Living Sustainably: It’s a group effort

Day 104 – When I decided to start making changes and write this daily blog about those changes, it was entirely my decision. I decided for the family that we would make an extra effort to live more sustainably. I decided that we would discontinue using some products, while introducing new ones. I decided that everyone in the family needed to do their part in order for us to have success.

Well, I am just one of six inhabitants of this home and I soon realized that as much as I wanted things to change, I needed everyone else on board. It also became rather clear that just telling them to do things, was not the same as explaining why something was being done. So, when I started to educate myself about living a more sustainable life and being more environmentally friendly, I would make sure to share that knowledge with the family. Thankfully, the kids are at an age where I don’t have to simplify information. I’m able to talk to them openly and honestly about the dire need to help the planet and discuss ways in which we can help. I don’t scare or overwhelm them with the doom and gloom that usually accompanies conversations about the environment. Instead, we talk about solutions to problems and how we can play a role. My goal is to empower them and make them realize that they are capable of making a difference.

A few changes the kids have experienced:

  1. They are now looking for ways to cut out plastic. By making this a number one priority in the house, they are trying to find alternatives. On their occasional trip to the grocery store, they will play an active role in finding alternative brands that do not use plastic packaging.
  2. When looking for clothes, they are keeping in mind the idea of fast fashion and the negative impact it causes. They are beginning to look at companies that produce their clothing with the environment in mind.
  3. They are putting much more thought into their birthday wishlists and considering the overall need of listed items. They are also looking at the overall effect that those items have on the environment.
  4. They are involved in more discussions about conserving, reducing, reusing and overall friendliness toward the environment. Not only are they learning from me, but they also educate me on things that they have learned from others.

As a parent, it is up to me to raise responsible, caring and overall good people. Not only is it important that they respect others, but they also need to learn to respect the planet. We need to set the example for our kids. We are the ones they look to for guidance. Show them that every effort, no matter how large or small, can make a difference.

Tomorrow, ideas for art supply surplus.