We know, we know. Adding in eco-warrior to the 101 other things you already do seems so hard, but these days, going green is easier than you might think, even if the hubby and kids need some persuading to get on board.
And when you're trying to take on the eco world around the home (alongside the little people who live with you), it's all about baby steps. Because every mum knows the heartache that follows when no one uses the right bins (even though they are colour-coded), throws food in the black bin (just WHY), buys plastic water bottles (there's a place in hell for those people) and doesn’t recycle.
We appreciate that it can seem like a never-ending battle, but there are simple things you can do to rally the troops to your way of green thinking because these days, it's most people's way of thinking - we are having constant conversations around sustainability, and we really are implementing them around the house. Or, at least, we're trying to.
Here are six things you can do to encourage and set an example at home - and ensure you're not fighting the eco battle alone:
1. Stop buying physical books, newspapers and magazines
We don't mean the fancy cookbooks or the beloved childhood stories, we mean the magazines or newspapers; the things you don’t have to buy. Because we know that there's just something people love about the feel of a physical book in their hands. But, as a 'green' option, why not also look into eReaders? Or go old-school - you can borrow books for free from your local library and return them, hence preventing the buildup of excess paper around the home.
2. Turn off standby appliances
Go around the house at night and turn off at the wall those appliances that use standby power or make that the daily task for the older kids. Things like microwaves, TVs, DVDs, computers. You would be surprised at how much energy these appliances use (and cost you!) over time.
3. Full loads before using anything
Whether it’s the dishwasher, the washing machine or the dryer, make sure you have a full load before you turn it on. We're all guilty of throwing in a few cups and using the reliable 'quick wash' function, but this is not environmentally-friendly.
Heading out to meet friends or taking the kids to their billion-and-one after-school activities? See if you can organise lifts and drop-offs with fellow mums and get as many people in the car as you can.
5. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk reduces the need for lots of pesky packaging. Fill up your jars or plastic containers and take advantage of special offers to buy items in pairs. Oh and don't forget your reusable bag.
6. Grow your own vegetables
Kids love to create new things. Teaching them to grow their own vegetables, how to care for them from seed to table instils in them the knowledge that it's important to know and care about where your food comes from and that all food doesn’t need to come from grocery stores.