How can your family live a more sustainable life?
Photo by ready made
Many people are hearing about climate change on the news and they want to become part of the solution. The problem is that many don’t believe they can make a difference on their own. After all, studies show that just 90 companies contribute to most climate change. Even if you worked there, you probably wouldn’t be able to convince them to stop.
The good news is that although you can’t solve the climate issue alone, you can educate your family and help the planet and your loved ones look forward to a healthier tomorrow.
Carpool to work and school
One of the major contributors to climate change is the pollution that vehicles emit when people run errands and drive to school and work. To operate, cars burn gasoline, which contains harmful byproducts like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other dangerous greenhouse gases. Once these hit the atmosphere, they blanket the earth, trapping the sun’s heat and causing global warming. If you aren’t able to walk or ride a bike to work, consider the idea of sharing rides with others.
There are many social, financial, and environmental benefits to carpooling. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer pollutants hitting the atmosphere. As an added benefit, sharing rides means less traffic on the road, so you can get to work faster. You’ll also save money when you carpool, especially if you all chip in for gas. Talk to coworkers or friends that go in the same direction as you every day and ask if they want to carpool for ease and sustainability.
Upgrade your home
You can also be more sustainable by upgrading your living space. You can implement many affordable home projects to help the environment, including replacing your incandescent lights with LEDs that last longer and use 75% less energy. Another idea is to replace your shower heads with low-flow alternatives that will still clean you without wasting water.
This is also a great time to update to smart technology around your home. When you can control a device with the touch of a button, you create less waste. For instance, if you leave the house and forget to turn off the lights, you can turn them off with your cell phone wherever you may be, and you don’t have to wait until you return. A smart thermostat is another great idea because you can program it to be off when you aren’t at home and turn it on before you get home, so your house is at the perfect temperature. That way, you don’t waste unnecessary heat or air conditioning and you save money on monthly utilities.
Swap the products you use the most
Next, look around at the products you use daily and determine if they’re as eco-friendly as possible. The cosmetics industry has always been a hot topic when it comes to environmental friendliness. Many cosmetic brands contain toxic chemicals that can cause dryness and irritation. Green alternatives will provide the same great result without clogging your pores or leading to acne breakouts.
Plus, most traditional makeup brands test their products on animals, whereas green companies do not. Caring about the world also means appreciating all people and animals that call it home, so swapping for eco-friendly alternatives is beneficial for everyone.
There are many other products that you can swap for eco-friendly alternatives, including toiletries, swimwear, batteries, water bottles, and more. If ever in doubt, research the company online, and if you don’t like what you see, consider a swap.
Compost at home
While you’re working on making the world a better place, teaching your children to do the same is also important. Be sustainable as a family and lead your kids by example. Show them how you take shorter showers, recycle, and pick up garbage that you see on the sidewalk.
Another great lesson is how to compost your food instead of throwing it away and sending it to the landfill. Studies show that 8% of greenhouse gas emissions emit from the food you waste, so put it to good use and turn it into earthy compost. Adding the scraps of your fruits, vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, and tea bags to a compost heap in your backyard or patio can create a new place to grow new fruits and veggies. This can be a fun experiment with the kids, and they may continue this sustainable behavior as they age.
Be smart about how you shop
You can also provide for your household sustainably. Instead of driving, take a family walks to the grocery store and bring your reusable shopping bags. When you walk through the store, look at everything you are about to buy and determine if you really need it. Unnecessary purchases create a lot of waste and greenhouse emissions, so be conservative with your shopping.
Also, try to keep what you buy twice as long. If your kids ask to get a new phone or tablet, consider if a new model will be worth the effort and the unnecessary waste when you throw the old one away. This can be a very valuable lesson for sustainability.
These five tips provide a great starting point for your new sustainable lifestyle. As you go through your days, look for other ways that you can help the planet. The future generations will thank you.