seeing how their outgrown belongings will continue to bring joy to another person, without having to rely on purchasing from stores.
This not only reduces the demand driving unsustainable manufacturing plants, but also helps children to develop regard for the value of their possessions beyond the time that something is theirs.