Note From Amy: As you can probably tell from the flower illustrations I splash all over my printables, I’m a nature-lover. Many of my most peaceful and worshipful moments happen while I enjoy God’s creation. The strength of mountains, the constance of waves, the whimsical flight paths of butterflies–they remind me how grand and faithful and creative our God is! Because I treasure nature, I’m always interested in simple ways I can be more “green” with my family. (Emphasis on simple, because life is busy!!) So when I was invited to collaborate with this guest post about eco-friendly family activities, I was excited to share Amanda’s simple, quick ideas. I hope you find one (or more) that works for you!
Guest Post by Amanda Westgate
As we become increasingly aware of our impact on the environment, and how our everyday choices are affecting the planet, we’re all looking to make eco-friendly lifestyle changes. But where do you start? With so many “green” ideas and suggestions floating around, it can seem like an overwhelming task. But it doesn’t have to be!
The changes that you make can be as simple as remembering to switch off the lights as you leave the room, or turning off the tap when brushing your teeth. Or, you can make bigger changes that require you to do things differently.
Here are four ways to live in a more eco-friendly way:
1 – Start in the Bathroom
Your bathroom is an interesting place, to say the least! It’s one of the easiest places to start when you’re making eco-friendly changes. It’s also full of damaging products that you might not even have noticed!
Take, for example, your makeup bag. Microplastics, or microbeads, are tiny pieces of plastic used in many cosmetics. Scientists have found these microplastics embedded in ice, deep in the Arctic.
You can search for products with low levels of microplastic ingredients, or none at all, to make changes to your shopping habits.
Also think about the number of single-use plastic containers holding your makeup, shampoo, conditioner, and all sorts of other bathroom products. Consider switching to shampoo bars to reduce plastic waste, or use glass containers instead.
2 – Use Recycled Paper
4 billion trees are cut down each year for paper production. If you’re ordering stationery items like business cards, choose a printing company that uses recycled paper stock. You can also buy toilet paper that’s made from recycled paper, or buy recycled printer paper for use at home.
Recycled paper is sometimes slightly more expensive, but saving the trees is certainly worth it!
3 – Make Recycling Easier
We’re more likely to recycle if the process is simple and if recycling doesn’t take time. Buy multiple colour-coded bins, so that it’s immediately obvious where each item goes. This is so much easier than piling items up, or throwing them all into a general bin, and sorting through at a later date.
Even young children can learn which items are linked to each coloured bin, ensuring that the whole family can get involved in the recycling process. In fact, sorting items by colour is a game for them!
4 – Grow Your Own
You don’t need a lot of land to grow your own food: It’s an activity that you can enjoy even in limited space. And it’s another eco-friendly action that’s fun for children.
You can grow your own herbs on a windowsill, or even larger items like strawberries and tomatoes, using plant pots in sunny locations. Plant a potato from your local market, and see what grows! Grow cress for sandwiches in some wet cotton wool in an eggshell, or some carrots in the corner of the garden.
Growing your own food helps the environment, cuts your grocery bill and provides a sense of achievement. It will also teach younger members of your family exactly where their food comes from. Surprisingly, many children don’t know that vegetables in plastic wrappers start life in a field outdoors. Let them experience the wonder of watching plants grow, and enjoying a meal using ingredients they grew themselves!
Changes don’t have to be big. They don’t have to take a lot of time. And you don’t need a lot of money, either. Small eco-friendly changes are ones that the whole family can get behind, as well as your employer in the office. What one small step could you take to help your family live a more eco-friendly lifestyle today?