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Making sustainable choices seems like a manageable task when you live alone. When you have a partner and children to consider, it can seem more daunting. But you can do it! With a little bit of knowledge and patience, you can get the whole family on board with your new sustainable lifestyle.
Growing food saves you money and lowers your carbon footprint. You don’t need a large garden to grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs; you can grow in containers and balconies. Certain produce can even be grown indoors! There is a tonne of free advice online about growing food with minimal space, so take advantage of it!
Gardening isn’t just great for your wallet and carbon footprint, but it’s also an invaluable activity to get your children involved in. You can teach the little ones about nature and where food comes from - these will be memories that they’ll likely cherish forever.
Many of the products that we use to clean our homes are full of toxic chemicals that can harm our health and the environment. There are so many warning labels on conventional cleaning products, and it’s just not worth the risk, especially when you have pets or children in the house. You can purchase eco-friendly brands such as Ecozone, Ecover, Bio-D, or use DIY mixtures using simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.
Throwaway culture is a huge threat to the planet. Everyday disposable items end up on beaches, pile up in landfills, choke the oceans, and block sewers. We lived without single-use, disposable items before, and so we can do it again. There are many alternatives available to us, and we should try using them if we’re in the position to do so! Here are some reusables to add to your family home:
Fast fashion is cheap clothing that’s rapidly produced to keep up with ever-changing trends. It doesn’t last as long as ethically-made pieces and therefore contributes to our burgeoning waste problem. Fast fashion is labour intensive, uses up lots of resources, and results in air and water pollution. We already have an unbelievable amount of clothes on the planet right now, yet more are made every day. The more people that shop second-hand, the sooner the fashion industry will notice the decrease in demand for new clothes.
If you have a large family, shopping second hand can seem like a daunting task as there are different sizes and preferences to consider. So if you don’t feel as if second-hand shopping is realistic for your family, seek out eco-friendly brands instead. Eco-friendly clothing brands are transparent about their manufacturing process and where they source their materials.
UK households waste a whopping 4.5m tonnes of food each year. Sometimes utilising leftovers can feel like a full-time job when you have a large family, but you can make things easier for yourself by cutting down on how much you purchase at the supermarket. Make a well-informed list before you go, shop smart, only buy what you need, and never go shopping when you’re hungry! If you always seem to end up with leftovers, you can dedicate one night per week to using them up; this a great way to save money and reduce waste at the same time.
One of the greenest swaps you can make is powering your home with renewable resources like solar power and wind - which is exactly what companies like Ecotricity offer their customers. You may think that sustainable energy will be unreasonably expensive, but Ecoriticy is affordable, and customers always stay at the same price. The more people who switch to green energy, the more chance we'll have of replacing fossil fuels for good!
Washing clothes is one of the most energy-intensive household chores. You can be more sustainable with your washing habits by washing less, making sure to put on a full washing load each time, and washing at lower temperatures. Often, clothes only need to be washed at 30 degrees. However, higher temperatures are necessary for getting out stubborn stains and killing germs!
The meat industry is one of the main drivers of climate change, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. Reaching for plant-based meat instead of animal products is a simple way of lowering your carbon footprint (and benefits your health). It might not be realistic for a whole family to go fully vegan, but cutting down on meat products is something that just about everyone can manage! Also, trying out new and exciting meat alternatives is always fun, and your family might even prefer some of the vegan versions Here are some kid-friendly vegan recipes to try out:
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